Match Report: Bayern Munich 3-1 Manchester United


UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg

Bayern Munich 3 Manchester United 1 (agg 4-2)

United go out of the UEFA Champions League not, as some had anticipated, following a severe thrashing from the reigning champions, but with a 4-2 aggregate defeat that is probably a fair reflection of how things stood between the two clubs.  Like all the best teams, Bayern proved to be at their most dangerous after going a goal down, which suggests that the only way the Reds might have stood a chance would have been to leave it a lot later in the game before taking the lead.   This was, however, a game in which United gave everything and which left room for optimism that our absence from this competition might well only be brief, even if by the end we looked well off the pace in terms of being potential champions again.

The first half was cagey, our opponents tentatively probing and evidently showing United some respect: perhaps, we might have felt, Bayern weren’t the fearsome giants of European football we’d expected or perhaps the Bavarian beer that had flowed following their securing of the Bundesliga had sapped their energies.  Or maybe they were just sparring, keeping something in the tank for a semi-final they fully expected to play a part in.

There was some accomplished passing from Bayern, with attacks frequently spearheaded by the busy Robben, forcing some concentrated defending from United at times, though with little to trouble De Gea in these early stages.  United carried a more evident early threat, with once again the pace of Welbeck troubling the Germans and Rooney looking a constant handful.  Unfortunately, when the best chance of the first half fell to him, he appeared uncertain whether to shoot or lay off to Kagawa and the hesitation allowed Lahm to snuff out the danger.

Meanwhile, United’s defenders were coping admirably with the threat of the European champions.  Jones stuck close to Ribery, nullifying any threat on the left while Evra rolled back the years on the other side.  Smalling, preferred to Ferdinand as Vidic’s central defensive partner, added athleticism and energy while his partner looked rock solid, his own first half blemish a ludicrous yellow card after what looked just one of several perfectly good defensive headers.

Hopes were rising even before United took the lead in the second half, via an extremely sweet strike from Evra who latched onto a Valencia cross to allow the Reds a brief glimpse of a potential semi-finals place.  However, celebrations had barely ended before Mandzukic equalised with a close range header all of twenty-two seconds after the restart.  The goals heralded a period of more open play as Bayern pushed to regain their advantage in the tie and United were forced to dig even deeper into their defensive reserves.  The former prevvailed: United weren’t able to close down Robben quickly enough and the Dutchman was able to deliver a precise cross that Muller got a decisive foot to, giving the Germans a 2-1 lead.

Coming from behind against a team like Bayern was always going to be tough and it got tougher when they extended their lead after 76 minutes, Robben’s run ending with a shot that deflected off Vidic on its way past De Gea.  Now United were frantically attempting to seize possession of a ball they’d formerly been happy to allow the Germans to have during much of the tie.  It proved no easier to secure and at this point United’s brave resistance drained away, giving way to a matter of whether the home side would score any more.

The game’s later stages showed, if such a thing were needed, just what a good side this Bayern Munich team are.  That United had held them for three-quarters of this tie is something we can justifiably be proud of in a season that’s been low on such things, but ultimately a more realistic appraisal would have to be that, against the very best in Europe, pride and dogged resistance ultimately is not enough.


5 Comments

  1. Like all the top sides, Bayern found an extra gear when needed and finished relatively comfortable winners.

    For United, a game of ‘if only’. If only we had held the 1-0 lead for longer allowing pressure to build up on Bayern. If only we could have got a second goal when it was 1-1 or 1-2. If only we hadn’t defended like schoolkids for the Bayern goals. Plenty of bodies back but not everyone taking individual responsibility for dealing with the threats.

    I thought the team selected was the right one. It looked very much like the team Fergie would have selected, especially when Rooney moved out left for United’s early attacks. The build up to the disallowed Valencia goal was a typical Ferguson move. Whether Ferguson got into Moyes’ ear prior to the game or whether Moyes is starting to learn about what’s required is anyones guess.

    • A couple of quotes re last night’s game :-

      1. Afterwards, manager David Moyes insisted his transfer targets will still want to come to Manchester United ……. “Any players we’ve quietly discussed it with are more than happy to join Manchester United. They know it’s not a long-term thing.”

      Erm – “”Any players we’ve quietly discussed it with…..” – isn’t that officially called tapping-up?? (Given that they’ve all got at least a year left on their contracts…)

      2. David Moyes said Manchester United bowed out of the UEFA Champions League with their heads held high after suffering a 4-2 aggregate defeat to Bayern Munich at the quarter-final stage. “There is no shame going out to Bayern,” he said. “They are a good side.”

      Erm – that sounds just like what he used to say as Everton manager – setting United mid-table expectations again. Contrast that with Fergie’s reaction last year after losing to Real……

      3. By the Daily Mail’s Martin Samuel, re Evra “ ‘He’s a defender who’s not interested in defending any more,’ a respected former international told me on the eve of this match.”

      IMHO he did pretty well last night in attack – yes, it could be argued that his defending cost us 2 goals – but how much better would he have played if he had had the support of his manager instead of someone who wanted to replace him from Day 1??

  2. Utd had the ball in Munich’s netfour times yet no one will mention that/ costwo was ruled out, we would of won on away goals if they stood

  3. Bayern won with a tactical change and a rain of accurat passes.Moyes blames schoolboy defending on the defeat.Moyes could have reacted quicker with subs.I wonder how much training there was on attack.Wellbeck was floundering around as usual and Carrick not so good.Kagawa had a good game.What about Januzaj,Hernandez and Nani,who all played well last Saturday ,two of them got a few mins.Nope you just cant win a game defending.To blame the defence just shows the type of manager Moyes is.

    • Bayern won with a tactical change? what was that then?

      Of course schoolboy error was the cause for the defeat, they scored 22 second after we scored. everyone is taught how not to concede when you’ve just scored yourself so for us to do it last night just showed how much of a schoolboy error it was.

      Welbeck played well and was an outlet everytime, Carrick had a decent game along with most of the players. The players slightly off it was an injured Rooney and Evra after scoring the wonder goal, before then his defending was solid

      You talk about subs- Hernandez did come on when it was at 2-1 so Moyes made the right decision, Januzaj is a youngster still learning his trade too much expected too soon from him and Nani has just come back from months out so its understandable for his absence

      You are right you can’t win games defending but it does keep you in the game, we played a team who smashed Barc 7-0 on agg last season, everyone expected us to get smashed but for 2/3s of the tie we were in it so Moyes was spot on with his tactics. We had chances that we didn’t take and restricted them well very.

      Overall Moyes played the same way Fergie would have played and used the same personnel as he would have, don’t forgot we were missing our talisman in RVP- could have been a different outcome if it was him with chances instead of Welbeck and Rooney

      (Rightly) Criticise when Moyes deserves it but give credit when its due…

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