Bayer Leverkusen's Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal double was the result of players keeping faith in the team throughout what turned into a dream season, so says Xabi Alonso.

Leverkusen added the Pokal to their Bundesliga crown with a 1-0 victory over second-tier Kaiserslautern.

Granit Xhaka scored the only goal of the game as he arrowed in from distance in the 16th minute.

"In the end, to win like that meant we showed spirit, we fought for the fans for the club," said Alonso.

"It is a huge success to win the double. We will remember this in the future."

Leverkusen lost only one of 53 matches across all competitions this season, with that sole defeat coming in Wednesday's Europa League final against Atalanta, denying them a treble.

"The most important thing was the belief of the team. They were ready to battle with 10 players and I am proud of that," Alonso said.

"I need time to accept what happened this season. It was a dream season and to celebrate the last day like this here is special."

Leverkusen will be looking to build on their success next season, with Alonso having snubbed the advances of Liverpool and Bayern Munich in order to stay at the club.

Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen battled past second-tier Kaiserslautern 1-0 on Saturday to win the DFB-Pokal and secure the club's first domestic double.

Leverkusen missed out on a treble after losing 3-0 to Atalanta in the Europa League final on Wednesday, in what was astonishingly their first defeat of the season in all competitions, after a European record 51-game unbeaten run.

But at Berlin's Olympic stadium, which will host the Euro 2024 final in July, Xabi Alonso's side ensured they capped off a remarkable campaign with another piece of silverware thanks to Granit Xhaka's stunning 16th-minute strike.

The ball rolled out to the former Arsenal man around 25 yards out, and he planted an unstoppable first-time effort into the left-hand side of the net.

They controlled the pace even after they were reduced to 10 men following Odilon Kossounou's second booking a minute before half-time.

Kaiserslautern rarely threatened after the break, with Leverkusen limiting their opponents to just 0.2 expected goals.

And even though they could not add to their lead, Leverkusen were able to comfortably wrap up their second trophy of the best season in the club's history.

Data Debrief: Leverkusen join the club

Leverkusen are only the fifth different side to win the double in Germany since the Bundesliga was founded, after Bayern Munich (13 times), 1. Koln, Werder Bremen and Borussia Dortmund.

Xhaka's strike was a worthy winner. He became the first Swiss player to score in a DFB-Pokal final.

Bayer Leverkusen have quickly put Wednesday's Europa League final defeat to Atalanta behind them, says coach Xabi Alonso.

The freshly-crowned Bundesliga champions can clinch a first-ever domestic double with victory over second-division Kaiserslautern in Saturday's final.

Leverkusen had the opportunity to complete an unbeaten treble but saw their 51-match unbeaten run in all competitions ended in the Europa League final on Wednesday when they lost 3-0 to Atalanta.

Now, they have the opportunity to cap an already memorable season by winning the DFB-Pokal.

"It was a long way to get here, since August last year," said Alonso of Saturday's showcase at Berlin's Olympic stadium.

"We are here. It is great to have the last game of the season as a final. After Wednesday, we are ready and focused for tomorrow. We have to have the hunger and I think after Wednesday we have it more."

Prior to this season's Bundesliga title, Leverkusen's last trophy was the 1993 DFB-Pokal.

Alonso said the team had little time to review their first defeat of the season, but they had already put the loss behind them, having a shot at the double.

"The time for analysis is short because our focus is now on tomorrow. What happened on Wednesday hopefully will not have much influence," Alonso added.

"We have to continue after the defeat. The goal is big. Tomorrow we can cap it with the Cup. Dublin is gone and behind us, and now we think about Berlin."

Treble-chasing Bayer Leverkusen are offering supporters free tattoos to commemorate their Bundesliga-winning season and record-breaking unbeaten run.

Xabi Alonso's team, undefeated across all competitions this season, reached the Europa League final with a 2-2 comeback draw against Roma on Thursday, sealing a 4-2 aggregate win.

That result also stretched their unbeaten run this season to 49 matches across all competitions, surpassing Benfica's long-standing European record of 48, set between 1963 and 1965.

"A special action at the end of a special season. Bayer 04 are offering fans, until the end of the season, the opportunity to choose one of many Bayer 04 tattoos for free," the club said in a statement.

"Book your appointment now to eternalise this unique season on your skin."

Having sealed their first ever Bundesliga title, Leverkusen are also through to the DFB-Pokal final.

