The German press castigated Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola following the defending European champ’s lop-sided 4-0 defeat at home to Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League semifinal second-leg on Tuesday. That win rubber-stamped Real’s progress to the final, with a 5-0 aggregate victory over the two-game series.
Indeed, Guardiola, who took over from retired treble winner Jupp Heynckes last season, bore the brunt of the criticism for his possession-obsessed tactics. “Bayern exit bears the hallmarks of Guardiola” came the headline from Die Welt, which noted that the former Barcelona coach’s “highly praised tactics” had been exposed by Carlo Ancelotti’s counter-attackers. “In the game for which he had planned so much, Guardiola’s tactics had no bite. It was a humiliation at home,” it added.
Sueddeutsche Zeitung argued that Guardiola ultimately sought to vindicate the same tactics that had failed in Madrid last week. “Through that lineup, Guardiola planned to demonstrate that he -- the possession exponent -- had already chosen the right strategy in the first leg. It was a lineup full of conviction in his ideas, in their superior value. Guardiola made a mistake.” Meanwhile, Bild, Germany’s biggest paper, labeled the defeat “a disgrace for Guardiola” and “embarrassing,” pointing the finger at him for constantly tinkering with his starting lineup.
Finally, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung pointed out that the last time Bayern lost this heavily, major changes were implemented at the club: “It was a historic day for the most famous soccer club in the world: Real’s first win at Munich. It was also historic for Germany’s most famous club: The highest home defeat for Bayern in any European competition ever. Their last 4-0 defeat, away to Barcelona and under Jurgen Klinsmann, set the way for major changes at the club.”