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Solid and smart Bayern hold Liverpool at Anfield

Credit: Reuters - Sports
Published on February 20, 2019 - Duration: 01:23s

Solid and smart Bayern hold Liverpool at Anfield

A resolute Bayern Munich defence limited Liverpool to few chances at Anfield in their Champions League tie, much to the satisfaction of manager Robert Kovac.

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Solid and smart Bayern hold Liverpool at Anfield

SHOWS: LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, UK (FEBRUARY 19, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.

(SOUNDBITE) (German) BAYERN MUNICH MANAGER, ROBERT KOVAC, SAYING (ACCORDING TO OFFICIAL TRANSLATION): "I said before we played a really good performance against a top opponent we have to emphasise that.

They were in the final last year and at the top of the Premier League and so that's a great performance.

We don't have to hide.

We've got the quality and we've shown that over recent years.

But we haven't achieved anything yet.

I'm the last person to start celebrating.

We take the result.

We're modest, focused and we have to give 100 per cent in the next game." 2.

WHITE FLASH 3.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) LIVERPOOL MANAGER, JUERGEN KLOPP, SAYING: "How it is in situations like that I'm pretty sure the opponent, Bayern, feels a bit better than we do.

But we have three weeks and day by day the result will feel a bit better for us and a bit worse for Bayern because it's 0-0 and it's the best draw you can get.

That will be a tough one again to play at Bayern if you need a result I think if we win tonight 1-0 what will have changed then really?

Then a 0-0 is enough then whatever, that's pretty much... or if we draw then 1-1 also, but that's not enough as well.

So, not perfect but good enough to work with.

That's it." STORY: Bayern Munich showed all their Champions League experience and quality organisation as they held Liverpool to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their last 16 match at Anfield on Tuesday (February 19) in a game of few chances and little drama.

But the result leaves it all to play for in the second leg in Munich on March 13 when the German side will be without defender Joshua Kimmich who will be suspended after picking up a yellow card.

Perhaps it was a case of both sides showing too much respect for the other -- certainly both were wary of over-committing in attack -- but for fans used to entertainment and drama on European nights at Anfield it was a let down.

After the game, Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said Bayern's defensive shape was different to the more attack-focused team he studied in previous games, and he was happy enough with 0-0 considering his side didn't concede an away goal.

Bayern manager Robert Kovac believed his side put in a 'great performance', considering Liverpool are top of the Premier League and reached last year's Champions League final.

Liverpool simply could not find the fluency and rhythm that brings the best out of their forward line although they will be pleased, in the absence of their defensive rock Virgil van Dijk, to have kept out Bayern.

Key to that rearguard resilience was the performance from Brazilian midfielder Fabinho, who deputised well in the central-defensive role keeping Bayern's scoring threat Robert Lewandowski quiet.

In midfield, Jordan Henderson delivered an excellent display, especially in the opening 45 minutes, when he broke up Bayern's attempts to create and also contributed some drive to Liverpool's forward thrusts.

There were few clear-cut chances in the game although Liverpool created several half-openings in the first period.

The first was one of the best they managed -- Henderson found Salah, who had snuck in behind Niklas Sule, but the Egyptian's toe-poke at full stretch was straight at Manuel Neuer.

Bayern were content to sit deep after the break and the closest Klopp's side came in the second half was a diving header from Sadio Mane in the 86th minute which Neuer pushed around the post.

This was not a night that will go in the list of great European encounters at Anfield, a fact reflected in a rather flat atmosphere for much of the game, but Liverpool know they still have a chance to progress.

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