Bayern Munich captain Manuel Neuer has urged his defenders to improve ahead of their Champions League clash against Liverpool.
Bayern Munich reduced Borussia Dortmund’s lead at the top to two points after clinching a narrow 3-2 win over Augsburg on Friday. The same problems continue to trouble Die Roten,thuogh ,as their defense continues to leak cheap goals. The Bavarians conceded the first goal against Augsburg after just 13 second of the game due to a lack of communication at the back.
Earlier this month Niko Kovac urged his defenders to nullify these mistakes, but their defensive organization still looks out of place. Speaking after Friday’s match (via Goal), Manuel Neuer urged his team to improve defensively. The German goalkeeper insisted that they cannot afford to make such mistakes on Tuesday against Liverpool.
"“The game was all great, but conceding the goals was, of course, madness. You cannot do that. We wanted to keep a clean sheet again, the good thing was that we still had time after the 1-0.“Liverpool will have more chances to score. We were caught cold twice on the wings, we need to stand better, occupy the box better and organize ourselves very well, especially with passes over the side so we can prevent that.”"
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Bayern Munich have kept only six clean sheets in the Bundesliga across their 22 games this season. The center-backs have been slow to track back, so Bayern’s opponents have consistently punished them on the counter-attack. Moreover, Neuer has not been at his absolute best this season. The German goalkeeper missed all of the last campaign due to injury and has looked rusty for most of this season.
The most concerning issue has been the rapid decline of both Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng. The veteran duo has committed errors all throughout this campaign. It would not be a huge surprise if both defenders move on in the summer. Bayern have already signed Benjamin Pavard and are reportedly going to push for one more center-back in the transfer window.
Though Joshua Kimmich provides a unique dimension to Bayern’s attack with his perfect deliveries from right-back, the German international is at times a liability defensively. He doesn’t anticipate danger in the space between him and the right center-back. Kimmich needs to find a better mix of attack and defense for his game.
Liverpool are one of the deadliest teams on the counter in Europe. They are lightning quick in transition, and Bayern will be under sustained pressure at Anfield. Manuel Neuer and the Bayern back four will have to put in a perfect performance to come home with a clean sheet on Tuesday. Niko Kovac will be hoping that even if his side concedes they can score an all-important away goal.