Thomas Tuchel fumes at ‘disastrous decision’ to rule out late Bayern chance

Bayern were denied a stoppage-time leveller after the offside flag was raised and the whistle blown before Matthijs de Ligt found the net.

George Sessions
Thursday 09 May 2024 08:49 BST
Bayern Munich players argue with referee Szymon Marciniak (Manu Fernandez/AP)
Bayern Munich players argue with referee Szymon Marciniak (Manu Fernandez/AP) (AP)

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Louise Thomas

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Thomas Tuchel vented his frustration at the “disastrous decision” to rule out a potential Matthijs de Ligt equaliser after Bayern Munich missed out on the Champions League final following a 4-3 aggregate loss to Real Madrid.

The last-four tie had been evenly-poised after a 2-2 draw in Germany last week and Alphonso Davies fired the visitors into a surprise lead with 22 minutes left at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Bayern looked on course to end Madrid’s 13-month unbeaten home run, but Joselu levelled in the 88th minute after Manuel Neuer spilled a shot by Vinicius Junior before the former Stoke forward steered home from close range three minutes later to earn a memorable 2-1 victory.

The goal was originally ruled out after the offside flag was raised, but VAR told Szymon Marciniak to review the incident and both Joselu and defender-turned-assist-maker Antonio Rudiger were onside.

Further drama occurred in the 13th minute of stoppage time when referee Marciniak blew his whistle, upon the offside flag being raised, just before De Ligt fired into the bottom corner after a Joshua Kimmich pass forced a scramble in the Madrid box.

Bayern remonstrated with the officials, but to no avail as the German giants and England captain Harry Kane were consigned to a trophyless season.

“We were almost through, almost there and had a very unusual mistake by our very best player for the equaliser,” Tuchel told TNT Sports.

“Then we conceded in a very narrow decision, the second one in stoppage time. Then we scored one and they have a disastrous decision from the linesman and from the referee.

“So, it feels almost like a betrayal in the end because of that decision. It was a huge fight, we left everything on the pitch and we were almost there. Now we have to say congratulations to Real Madrid.

“The linesman said sorry, but that does not help. At that kind of level, to raise the flag in a decision like this, a close decision, in the last minute and the referee as well.

“The referee does not have to whistle. He sees that we win the second ball, he sees that we get a shot away and to whistle is a very, very bad decision.

“And it is against the rules and it is a bad decision from both of them. It is a disaster. Tough to swallow, but that is the way it is.”

An intriguing subplot was Kane up against compatriot Jude Bellingham, who produced an all-action display and helped set up a Wembley showdown with old club Borussia Dortmund on June 1.

It was a different story for Kane after this loss extended his wait for silverware, and Tuchel made the surprise decision to replace the former Tottenham forward in the 85th minute with Bayern leading.

While Tuchel was not asked specifically about Kane being taken off, he said: “Part of the story is we start with a front four and all four players need to go out because of injuries and cramps.

“It is a bit too much at that level.”

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