Champions League

Bayern must reach 'at least' Champions League semis, says Neuer

2019-09-17 18:42
Manuel Neuer and Sadio Mane
Manuel Neuer and Sadio Mane (Getty Images)

Munich  - Manuel Neuer on Tuesday set Bayern Munich the target of reaching the last four of the Champions League ahead of the Bundesliga giants' opening group game against Red Star Belgrade.

Bayern, who kick off their Group B fixtures against the Serbian champions in Munich on Wednesday, were knocked out by eventual winners Liverpool in the round of 16 last year, and Germany goalkeeper Neuer says his side are hungry to bounce back from that elimination.

"We experienced how painful it was to get out so early. That elimination gave us a lot of motivation, we are hungry," said Bayern captain Neuer.

"We want to improve and go further than last season. We want at least to reach the semi-finals."

Last year's early elimination, which came following a goalless draw in England and a 3-1 second leg defeat at the Allianz Arena, put serious pressure on coach Niko Kovac, then in his first year as Bayern boss.

"Last year we had no luck in the draw. We lost to the future winners," Kovac said Tuesday.

"New year, new matches, new opportunity then. I am convinced that we will go further than last year."

Bayern were also eliminated by the future winners -- Real Madrid -- in the quarter-finals in 2017 and the semi-finals in 2018.

This year Bayern have been drawn in a group that they are favourites to win ahead of Wednesday's opponents, Panathinaikos and last season's beaten finalists Tottenham Hotspur.

Against Red Star, Kovac will be without two injured regulars, fullback David Alaba and midfielder Leon Goretzka.

The coach did not say whether he would start Philippe Coutinho or Thomas Mueller, who both featured in Saturday's 1-1 draw at RB Leipzig.

 

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Fixtures
Tuesday, 26 November 2019
Lokomotiv Moscow v Bayer Leverkusen, Lokomotiv Stadium 19:55
Galatasaray v Club Brugge, Turk Telekom Arena 19:55
Juventus v Atletico Madrid, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Atalanta v Dinamo Zagreb, Atleti Azzurri d'Italia 22:00
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Real Madrid v Paris SG, Santiago Bernabeu 22:00
Red Star Belgrade v Bayern Munchen, Stadion Rajko Mitic 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Olympiacos, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 27 November 2019
Valencia v Chelsea, Mestalla 19:55
Zenit St. Petersburg v Lyon, Saint Petersburg Stadium 19:55
Liverpool v Napoli, Anfield 22:00
Barcelona v Borussia Dortmund, Camp Nou 22:00
Slavia Prague v Inter Milan, Eden Arena 22:00
Genk v Red Bull Salzburg, Luminus Arena 22:00
RB Leipzig v Benfica, Red Bull Arena 22:00
Lille v Ajax, Stade Pierre-Mauroy 22:00
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
Red Bull Salzburg v Liverpool, Red Bull Arena 19:55
Napoli v Genk, San Paolo 19:55
Ajax v Valencia, Amsterdam ArenA 22:00
Benfica v Zenit St. Petersburg, da Luz 22:00
Lyon v RB Leipzig, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Inter Milan v Barcelona, San Siro 22:00
Borussia Dortmund v Slavia Prague, Signal Iduna Park 22:00
Chelsea v Lille, Stamford Bridge 22:00
Wednesday, 11 December 2019
Dinamo Zagreb v Manchester City, Maksimir Stadium 19:55
Shakhtar Donetsk v Atalanta, Metalist Stadium 19:55
Bayern Munchen v Tottenham Hotspur, Allianz Arena 22:00
Bayer Leverkusen v Juventus, BayArena 22:00
Club Brugge v Real Madrid, Jan Breydel Stadion 22:00
Olympiacos v Red Star Belgrade, Karaiskakis Stadium 22:00
Paris SG v Galatasaray, Parc des Princes 22:00
Atletico Madrid v Lokomotiv Moscow, Wanda Metropolitano 22:00
Saturday, 30 May 2020
TBA v TBA, Ataturk Olympic Stadium 02:00
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