Tuchel slammed for taking off Kane in Bayern’s defeat to Real Madrid

Tuchel slammed for taking off Kane in Bayern’s defeat to Real Madrid

Harry Kane’s substitution from Bayern Munich’s Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid backfired spectacularly on Thomas Tuchel, who was accused of “arrogance” after withdrawing his top scorer in the late defeat at the Bernabeu.

Tuchel said Kane “was having back problems” and had no choice but to remove the England captain.

But the manager’s defensive changes were criticised by TNT Sport pundits Owen Hargreaves and Paul Scholes, with centre-back Kim Min-jae, who made an error in the first leg in Munich, struggling after he was brought on midway through the second half in Madrid.

Kane was withdrawn in the 85th minute, with Bayern leading Madrid by one goal as they looked to reach the Wembley final. But Madrid forward Joselu came off the bench to equalise just four minutes later, with Tuchel having also taken off top attacking options Jamal Musiala and Leroy Sane.

Kane is Bayern’s leading goalscorer this season with 44 goals from 45 goals in his debut season at the German club, including eight in the Champions League, but was replaced by Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who has scored three goals in all competitions this campaign.

Joselu’s equaliser, which came after a costly spill from Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, left Tuchel’s side with the prospect of playing extra time without their first-choice forwards, but Joselu then scored again in the 92nd minute to send Madrid through to the final.

“That’s one of the biggest substitutions I’ve ever seen in a game of football,” former Bayern and England midfielder Hargreaves said. “To take off a guy that has scored over 40 goals – you cannot take him off.

“I mean, that’s one of the biggest calls. I love Thomas Tuchel but I don’t know why they made that call. Bayern had it in their hands and they let it go.You can not take Harry Kane off.”

“It’s almost an arrogance,” former Manchester United midfielder Scholes continued. “Thinking, ‘I can take my biggest threat off the pitch and still go through and beat Real Madrid’.

Tuchel said Kane was injured prior to coming off (Getty Images)

“There was 10 minutes, even if Real got one goal, it’s a long time to play. “I couldn’t tell you [why they made the sub]. They were always going to try and score goals on the counter-attack and Harry Kane was perfect for that.”

Defeat for Bayern ended the club’s hopes of winning a trophy this season and Tuchel was set to leave the club regardless of their Champions League performance.

It’s the first time since 2011-12 that Bayern have not won a trophy, with Bayer Leverkusen ending their dominance of the Bundesliga in an unbeaten campaign under Xavi Alonso.

Tuchel told TNT Sports that he had no choice but to take off his attackers and said Bayern saw the “end of the tunnel” before Madrid’s late comeback.

“You are never fully sure because it’s Real Madrid in Madrid. We could have been more clinical or calm in the opponent’s half. We started with a front four and all four has to go out with injury or cramp.

“Yeah because if you are through in the 88th minute you see the end of the tunnel. Was it our very best match? No. But we didn’t need to be perfect, we just needed to be good enough in this moment.

“In the moment when we had one player out with cramp, we conceded a goal we never usually would with our goalkeeper.You have to accept the result in the end.”

The Bayern manager was also furious that the offside flag denied Matthijs de Ligt from equalising, deep in stoppage time. The assistant referee went against protocol by raising his flag when it was not clear if there was an offside.

“There was a disastrous decision from the linesman and the referee,” Tuchel said. “It feels like a betrayal in the end. There was a huge fight, we left everything on the pitch and we were almost there. Now we say congratulations to Real Madrid.

“The linesman says sorry but that does not help. To raise the flag in a moment like this… The referee sees we get the second ball and we get the shot – it’s a very, very bad decision. It’s against the rules. It’s a disaster. It’s hard to swallow but that’s the way it is.”

Source: independent.co.uk