Bayern Munich manager Jupp Heynckes has labelled his sides display against Real Madrid on Tuesday night as ‘world class’, as he spoke of his disappointment of not progressing to the Champions League final, after losing out 4-3 on aggregate.
Bayern put in a valiant display at the Bernabeu, producing 20 shots to Madrid’s nine, but the home side stood strong and somehow resisted the constant threat of Heynckes’ side.
The Bundesliga team arrived in Madrid with a 2-1 deficit from the first leg in Germany, but they were quick off the mark as Joshua Kimmich hit the back of the net with less than three minutes on the clock. However, Madrid hit back soon after Kimmich’s opener, through Karim Benzema.
The home side started the second half in the way Bayern had started the first, with Benzema bagging his second of the night after an awful error from Bayern keeper Sven Ulreich. But the visitors did not give up, as they found a second wind and hit Madrid with attack after attack.
James Rodriguez slotted home from a tight angle to give Bayern a lifeline, with half an hour to go, and they did not let off as they continued in search of the goal to put them through to the final. But Madrid held strong, fending off chance after chance, with Keylor Navas making eight saves. And as the final whistle blew, the exhausted and distraught Bayern stars sank to the floor, having given everything.
And Heynckes has praised his team for the performance they put in on Tuesday night, and expressed his disappointment of exiting the competition after such a dominant display.
“We are very disappointed. My team played an outstanding game. I haven’t seen Bayern play as well as that for years,” said the German manager, as quoted by BBC Sport.
“We played brilliantly. I think over the course of the two legs we were the better team, but as so often happens in football the game was decided by the small details.”
Ultimately it was goal keeper Ulreich’s error that cost Bayern the chance of progressing to the final, and Heynckes admitted that players can not make those type of mistakes in the big games.
“Ulreich had a little blackout. We gave a world-class display, lots of beautiful football, it’s such a shame we were eliminated.
“At this high level you can’t make the sort of mistakes we made after half-time,” said the 72-year-old, when speaking after the game.
The Bayern boss praised Madrid keeper Navas for his performance at the Bernabeu, while also reiterating that he will be departing the Bundesliga side at the end of the season, as he referred to the game as his last in Europe’s elite competition.
He continued: “Over both games, we were clearly the better team, but we’ve not been able to reach the final.
“We dominated, [Madrid goalkeeper Keylor] Navas was spectacular, especially at the end.”