They will face second-tier Kaiserslautern in that showpiece game on May 25, three days after they take on Atalanta in the Europa League final.

Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso said his team deserve to win all three trophies available to them this season after they qualified for the Europa League final by seeing off Roma on Thursday.

Leverkusen, who have already wrapped up the Bundesliga title and will contest the DFB-Pokal final on May 25, stretched their unbeaten run through all competitions this season to 49 matches, surpassing Benfica's long-standing European top-tier record set between 1963 and 1965.

Once again, they did it the hard way after two Leandro Paredes penalties wiped out their first-leg advantage, with a Gianluca Mancini own goal and a stoppage-time strike from Josip Stanisic completing a dramatic comeback.

Following their 4-2 aggregate victory, Roma will face Atalanta in the May 22 final in Dublin, after La Dea overcame Marseille 4-1 on aggregate in the other semi-final.

"We'll play two finals in a week as a result," Alonso said. "We showed great character today after their second goal. 

"I looked my players in the eye afterwards and saw that they wanted more.

"We still have the chance to win three titles, and my boys deserve all three titles."

Despite going 3-2 up on aggregate when Mancini put through his own net, Leverkusen refused to sit back as they looked to preserve their unbeaten record, which they did through Stanisic's 97th-minute strike.

Asked whether that goal was one of the biggest moments of his career, the Bayern Munich loanee said: "Definitely one of them. 

"We knew what was at stake, we really wanted to get to the final and I think you could see that over 90 minutes today.

"I don't think we would have cared in the end if we lost and still progressed because we really wanted to get to the final, but it's even nicer this way."

For Roma, the chance to reach a second straight Europa League final after last season's defeat by Sevilla on penalties slipped away in the dying minutes of the match.

"When you manage to get it back from 2-0 down and go close to the miracle, knowing nobody has ever beaten them this season, it hurts to see us concede a goal like that. It hurts," Roma boss Daniele De Rossi told Sky Sports Italia.

Xabi Alonso believes his Bayer Leverkusen side can still improve after they extended their unbeaten run to 48 matches across all competitions on Sunday, equalling Benfica's European record.

Champions Leverkusen thrashed Eintracht Frankfurt 5-1 in the Bundesliga to match Benfica's 48-game unbeaten run between 1963 and 1965 – a record across all competitions in Europe.

Alonso, however, still feels there is more to come.

"Our level, our consistency throughout the season is great. But we are always moving forward. We are always concentrating on the work and improving," he said.

Leverkusen, who are edging closer to an unbeaten season across all competitions, have two league matches remaining and are also set to face Kaiserslautern in the DFB-Pokal final on May 25.

They also hold a 2-0 lead over Roma at the halfway stage of their Europa League semi-final tie, with Thursday's second leg offering them the chance to surpass Benfica's record on home soil.

"It's a big challenge, we have two [Bundesliga] games left, it will be the perfect run. We will certainly try," Alonso said.

"We still have games to play to achieve our big goals in all competitions. The next game is important for us, the second leg of the Europa League semi-final: a chance to reach the final.

"In football it's sometimes difficult to stop. You have to prepare for the next game. The next game is a big game for us. Hopefully we have the chance to be in a European final again."

Leverkusen will play Bochum and Augsburg in their final two Bundesliga games. 

Should they progress to the Europa League final, they will then face either Atalanta or Marseille in Dublin on May 22, three days before the DFB-Pokal showpiece game.

Xabi Alonso is capable of guiding 'exceptional' Bayer Leverkusen through the remainder of the season unbeaten en route to winning a historic treble.

That is according to former Leverkusen defender Carsten Ramelow, who told Stats Perform that Alonso is undoubtedly the key to their success.

Bayer were crowned champions of Germany at the weekend for the first time in their 120-year history with five Bundesliga games still to play.

Not only have Alonso's side dodged defeat in the league, they have also not lost any of their 14 DFB-Pokal or Europa League matches.

With a 2-0 lead heading into their Europa quarter-final second leg against West Ham, and with Kaiserslautern awaiting them in the domestic cup final, the treble is very much on.

"The season they have played is phenomenal," Ramelow said. "Their streak is sensational and it looks like they will do this until the end. 

"Every team has a bit of a lapse, but Leverkusen have been exceptional in every competition. They can still win everything. Things are looking really good."

Former Real Sociedad B coach Alonso took over Leverkusen in October 2022 with the club second from bottom in the Bundesliga.

