Football

Flick says the better team lost, Neymar taunts Bayern

Bayern Munich felt the better team did not reach the Champions League semi-finals yesterday morning (Singapore time) after the holders went out on away goals, but Paris Saint-Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino reminded them that football is more than just a Beautiful Game.

PSG had struggled in the quarter-final, first leg in Munich but won 3-2 thanks to their ruthlessness in front of goal and Bayern's Joshua Kimmich and Thomas Mueller were confident the German side would go through at the Parc des Princes.

The visitors won 1-0 despite struggling on the break throughout the match, with PSG's Neymar hitting the woodwork twice, but it was not enough for them to progress.

"Over both games, I think we were the better team. We've had some bad luck, we were missing some players but we have to accept it," said Bayern coach Hansi Flick, who was without injured star striker Robert Lewandowski for both games.

Responding to Flick, Pochettino said that Kimmich and Mueller's pre-game comments were fair. He said: "It is normal that they were confident, they're a team who have won everything and they thought they were the favourites.

"Football is such a Beautiful Game but it's also a game in which you never give up and have to fight. I understand why they said they were confident, it's normal to play mind games."

Neymar, however, took a less magnanimous approach, when asked why he seemed to celebrate the win right in front of Kimmich. He said the German just happened to be next to PSG midfielder Leandro Paredes, whom he celebrated with.

Neymar told L'Equipe: "Fate wanted us to do it in front of Kimmich, who had said that his team was the best and that they were going to qualify for the semi-finals.

"But you can have possession of the ball, you can flirt with a girl the whole night, and then see someone else take her home after just five minutes."

To compound Bayern's woes, club legend Lothar Matthaeus said the friction between sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic and Treble-winning coach Flick will result in the latter departing to replace Joachim Loew as Germany coach after the Euros.

He told Sky Germany: "I'm convinced that Hansi Flick will no longer be Bayern coach after this season."

Football