Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer has defended his side following Saturday’s 3-0 defeat against Borussia Dortmund, insisting “the players are no robots.”
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Despite storming to the Bundesliga title and wrapping it up by March, Pep Guardiola’s men have now gone three league games without a win.
They have lost their last two, and have conceded over a third of their goals for the season in the three games which have followed since securing the title.
“The players are no robots, no machines. They also have feelings,” Sammer told ZDF after the Dortmund defeat. “We have lost a match in a competition which is already decided. We tested our physical limits against Manchester United two-and-a-half days ago [in the Champions League].”
Despite having 72 percent possession of the ball, Bayern rarely made it into the final third against Dortmund.
“Bayern mostly had possession in their own half. Their dreaded ball circulation basically never got off the ground,” an article in 11 Freunde read.
However, Sammer believes that Bayern just need to add two or three percent to their performance levels to return to full strength.
“I can totally understand the performance. We are not happy that we have lost the last two league games. But we should not get carried away. We need to work on those final two, three percent in our day-to-day business,” Sammer said.
“It is a learning process. No one in Germany, maybe not even in the world, has won the league that early. We will continue with our work on Monday, and start our preparation for the DFB-Pokal semifinal against Kaiserslautern. It’s just like a final on Wednesday, and we have to act as the real Bayern Munich again -- but the lads also know that.”
The German champions will be able to call on Rafinha for the DFB-Pokal clash, but could be without their right-back for most of the remaining Bundesliga season.
The former Schalke player was sent off in injury time on Saturday after he clawed his fingers into Dortmund midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s face.
In a similar incident last season, Rafinha was sent off for his attack on Dortmund midfielder Jakub Blaszczykowski. Despite picking up two yellow cards that day, the German Football Association added an extra game to the one-match suspension.
“Of course it is unnecessary, no doubt about that,” Sammer told Sky Deutschland. “I don’t know, maybe he had some face cream on his hand and wanted to dispense it. We accept the red card, but to me it’s a bit harsh. In the 91st minute, the game has been played. As a ref, I tell the player: ‘C’mon, Rafa, normally that’s a red.’ And then I show him the yellow card.”
Also speaking on Sky Deutschland, former referee Markus Merk added: “Sammer is entitled to think that way. But a ref is not allowed to do that. It was a clear red card, no matter on which match day, no matter what club, be it the first or the 91st minute. This red card was a must.”