The Spaniard guided them to sixth last season and has taken them to the title in his first full campaign at BayArena, ending Bayern's run of 11 successive crowns.

Ramelow, who spent 13 years as a Leverkusen player, has hailed the part Alonso has played in the greatest season in the club's history.

"I heard a lot of people talk about him how much of a worker he is, and that he is also very companionable," Ramelow said. "The whole package is in perfect harmony.

"I think that the coach has big merit in this. When he arrived in Leverkusen, he was facing a few problems, which is normal. 

"I think you have to give managers some time in this day and age. That's also what they did with him. He explained his philosophy and idea very well to the team. 

"The boys execute that really well. And I also think he’s a great guy who acts as an example for his players – both on and off the pitch."

Florian Wirtz should follow Xabi Alonso's lead and reject interest from Europe's top clubs to stay at Bayer Leverkusen beyond this season, says former Germany international Carsten Ramelow.

Wirtz has been one of the standout performers in a remarkable campaign for Leverkusen, who are just one win away from clinching their first Bundesliga title.

The attacking midfielder has 18 goal involvements in 28 league outings this term (eight goals, 10 assists), with his latest goal coming from the penalty spot in Saturday's win over Union Berlin.  

Among all Bundesliga players, Wirtz ranks third for successful dribbles (77), fifth for chances created (70) and fourth for expected assists (9.23 xA) this season.

His performances have won him plenty of admirers, with Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Real Madrid among those credited with an interest in the 20-year-old.

However, after seeing head coach Alonso reaffirm his commitment to Leverkusen, Ramelow, who made over 400 appearances for Die Werkself between 1995 and 2008, thinks Wirtz should follow suit. 

"For Leverkusen, he is indispensable," the 2002 World Cup finalist told Stats Perform. "The same goes for the national team, where he has found a good role. 

"There's a lot of speculation. When you're in great form, the big teams come knocking. Leverkusen hope he will continue with them for a while and move on after that. 

"In my opinion, it would be good for his development to stay in Leverkusen, because you can see if young players leave too early, it is not always good."

With Alonso refusing to jump ship, Ramelow feels Leverkusen still have plenty to offer Wirtz, saying: "To show consistent performances, you have to be where you feel happy, and I think Leverkusen is a good place currently. 

"They are so consistent. They have a lot of confidence and also a pinch of luck in the final moments to win games. That's really good. You have to look at the collective, the coach and his staff.

"But of course, Wirtz is a very young player who showed his talent many times over the last few years. He has made really good development and has lots more to come.

"Why not continue on that path for another one, two, maybe even three years and make the next step afterwards? This is what I think is the right way, but we will see what decision Wirtz takes."

Remarkably, Leverkusen are yet to lose a game in any competition this season. They have just six further games to navigate in the Bundesliga, while they will face second tier Kaiserslautern in May's DFB-Pokal final and are among the favourites to win the Europa League.

 As Leverkusen look to banish the ghosts of 2001-02 – when they finished as runners up in the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League – Ramelow says all the credit lies with Alonso.

"When he arrived in Leverkusen, he was facing a few problems, which is normal. I think you have to give managers some time in this day and age," Ramelow said.

"That is what they did with him. He explained his philosophy and ideas very well to the team. The boys execute that really well. 

"The whole package is in perfect harmony. The season they have played is phenomenal. Their streak is sensational and it looks like they will do this until the end. 

"Every team has a bit of a lapse every season, but Leverkusen have been exceptional across all competitions. They can still win everything. Things are looking really good."

Bayer Leverkusen stayed on course for a German league and cup double by thumping Fortuna Dusseldorf 4-0 to reach the DFB-Pokal final.

Jeremie Frimpong, Amine Adli and Florian Wirtz scored first-half goals as runaway Bundesliga leaders Leverkusen made light work of second-tier opponents at the BayArena.

Wirtz added a fourth from the penalty spot as Xabi Alonso’s side – who are also in the quarter-finals of the Europa League – made it 40 games unbeaten in all competitions this season.

Dusseldorf’s away form in Bundesliga – seven wins and four draws from 14 games – had given them semi-final hope, but this was a much tougher challenge than they were accustomed to.

The size of their task was laid bare within four minutes when Emmanuel Iyoha’s last-ditch tackle prevented Frimpong from opening the scoring.

