Football

Ulreich finds sympathisers in Kahn and Gerrard after howler

Bayern Munich's stand-in goalkeeper Sven Ulreich found sympathisers after his costly mistake helped Real Madrid grab a 2-2 Champions League semi-final, second-leg draw yesterday morning (Singapore time) that saw the Spanish side progress to the final 4-3 on aggregate.

Ulreich was in two minds as he received a back-pass from Corentin Tolisso in the 46th minute and fell to the ground as he tried to kick the ball away, allowing Karim Benzema to tap home into an empty net.

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said Ulreich had "a little blackout".

Ulreich, 29, who has been deputising for Manuel Neuer, had been labelled Bayern's "Man of the Year" by club president Uli Hoeness last December for his displays after replacing arguably the world's best goalkeeper.

Bayern and German goalkeeping legend Oliver Kahn sympathised with Ulreich, highlighting he has made a similar mistake against Real when trying to save a Roberto Carlos free-kick.

He told German broadcaster ZDF: "It's obvious that he was thinking about two things at the same time - he wanted to grab the ball with his hands and, at the same time, he wanted to kick it far away.

INFAMOUS SLIP

"These things happen. It also happened to me against Real Madrid with a free-kick from Roberto Carlos. You don't want to wake up the next day."

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, too, said he understood how the Bayern goalkeeper was feeling.

His infamous slip against Chelsea at Anfield back in 2014 all but cost his team the English Premier League title, prompting the former England midfielder to say: "I've been there when you lose your footing at a vital moment, it's a cruel way to lose a football match."

Bayern's on-loan playmaker James Rodriguez, however, insists the loss was not down to Ulreich's howler.

He told Spanish newspaper AS: "You don't have to blame the goalkeeper, he has saved us a lot. We have made costly errors in the first leg as well as here.

"We had a good game, this time it didn't come off. If Real went through, it's because they did good things."

Football