Bayern Munich's Ancelotti won't blame backup keeper Ulreich for draw
MUNICH -- Carlo Ancelotti refused to blame Bayern Munich backup goalkeeper Sven Ulreich for his glaring blunder which allowed Wolfsburg a lifeline, as the German champions squandered a two-goal advantage in a disappointing 2-2 draw at the Allianz Arena.
Robert Lewandowski and Arjen Robben had fired the Bavarians into a seemingly unassailable two-goal lead. However, Ulreich, deputising for the injured Manuel Neuer, flapped at Maximilian Arnold's hopeful free kick on 56 minutes to allow Wolfsburg back into the game. After missing a host of chances to seal it, Daniel Didavi punished Bayern's profligacy in front of goal with a neat header in off the post with seven minutes remaining to seal an unlikely draw.
"It is true that Sven did [make] a mistake, but it's also true that it didn't affect the result -- the result was affected by our performance. As a team it was not good," Ancelotti said at the postmatch news conference.
"It was difficult because we didn't play how we wanted to play -- we played slowly without intensity. We were not compact. We were two-nil up in the first half but we didn't play well. We tried to adjust some things at the end of the first half to stay more compact."
He added: "It's true that we could have closed the game with the opportunities that we had but it's also true that Wolfsburg played better than us and deserved the result."
Ancelotti heavily rotated his line-up, making six changes from the side that comfortably saw off Schalke on Tuesday, adding: "In this moment I have a squad to rotate players. I have confidence in all the players -- when we play every three days it is normal to change to keep the players fresh."
"I think as a team, the physical condition doesn't matter, as a team we were not compact and didn't have control of the game as we usually have. That was the reason for the result."
Asked about Bayern's trip to face big-spending Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday: "I have to be worried if we are going to replace [repeat] this kind of performance -- but I think we are going to play differently."
Before Paris, Bayern are heading for their annual visit to the Oktoberfest on Saturday. Asked if he would limit the players' alcohol intake after throwing away a two-goal lead, Ancelotti said: "They can drink what they want. I am not their father or brother -- I'm only the manager. Of course, we are not happy with the result but tomorrow is another day."
Meanwhile, Mats Hummels was more forthright with his opinions after the game.
"Unfortunately, we let them back in the game. Ulle [Ulreich] is angry with himself, it is a stupid mistake. When you let in a goal like that, the game becomes completely open and you can always let in another.
"We wanted to press, press, press, but tactically we weren't set up well enough for that."
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.