FC Bayern München’s perfect start to the 2016/17 campaign came to an end following a 1-0 loss to last season’s UEFA Champions League finalists Club Atletico de Madrid, their first defeat under Carlo Ancelotti.
Even with the three-time UEFA Champions League winner at the helm, the German record titleholders’ struggles against Spanish sides continued as they failed to exact revenge against the team that knocked them out of the competition last season.
Thomas Müller was unable to convert one of Bayern’s best chances when the scores were still level at 0-0 and, talking to the assembled press after the game, the striker discussed why the Bundesliga leaders once again came undone against Atletico.
Question: Thomas Müller, tonight was the first loss Bayern have suffered since Carlo Ancelotti took over. Give us your thoughts on the game and the result.
Thomas Müller: We didn’t convert any of the goalscoring chances that we carved out in the first half. We didn’t really find our rhythm in the game. Atletico made our lives very difficult in that respect. The possession we had was mostly in and around the halfway line. We knew that we were going to have to be very active, but nevertheless Atletico still managed to constantly put our wide players under pressure.
Question: Individual errors played a role in Yannick Carrasco’s opening goal. What did you make of that moment?
Müller: We certainly made mistakes in the lead up to the goal. We lost the ball in the build-up play which left us completely exposed through the middle. On top of that Jerome Boateng lost his footing. Then Carrasco fires a shot in off the post, but that’s the class that Atletico have. We certainly showed weaknesses, which played its part, and we’ll have to analyse that again in the morning.
Question: As expected, the game was a tough test against one of Europe’s top teams, but it was a test that you did not pass.
Müller: In a way this was our first big hurdle, but obviously playing against Atletico in this stadium is no cakewalk for any team in the world. Nevertheless, we expected more of ourselves and are definitely disappointed.
Question: Can this defeat simply be put down to who performed better on the day or was there more to it in your opinion?
Müller: Atletico scored with one shot from the edge of the area on the counter and we had one or two golden opportunities which we failed to convert and things like that decide games like these. Why we were unable to really get our game going is something we’ll analyse back in Munich.
Question: Did you see any similarities between the defeat tonight and the loss you suffered here in the semi-finals in April?
Müller: If you’re reviewing the game I’m sure you could definitely draw some parallels between the two, but when you’re out on the pitch that’s the last thing you’re thinking about.
Question: What positives can you take out of the game in spite of the defeat?
Müller: Unfortunately, none. We didn’t get three points. We’re very disappointed, but this is also a sign that we need to keep pushing ourselves, make improvements here or there and adapt to the challenges that are put before us. On Saturday against Köln we want to make sure that happens.
Question: Antoine Griezmann missed a penalty in the game, which could prove crucial in your direct head-to-head battle for top spot in Group D.
Müller: It could be very important, but that’s not what we’re focussing on right now. We need to pick up the necessary wins, and two wins against PSV Eindhoven.
Question: What were the biggest problems in Bayern’s performance tonight from your perspective?
Müller: It felt like we had less players in central positions, but I don’t know if that was the reason behind the defeat. It’s hard to tell whether Atletico forced us in that direction or that we just weren’t on point in that respect.
Alexander Barklage in Madrid