Bayern 'dying for revenge' over Man City as Neuer steps up comeback

By Sports Desk April 14, 2023

Thomas Tuchel declared Bayern Munich are "dying for revenge" after their humbling by Manchester City as he revealed Manuel Neuer is stepping up his comeback from injury.

The Bayern head coach oversaw a 3-0 defeat at City in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday.

It was only in the last quarter of the game that City brought down the hammer, taking advantage of generous defending from the Bundesliga leaders.

Many would suppose the tie is all but over, yet Tuchel does not see it that way, with Bayern looking to make their home advantage count in the second leg next Wednesday.

"It's important not to lose focus," Tuchel said. "The task seems almost impossible, but nothing is impossible in football. I can feel that we are dying for revenge and the second leg."

Neuer will play no part in that game against Pep Guardiola's City, but the Bayern captain is making promising progress after the broken leg he suffered when on a skiing holiday after Germany's early exit from the World Cup.

There is no expectation of Neuer featuring again this season, which continues for Bayern with a home Bundesliga clash on Saturday against a Hoffenheim side who have won three games in a row.

"At the moment it is a great pleasure to watch Manuel Neuer in rehab every day," Tuchel said.

"Yesterday he did the first goalkeeper-specific exercises in the rehabilitation area. That gave me a good feeling to see he's making some good steps forward.

"I'm 100 per cent sure that Manu wants to come back to play at the highest level. We encourage him along the way, he is our captain and the captain of the German national team as well."

It remains to be seen, once Neuer is fit, whether he swiftly takes back the first-team goalkeeping role from Yann Sommer, who was brought in from Borussia Monchengladbach in January as an emergency recruit.

In 17 games for Bayern, Sommer has a save percentage success rate of only 63.79, compared to Neuer's 75.44 per cent before he was injured.

It would be a huge decision not to reinstate Neuer, even though at 37 he has entered the twilight years of his career.

"He's a great personality in German sport," Tuchel said. "He gets every possible support and Yann also gets every possible support."

Tuchel also backed Dayot Upamecano, who was at fault for City's second goal when he haplessly lost possession to Jack Grealish when striding out of defence, creating an opening for the hosts that saw Erling Haaland cross for Bernardo Silva to head in.

Upamecano had a shaky second half and looked out of his depth at times, but Tuchel believes the France defender has plenty to offer.

“We have to protect our players. He knows himself that he made mistakes. I don't have to tell him," Tuchel said. "But at this level, where he took the decisions with a lot of risk, we don't want to see that. We have been badly punished for it.

"In the second half he was a bit insecure which is a pity because he was in top form before that. We support him, talking openly about it. We need to be critical here and there, but he needs to feel that nobody plays the blame game."

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