Champions League

Ancelotti defends surprising Bayern team selection

2017-09-28 10:52
Carlo Ancelotti (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti refused to accept criticism of his team selection for the Champions League tie against PSG after the Bavarians went down to a 3-0 defeat.

Ancelotti made several changes to his lineup from last weekend’s Bundesliga fixture, leaving experienced trio Mats Hummels, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery on the bench.

The German champions struggled to control PSG’s attacking trio of Neymar, Edinson Cavani and Kylian Mbappe, with Cavani and Neymar grabbing a goal each, while the Brazilian also set up compatriot Dani Alves for the opener after just 90 seconds.

Still, the former Chelsea and Real Madrid coach rejected suggestions that his tinkering was responsible for the defeat.

"No, I don't think so. I thought a lot to try to put out the best lineup. I am going to have criticism for this but it is no problem. I'm still convinced it was a good lineup but the situation of the game was against us," Ancelotti said afterwards..

Asked about his decision to leave Ribery on the bench, Ancelotti said: "I have the same relationship with all the other players that were on the bench. I have no problem with him - every player knows that sometimes they have to go on the bench."

Bayern fell behind when Neymar dribbled past several Bayern defenders to lay the ball across goal for Alves to fire through the legs of keeper Sven Ulreich, a goal which Ancelotti felt changed the complexion of the game.

"The reason was the first goal - we conceded after one minute," he said. "After that, we did not have the balance to avoid counter-attacks. I think that in the first half we had good control of the game, possession and some opportunities.

"But we weren't dangerous enough and we didn't have enough balance to avoid counter-attacks. PSG played the whole game on the counter-attack and we were not able to control this."

Ancelotti also refused to blame his backup keeper.

"Ulreich did his job," he said. "We have to focus on what we can do better. As I said, it would have been better to have more balance on the pitch and avoid the counter-attack."

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