Pep Guardiola: Pressure builds as Bayern Munich legends respond to Real Madrid defeat in Champions League

Beckenbauer claims they were lucky to only lose 1-0 in Spain while Rummenigge wants response

madrid

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the Bayern Munich chief executive, was talking a good game ahead of the Champions League semi-final second leg in five days’ time against Real Madrid.

At a sponsors lunch, and in a very public pep talk, he told the players and coach Pep Guardiola: “A defeat is never positive but it gives you the chance to respond; and I know that on Tuesday you will respond.”

He also promised Real, who take a 1-0 lead into the second game, that the Allianz Arena will be a cauldron for the visitors, and added: “It will be very hot for them at our home. I got up after the 1-0 defeat and my impression was that those around me from Real Madrid were not happy with the result. They know 70,000 of our supporters will be waiting for them. It will be hot enough for the trees to burn in Munich. What happened to them against Dortmund [a 4-1 defeat in the away leg of last season’s semi-finals] will seem pleasant by comparison.”

All Guardiola needs to do now is produce the performance to match Rummenigge’s rhetoric. The problem for the Bayern coach is that the signs from the first leg are not promising.

After 15 minutes of 90 percent possession had come to nothing for Bayern in the Bernabeu, Real’s first attack ended up in the back of Manuel Neuer’s net and there was very little in the way of response from the holders.

 

They started looking every bit like the side that won  everything last season; that feels, to a certain extent, that they have nothing left to prove; and that, what is more, they are not completely  capable of carrying out  Guardiola’s orders.

Robert Lewandowski cannot arrive soon enough. The Borussia Dortmund striker signed for next season will be better suited to the demands the Bayern coach has placed on Mario Mandzukic. While the Croatian laboured against Sergio Ramos and Pepe on Wednesday, Lewandowski put four goals past Real in last season’s first leg at the Westfalenstadion.

Guardiola is still very much playing the hand left him by predecessor Jupp Heynckes. Arguably his most important summer signing – and the one player who knows exactly what the coach wants to happen on the pitch because they were at Barcelona together – Thiago Alcantara, is out injured for the rest of the season.

Philipp Lahm’s move to midfield has left Bayern vulnerable on the right Philipp Lahm’s move to midfield has left Bayern vulnerable on the right (AP)
That has left him with little option but to keep Philipp Lahm in central midfield, where he was outstanding in the first half on Wednesday, and, as a consequence, Rafinha at right-back. The Brazilian struggled to contain Fabio Coentrao and a not-fully fit Cristiano Ronaldo.

“Ronaldo will be stronger on Tuesday and so will Gareth Bale,” said the Real coach, Carlo Ancelotti, ominously after the first leg. The power of the Spanish team’s counter-attack is the greatest threat to Bayern’s chances of staging a comeback.

The side Guardiola labelled “the best counter-attacking team in the world” have gone into the second legs trailing in all of their last three Champions League semi-finals. This is new, and very favourable, territory for them.

Rummenigge did not dwell on the absence of an away goal in his speech. Guardiola had lamented the team’s failure to score in his post-match appraisal. He was also asked after the game about the comments from Franz Beckenbauer. Bayern’s honorary president indicated that he thought the team was lucky to have conceded just once. Guardiola was asked if he agreed, and clearly unhappy at being made to comment, gave his shortest answer of the night: “Real Madrid had more chances to score.”

The transformation of Bayern under Guardiola was never going to happen overnight and the great and the good in Bavaria are wise enough to know that. But that does not stop them pitching in with observations about the team’s performances. Beckenbauer can seem like a dripping tap for an under-fire coach. And under-fire is what Guardiola will be if there is no second leg turnaround.

“Football is not just about having possession it’s about defending and counter-attacking too,” said Ancelotti on Wednesday. He then made reference to the old football truism that if you have the ball the other team cannot score – knowing full well that serves no purpose to Bayern next week. Stopping Madrid scoring without scoring themselves will not be enough – more gun twirling without firing any bullets and the champions will be out.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee