Lewandowski slams Kovac’s tactics in Bayern’s Champions League exit

MUNICH, GERMANY - MARCH 13: Robert Lewandowski and Thiago of Muenchen are looking dejeceted after loosing the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Liverpool at Allianz Arena on March 13, 2019 in Munich, Bavaria. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Robert Lewandowski had little doubt over what caused Bayern Munich to crash out of the Champions League following a 3-1 home defeat to Liverpool.

After holding the Reds to a goalless first-leg draw at Anfield in their last-16, an in-form Bayern were being tipped to hand last season’s finalists Liverpool an early exit from the competition for the return fixture in Munich.

The Bavarians were in a hot patch of form for the encounter having won all three of their last games to snatch top spot in the Bundesliga from Borussia Dortmund and scoring 12 goals in the process.

But Bayern appeared to lose their scoring touch altogether at the Allianz Arena with Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker not being forced into making even one good save.

Former Arsenal winger Serge Gnarby gave a few flashes of brilliance for Bayern in an otherwise disappointing performance as the likes of James Rodriguez, Franck Ribery and Lewandowski himself all had low-key outings.

In the end, the German champions needed an own goal from Joel Matip to breakthrough the Liverpool defence.

But the own goal proved to be nothing more than a mere consolation as Sadio Mane’s double and Virgil van Dijk’s header secured Jurgen Klopp’s side a 3-1 second-leg win.

And Lewandowski was critical of manager Niko Kovac’s defensive tactics afterwards as Bayern suffered their first last-16 exit since the 2010/11 season.

“We knew that it would be a very tough game, but I think in both games we were playing too defensive,” Lewandowski told Viasport.

“We didn’t try to push forward and create situations, also in the first game, we didn’t risk so much. We played at home, but that wasn’t our game and that’s why they beat us.

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“I think we played too deep, didn’t want to make too many risks, and I don’t know why.

“We tried to push Liverpool, but in the offence, it was two versus four players and that’s why we didn’t match them. That wasn’t our game.

“I had a lot of duels, not just with the one player, and it was very difficult because I was alone sometimes, and I didn’t have help also and I couldn’t do some things.

“It was very difficult. If you’re alone against two or three good players, it’s difficult.

“If you see both games, maybe we didn’t risk enough and that’s why we are out now.”

The Polish striker, who has scored 29 goals in 35 games this season, will be looking to get Bayern’s campaign back on track at home to Mainz on Sunday in a Bundesliga match.


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