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Thomas Müller benched as Thomas Tuchel explains lack of Bayern Munich subs vs. Köln

The starting XI went the full 90’ on Friday.

1. FC Köln v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga Photo by Rene Nijhuis/BSR Agency/Getty Images

The last time Bayern Munich did not make a single substitution in a game, Louis van Gaal was coach.

Thomas Tuchel repeated that stat in Friday’s slim 1-0 win over Köln and was left defending the decision after the match.

“We played a very good first half and created a number of top-class chances. Normally our big strength is to take those chances,” Tuchel explained after the game for DAZN (as captured by @iMiaSanMia). “But today it was only 1-0. So we had to stay focused and control the game. We did that very well in the second half, which is why we deserved to win.”

Naturally the question will be posed whether any of the subs did something wrong to not be entrusted. But as the result may show, sometimes the best substitution management is knowing when not to make them — even a single one.

“It was a bit unfortunate. It was not because I don’t trust my players on the bench, but because we were doing so well in the game,” Tuchel added. “We controlled it very well. [Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting] was a good fit with [Harry Kane], he was still trying to win the headers towards the end. I kept thinking about how I could bring Thomas [Müller] into the game. I also thought about giving Mathys [Tel] or Rapha [Guerreiro] a few minutes, but the result was still so tight. I didn’t want to disturb the rhythm. This doesn’t normally happen, so I apologized to the boys (on the bench). They all should keep the spirit and not hold it against me.

“The players on the bench deserved to play. My intention was not to punish them, I told them that as well. I was just happy with everyone on the pitch and how they were holding their positions, so I didn’t want to disrupt the rhythm and risk conceding a late goal.”

Looking for more thoughts and analysis from Bayern Munich’s win over FC Köln? Then check out our newest podcast episode! Listen to it below or on Spotify.

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