Marlon Mustapha instantly managed a weak shot at the other end, but the unmarked Frimpong rifled Leverkusen ahead after seven minutes with a ferocious shot into the roof of the net.

Leverkusen doubled their lead after 20 minutes from a lightning counter-attack launched from deep inside their own penalty area.

Wirtz released Adli and his unerring low finish into the corner of the net gave goalkeeper Florian Kastenmeier no chance.

There was a massive chasm between the sides and Leverkusen rammed home their superiority after 35 minutes.

Dusseldorf were caught out playing from the back and Adli repaid the compliment as Wirtz finished in style.

Wirtz saw another effort tipped over by Kastenmeier before Andre Hoffmann and Christos Tzolis threatened for Dusseldorf.

But Matej Kovar stood firm in the home goal and Leverkusen added a fourth on the hour mark.

Patrik Schick’s header was going wide, but the ball clipped the hand of Matthias Zimmermann to be diverted on to the post.

It was definitely not an intentional intervention from Zimmerman, but the referee was sent to the monitor for a VAR review and a penalty awarded.

Wirtz, fresh from scoring after six seconds for Germany against France, sent his devastating spot-kick in to the corner.

Dusseldorf wanted their own penalty after 74 minutes when Tzolis tangled with Frimpong in the box.

On first glance it looked as if Tzolis had got there first, but on closer examination Frimpong’s challenge was shown to be legitimate.

Leverkusen welcomed back Victor Boniface for the final 15 minutes, the 16-goal Nigeria striker having not played since December 20 because of a muscle injury.

Substitute Nathan Tella was denied a late fifth, but the party had already started with flares lighting up the BayArena.

Leverkusen – 13 points clear of Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga – will play second-tier Kaiserslautern in the DFB-Pokal final in Berlin on May 25.

Saarbrucken’s incredible run in the DFB-Pokal came to a disappointing end as they lost 2-0 to Kaiserslautern in the semi-finals.

Kaiserslautern failed to have a single effort on target in the first half at the Ludwigsparkstadion, but were a different side in the second period to book their place in May’s final in Berlin thanks to goals from Marlon Ritter and Almamy Toure.

Runaway Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen face Dusseldorf in the second semi-final on Wednesday.

Third-tier Saarbrucken had claimed some huge scalps on their way to the last four, dumping reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich out in the second round before earning a 2-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt.

Their quarter-final against Borussia Monchengladbach saw them snatch victory with another late goal, this time from Kai Brunker in the third minute of added time.

However, Brunker was unable to reproduce such heroics in the semi-final, firstly heading straight at visiting goalkeeper Robin Himmelmann and then failing to get his diving header on target from a Marcel Gaus free-kick.

Saarbrucken goalkeeper Tim Schreiber was called into action for the first time in the 48th minute as he comfortably saved a 25-yard shot from Filip Kaloc, but the 21-year-old then committed a costly error to gift Kaiserslautern the lead.

Ritter’s glancing header from Toure’s cross appeared to lack the power to trouble Schreiber, only for the ball to somehow go through the goalkeeper’s legs at the near post.

Toure doubled his side’s lead on 75 minutes with a far better header into the far corner from Tymoteusz Puchacz’s inswinging free-kick and that always looked enough to seal victory for Friedhelm Funkel’s side.

Saarbrucken pushed forward in search of the goal needed to get them back into the tie but Brunker’s miserable night in front of goal was summed up when he blazed a half-volley over the bar from close range and beat the ground with his fists in frustration.

It is the first time Kaiserslautern have reached the final of the DFB-Pokal since 2003 – when they lost to Bayern Munich – and they will be massive underdogs if, as expected, Xabi Alonso’s unbeaten Leverkusen side are their opponents.

However, Kaiserslautern’s route to the final four did include a 3-2 win against top-flight opponents Cologne in the second round before victories over Bundesliga 2 rivals FC Nuremberg and Hertha BSC.

Saarbrucken head coach Rudiger Ziehl is confident the pitch for their DFB-Pokal semi-final against Kaiserslautern will be playable after recent fears.

Their quarter-final tie against Borussia Monchengladbach at the Ludwigsparkstadion was postponed before kick-off in February due to rainfall and more recently their game against Rot-Weiss Essen on Easter Sunday was cancelled by the DFB due to concern about the pitch’s playability for the semi-final.

Third-tier Saarbrucken are aiming to continue their incredible run in the competition on Tuesday against Bundesliga 2 side Kaiserslautern and Ziehl insisted the pitch will be ready for the tie.

