Bayern Munich had a plan to beat Paris St Germain, but it was dead in the water a couple of minutes into their Champions League encounter after they conceded a goal that threw them off balance, coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Wednesday.
Ancelotti left wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery on the bench hoping his team would be more compact in central midfield, but the plan did not work out as expected as Bayern lost 3-0 in their Group B game at the Parc des Princes.
Dani Alves opened the scoring in the second minute and Bayern were then exposed to PSG’s counter-attacks, with Kylian Mbappe’s pace proving devastating as the France striker set up goals for Edinson Cavani and Neymar.
“We planned to have a good control of the game and enjoy possession, and to have more players in (central) midfield, using the width with our fullbacks. It was a tactical decision (to leave Robben and Ribery out),” Ancelotti told a news conference.
“But after the first goal, we were forced to play more offensively but we didn’t have a good balance. And of course, Neymar, Mbappe and Cavani are really dangerous on the break. Stopping Mbappe is difficult but when they have space to show their quality, they’re more difficult to control. The key is to have a good balance and we didn’t have that.”
Pressed to explain further why he left some of his best players on the bench, Ancelotti said: “In every game I have great players on the bench. It’s the life of a big club. I have to make choices, it’s my job.”
PSG are used to dominating possession but coach Unai Emery said he was happy that his side showed they are tactically flexible enough to cope when they come up against other top teams.
“We adapted well in that game. We’re used to controlling the ball and tonight we controlled the game without the ball. It’s good to know for the future,” said Emery.
“We defended very well and the three players up front played a great match because we had space up front. It was a good game from a tactical point of view.”