BERLIN: Bayern Munich’s bitter Champions League exit to Real Madrid in extra time on Tuesday left the team in ruins, CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said, but the German champions need to regroup quickly if they are to defend their domestic double.
The Bavarians cancelled out their 2-1 quarter-final first- leg defeat to take the game to extra time in Madrid.
But Arturo Vidal was sent off with a controversial second booking, and they eventually lost 4-2 - 6-3 on aggregate - to miss out on the biggest club prize in Europe. In addition, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was ruled out for eight weeks with a broken foot.
Two of Cristiano Ronaldo’s three goals looked off side, adding to Bayern’s anger with the referee’s decisions as they were eliminated by a Spanish team for the fourth straight time in the competition. One of Bayern’s goals also looked off side.
“We were hung out to dry, that’s what happened,” Rummenigge told a post-match dinner in the early hours of Wednesday. “I am furious, so furious tonight as I have never been.”
“The team was literally in ruins in the changing room,” he said. “Anyone wanting to blame the team tonight must have watched a different film.”
The Germans on Wednesday also filed a complaint with European soccer body UEFA over what the club said were police attacks on Bayern fans during halftime inside the stadium.
“Bayern consider the Spanish police behaviour as completely out of place and exaggerated,” it said in a statement. “Bayern will demand an explanation for the actions from the Spanish police.”
They may be out of Europe, but they can still turn the season into a domestic success with two titles. They have to do it, though, without Neuer, who will miss the final stretch of the season.
Bayern, leading by eight points in the Bundesliga with five matches remaining, also host rivals Borussia Dortmund in the German Cup last four next week.
With only one win from their last three league matches, Bayern know only victory will do against lowly Mainz 05 on Saturday. That would tighten their grip on a record-extending fifth straight league title and avoid seeing second-placed RB Leipzig close in even further.
Bayern’s lead has shrunk to eight from 13 points only a few weeks ago. Coach Carlo Ancelotti will now need to assess how central defenders Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels held up after having to play without having fully recovered from injuries.
“The adductor muscles at some point in the second half just clamped shut,” Boateng said. “I tried to just battle through but it was not easy.”-- REUTERS