“If things don’t get extreme, the pitch has a playable surface. Then it will work that we can play. I was surprised that the pitch was in good condition,” said Ziehl in quotes reported by Zeit Online.

“The pitch looked good on Saturday morning, especially the critical areas from the Gladbach game. It was a smart decision to put the tarpaulin on again yesterday.”

Saarbrucken are 11th in the 3 Liga table and have had an extraordinary run in the cup this year, claiming some huge Bundesliga scalps on their way to reaching the final four of the competition.

In the second round they beat reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich 2-1 thanks to Marcel Gaus’ stoppage-time strike before earning a 2-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt in the following round.

Their rescheduled quarter-final against Monchengladbach saw them snatch victory with another late goal, this time from Kai Brunker in the third minute of added time.

Kaiserslautern’s route to the final four included a 3-2 win against top-flight opponents Cologne in the second round before securing victories over Bundesliga 2 rivals FC Nuremberg and Hertha BSC.

The final takes place at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on May 25 and Kaiserslautern boss Friedhelm Funkel admits the competition has been a “great experience”.

“I associate the cup and Berlin with a feeling of happiness,” said Funkel in quotes posted on the official Kaiserslautern X account.

“This is an incredibly great experience. There is a tension, a tingling feeling that is very special. I would like to experience that again, but Saarbrucken also wants to go to Berlin.”

Vitor Roque’s maiden Barcelona goal saw the LaLiga champions win their first match since boss Xavi’s announcement that he is to depart as 10-man Osasuna were beaten 1-0 at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys.

Roque, the 18-year-old Brazil forward recently signed from Athletico Paranaense, opened his Barca account with a header just past the hour mark, a minute after coming off the bench.

Despite having Unai Garcia sent off four minutes later, Osasuna showed some threat as they sought an equaliser but Barca were able to see out the win.

Xavi’s men bounced back after successive losses in the Copa del Rey at Athletic Bilbao and Saturday’s 5-3 home loss to Villarreal, after which the former Spain midfielder announced he would be leaving the club this summer, with the gap between them and leaders Girona reducing to eight points.

Bayern Munich suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at third-tier outfit Saarbrucken as the Bundesliga champions crashed out in the second round of the DFB-Pokal.

Thomas Tuchel’s men led through Thomas Muller’s 16th-minute effort, only to end up red-faced as their opponents pulled off a remarkable turnaround.

Patrick Sontheimer equalised in first-half stoppage time, and after Bayern failed to take a number of second-half opportunities, Marcel Gaus struck in added time to complete the giant-killing.

It made for some contrast to Bayern’s previous outing, the 8-0 demolition of Darmstadt at the Allianz Arena four days earlier in the Bundesliga.

Tuchel made five changes to his starting XI from that game, with top-scorer Harry Kane among those dropping to the bench.

It appeared business as usual for the visitors when two of those brought into the side combined to give them the lead just past the quarter-hour mark, Muller striking past Tim Schreiber having been teed up by Frans Kratzig.

But rather than the floodgates opening for Bayern – who were forced to take off Matthijs De Ligt due to an apparent knee injury in the 24th minute, with Konrad Laimer coming on – it was Saarbrucken showing the greater threat for the remainder of the first half.

Kasim Rabihic was to the fore, unable to make the most of a couple of chances with Manuel Neuer gathering the ball each time, before the home side equalised just prior to the interval, Kratzig losing possession and the ball coming to Lukas Boeder, whose pass set up a simple finish for Sontheimer.

After Leroy Sane twice saw efforts saved by Schreiber following the resumption, Tuchel opted to include him in a treble substitution on the hour that saw Kingsley Coman, Jamal Musiala and Serge Gnabry enter the fray.

All three were soon trying their luck – a curling Musiala shot five minutes later was dealt with by Schreiber, who subsequently denied Gnabry, and the goalkeeper then did well to tip Coman’s strike over the bar.

Muller headed off-target and Coman saw another attempt parried by Schreiber as Bayern’s frustration continued.

Having survived that pressure, Saarbrucken then secured a famous victory by scoring their second in the sixth minute of added time, substitute Tim Civeja producing a cut-back and Gaus firing in to leave the illustrious opposition stunned.

Harry Kane watched from the bench as Bayern Munich breezed to a 4-0 victory over third-tier Preussen Munster in the first round of the DFB-Pokal.

Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel was not tempted to unleash Kane – who thumped a hat-trick in Saturday’s 7-0 Bundesliga win over Bochum – as three first-half goals proved more than enough for his side.

Languishing in 15th place in the German third tier, Munster nevertheless looked up for the fight and generated such a pre-match atmosphere that the kick-off was slightly delayed to allow firework smoke to clear.

But inevitably it was Bayern who proved to be the more explosive side on the pitch and it took them just eight minutes to grab the lead through Eric Choupo-Moting.

Mathys Tel’s persistence down the left flank paid off as he delivered a cross which the Cameroonian met with a twisting shot past home keeper Johannes Schenk.

It was not all good news in the early stages for Bayern, for whom Serge Gnabry was forced off shortly after the opener after appearing to fall awkwardly in an earlier challenge.

Jamal Musiala was playing havoc with the home defence but Schenk proved equal to number of Bayern chances, denying Choupo-Moting a second from close range in the 24th minute.

And Schenk saved his best for the 36th minute when he produced a brilliant save to deny a powerful header from Leon Goretzka as Bayern continued to threaten.

The visitors’ seemingly inevitable second duly arrived six minutes before the break when Goretzka turned provider, setting up Konrad Laimer for a looping header that beat the keeper.

Homegrown 20-year-old Frans Kratzig grabbed his first competitive goal for Bayern in first-half stoppage time with a neat effort through Schenk’s legs to make it 3-0.

Schenk denied Tel before Munster got a rare sight of the Bayern goal when Niko Koulis headed a half-chance well over the bar.

Although not tempted to unleash Kane on the Munster defence, Bayern boss took the opportunity to make a number of chances with his side easing through to the next round.

They continued to create a series of chances with Musiala jinking through the home rearguard before firing wide, and Choupo-Moting scuffing his chance to claim a second of the night in the Munster box.

The hosts came closest to getting on the scoresheet with 10 minutes remaining when lively substitute Joel Grodowski burst through the Bayern lines but his shot was comfortably dealt with by visiting keeper Daniel Peretz.

Teenager Tel deservedly got on the scoresheet five minutes from time when he fired home from a tight angle after being played through by Bouna Sarr, and Kingsley Coman crashed a shot against the bar as Bayern refused to ease up.

Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel has vowed his side will not be taking lowly Preussen Munster lightly on Tuesday in the DFB Cup.

Tuchel’s side sit top of the Bundesliga and head to third division Munster on the back of last week’s Champions League win over Manchester United and Saturday’s 7-0 thrashing of Bochum.

The Bayern boss recalled the club’s embarrassing 1-0 defeat to German minnows Vestenbergsgreuth at the same stage of the DFB Cup in 1994 when the fourth-tier side caused one of the competition’s biggest upsets.

Tuchel told a press conference: “I remember the name Vestenbergsgreuth. I couldn’t believe it at the time. We won’t underestimate the opponent.

“We’re preparing seriously. We’ll play like Bayern want to play. It doesn’t matter who’s on the other side.

“We’re the favourites. There’s not much for us to win. We want to win. We want to get to Berlin and be in the final. We have to keep winning games for that.”

Bayern have won all 28 of their DFB Cup first-round ties since that defeat to Vestenbergsgreuth – a current record – which included a 4-1 win against Munster in the two sides’ only previous meeting in the 2014-15 season.

“Munster can play without pressure,” Tuchel added. “We want to be dominant, want possession, want to use our individual quality.

“We’re expecting an opponent who fights as a unit for an upset. They’ll probably focus on set pieces. They’ll probably also look to use their fans.”

England captain Harry Kane maintained his fine start to life in Munich in Saturday’s defeat of Bochum, scoring a hat-trick and providing two assists.

Kane has eight goals in nine appearances for Bayern and Tuchel praised his partnership with former Manchester City winger Leroy Sane.

“Leroy speaks fluent English, communicates a lot with Harry,” Tuchel said. “Harry makes his teammates better, with his character, his style.


“Leroy is in very good form, with good body language and a very good mindset. Both are combing very well at the moment.”

Tuchel said he expected Portugal midfielder Raphael Guerreiro to return to the squad after being sidelined since mid-July due to a calf injury.

“I haven’t made a decision yet about who’ll play,” Tuchel added. “Matthijs de Ligt is unfortunately out and we need to see with Dayot Upamecano and Min-jae Kim.”

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