Thomas Mueller blasted Bayern Munich’s wastefulness as “fatal” after a 0-0 draw at 10-man Bayer Leverkusen gave little to cheer ahead of Tuesday’s crunch Champions League clash at Real Madrid.
Bayern have it all to do at the Bernabeu after losing Wednesday’s quarter-final first-leg 2-1 in Munich when Cristiano Ronaldo netted twice to leave Real’s superstar with a tally of 100 European goals.
Just as they did against Real, Bayern desperately missed top-scorer Robert Lewandowski, who was suspended for Saturday’s game and missed the Madrid defeat with a bruised shoulder.
“We responded well after Wednesday and the attitude was good, but the chances we missed were fatal,” fumed Mueller, Lewandowski’s stand-in as striker against Real and Leverkusen, who failed to score in either game.
“The way we failed with the final ball won’t win you a Bundesliga match.
“We’re annoyed at ourselves for not winning and I’m annoyed I didn’t score.”
Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti made five changes to his starting line-up against Leverkusen, who had Tin Jedvaj sent off for the last 30 minutes for a second booking.
Captain Philipp Lahm, Xabi Alonso, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, plus the injured Jerome Boateng were all left out of the starting line-up.
Bayern could not break down the hosts defence despite 72 possession and 21 shots on goal — including having double saves off the line on two separate occasions.
– ‘Irreplaceable’ Lewandowski –
Sky pundit and ex-Germany international Lothar Matthaeus said Lewandowski, who has hit 38 goals this season, including seven in the Champions League, was ‘irreplacable’ for Bayern based on their Leverkusen performance.
Leverkusen’s Jedvaj and Omer Toprak cleared shots by David Alaba and Javi Martinez in rapid succession on 32 minutes to thwart Bayern.
Then Mueller and Arturo Vidal both had shots cleared on 52 minutes just before Jedjav’s dismissal for a second yellow.
With five minutes to go, a shot by Lahm, who came on for the final 18 minutes, rolled just wide of the post to sum up Bayern’s fortunes.
The Bavarian giants are hoping Lewandowski will recover in time for Tuesday’s return in Madrid.
Defenders Mats Hummels (ankle injury) and Boateng (groin) also face a race to be fit having been sidelined on Saturday.
“Of the three, Robert Lewandowski has the better chance of being fit to play,” said Ancelotti.
“For the other two, we will have to wait and see.”
But Ancelotti said Bayern are confident of picking up only their third Champions League win over 90 minutes in Madrid to reach the semi-finals for the sixth season running.
“It will be very difficult, but we still have confidence,” said the Italian.
“We still have an opportunity and we’ll do our best.”