HomeChampions LeagueTuchel insists Bayern's season is not over ahead of Arsenal tie

Tuchel insists Bayern’s season is not over ahead of Arsenal tie

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Thomas Tuchel is not giving up on Bayern Munich’s season ahead of their Champions League quarter-final tie against Arsenal, pledging to give everything for the club until he departs.

Tuchel will leave Bayern at the end of the season, with their 11-year stranglehold on the Bundesliga title set to be ended by Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen.

Bayern approach Tuesday’s first leg at the Emirates Stadium in dismal form, having squandered a 2-0 lead in Saturday’s surprise 3-2 Bundesliga defeat to Heidenheim.

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That result led to speculation that Tuchel could be relieved of his duties early, while reports on Monday suggested former Bayern striker Miroslav Klose could take over as interim coach if Tuchel oversees a defeat in north London.

Tuchel, however, is not giving up on Bayern’s chances of salvaging some pride from an underwhelming campaign, saying: “I will put everything in for Bayern Munich until the last match.

“That is what I demand of myself and it continues tomorrow at the highest level. The season is not lost. The season is over when it’s over.

“The criticism is deserved because we lost in the DFB-Pokal and we’re not going to win the league. That’s a fact.

“We are accepting the criticism, we haven’t had the passion and hunger in the Bundesliga that we would expect from ourselves.

“In the Champions League, we’ve played at a very high level so far. We’ve reached our minimum goal. A lot of big teams have not reached the quarter-finals so you can’t take it for granted.

“Tomorrow, we play for a chance to reach the semi-finals, we need two great performances and that is where our focus is.”

Arsenal are unbeaten in their last seven games across all competitions and lead Liverpool on goal difference at the Premier League summit following Saturday’s 3-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion.

Tuchel believes the Gunners are currently the best team in England, saying: “We have to play at the same level as them because, at the moment, Arsenal are the best team in the Premier League.

“All the data shows that, they have amazing data in the Champions League as well. They are in great form. It will be a big test for us.”

Bayern’s hopes of reaching the semi-finals could rest on the shoulders of Harry Kane, with Tottenham’s all-time leading goalscorer having already netted 14 times against Arsenal in his career.

Tuchel believes Kane is relishing his return to north London, saying: “It’s very enjoyable for Harry to be here at Arsenal in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

“It will make him very happy to score, I don’t see anything holding him back. He will be very motivated to score.

“He helps any team: Tottenham, England and now us. Hopefully he will help us to perform and win tomorrow.”

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.

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