Football

Ancelotti's fine with finishing second

Bayern boss says all last-16 teams are formidable opponents

GROUP D
BAYERN MUNICH ATLETICO MADRID
1 0
(Robert Lewandowski 28)  

Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti does not believe finishing second in Group D behind Atletico Madrid should prove too much of an obstacle to his side's Champions League ambitions.

The German giants were already unable to overtake Atletico for top spot and secure seeding for the knockout stage draw on Monday.

Robert Lewandowski's first-half free-kick proved enough to give Bayern Munich a 1-0 win at the Allianz Arena yesterday morning (Singapore time) and end the Spanish side's hopes of finishing their Champions League group campaign with six straight victories.

Ancelotti, though, feels all of the sides who have progressed to the last 16 are formidable opponents.

"Our objective was to finish first in the group, but I don't think it will change much," said the Italian.

"There isn't much difference between the first- and second-placed teams. Now we have to wait for the draw."

Ancelotti hopes the win over Atletico will give Bayern confidence as they approach the mid-season break.

Bayern have struggled for consistency under the Italian and they are also second in the Bundesliga, three points behind surprise leaders RB Leipzig.

"We played well, had a lot of possession and prevented counter-attacks," said Ancelotti.

"We had defensive balance in this game. The result isn't important, but it gives us a lot of confidence for the coming games," he added, with a home fixture against Wolfsburg in the league coming up on Saturday.

Bayern defender Mats Hummels was pleased with the way Bayern shut down the visitors after the break.

"We allowed only a great opportunity at the beginning, but not many later," he said, referring to an early chance for Yannick Carrasco.

ATLETICO GOOD TRAVELLERS

"We did a good job, the most important thing is that we have a defensive grasp (on the game). We had that."

Atletico coach Diego Simeone made the expected changes to his side, but felt overall the group stages had given last season's runners-up plenty of thoughts on what to build on for the later stages.

"The first half was a different story to the second and we improved a lot," he said.

"In the second period, we looked better and it was more even and we come away with a positive feeling from our final 15 minutes. At the end of the match, there was the chance we could still get a draw.

"We achieved good results in Holland and Russia (earlier in the group stages) and we have played very well on the road, which is what put us in the position we were in coming into this game." - WIRE SERVICES.

OTHER GROUP D RESULT

  • PSV Eindhoven 0 FK Rostov 0
Champions Leaguebayern munichatletico madrid