Nagelsmann demands strong finish in Group C after Bayern reach knockout stages

By Sports Desk October 12, 2022

Julian Nagelsmann wants his Bayern Munich players to ensure they top Group C after a 4-2 win over Viktoria Plzen sealed their Champions League progress.

Sadio Mane, Thomas Muller and Leon Goretzka had Bayern 4-0 up by the 35th minute on Wednesday. It is the second-quickest time in Champions League history a side has taken to register four goals away from home, beaten only by their own 7-1 victory over Roma in 2014.

Though Adam Vlkanova and Jan Kliment reduced the arrears in the second half, Bayern held on to record their 11th straight group stage victory, a new competition record.

The win means Bayern are now on 12 points, five above Inter in second and out of reach of third-placed Barcelona, as they qualified for the knockout stages for the 15th consecutive season.

Now, the target is securing top spot, with Nagelsmann telling DAZN: "It's always nice to win away from home.

"We've got 12 points from four games in the toughest group and we're into the round of 16. Now we want to top the group.

"This win gives us the necessary calm ahead of Freiburg [in the Bundesliga] on Sunday. That was our goal and we achieved it."

Muller's cool 14th-minute finish for Bayern's second means he has now scored more than twice as many goals as any other German player in Champions League history, with Mario Gomez scoring the second most with 26.

However, he made way soon after his strike and headed straight down the tunnel, though Nagelsmann explained there was nothing to worry about, adding: "Things tightened up a little in his back, a nerve.

"It's nothing major or serious, but we didn't want to take risks for the weekend."

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    Nagelsmann revealed Serge Gnabry will not start against Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday after the winger was hooked at half-time of the draw with Koln.

    The former Arsenal man already caused a stir when he used a day off to attend Paris Fashion Week prior to Tuesday's poor performance, with his replacement Kingsley Coman recording four key passes after his introduction, tied for the game high.

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    Leon Goretzka was also taken off at half-time against Koln, though his removal was because of injury concerns, and Nagelsmann confirmed the midfielder will play no part on Saturday after having to leave training early on Thursday.

    "Leon will be out," Nagelsmann stated. "He has nerve problems on the inside of his thighs. He can probably play again on Wednesday [against Mainz in the DFB-Pokal].

    "Unfortunately, Leon keeps having aches and pains, and that won't change anymore. He invests a lot. I support him and we communicate frequently."

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