Nagelsmann and Goretzka call on Bayern to become more ruthless

By Sports Desk March 04, 2023

Julian Nagelsmann and Leon Goretzka urged Bayern Munich to become more ruthless after escaping with a 2-1 victory in Saturday's match at lowly Stuttgart.

Bayern held a convincing two-goal lead at Mercedes-Benz Arena with a little over an hour played after Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting added to Matthijs de Ligt's first-half opener.

The visitors took their foot off the gas at that point, and it almost backfired as Juan Jose Perea pulled one back late on and Tanguy Coulibaly headed inches wide in added time.

Despite finishing with an expected goals (xG) return of 2.30 compared to 0.67 for Stuttgart, Nagelsmann conceded Bayern almost blew it.

"After going 2-0 up, we had several counter-attacks we didn't finish well," he told Sky Sport. "We had the game under control, but if you concede late on, things gets tight again.

"We have to finish our chances better and go for the third goal, then we'd kill it off."

Goretzka, who accumulated a game-high xG of 0.54 without scoring, agreed with his manager's assessment.

"We made a few mistakes after going 2-0 up," he said. "The opponent didn't believe they could get something out of the game after going 2-0 down.

"We have to act accordingly, but we didn't manage to do that in the last 15 minutes."

Thomas Muller, whose assist for Choupo-Moting's strike was his 300th direct goal involvement in the Bundesliga, looked to take positives from his side's sluggish finish.

"We're happy. We won and we're top of the table again," Muller said. "When FC Bayern is up there, I always have a good feeling.

"The fact that the game got tight at the end is maybe a good test for the Champions League game against PSG."

Bayern lead that last-16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 heading into Wednesday's second leg at the Allianz Arena thanks to Kingsley Coman's goal in the reverse fixture.

Asked if he intends to stick with the same line-up that started against Stuttgart, Nagelsmann gave little away.

"I have to analyse and see how PSG are doing, then I'll decide," he said.

Bayern have now won four of their past five league matches and are above Borussia Dortmund at the top of the table by virtue of a superior goal difference.

The 10-in-a-row champions have won 13 away game on the spin against Stuttgart, who are one of four sides on 19 points at the bottom of the division.

"It was an important win for us," said Choupo-Moting, who signed a new contract on Friday. "Of course we didn't play our best game, and we can improve a few things.

"The opponent didn't give up and made it difficult. After their goal, you could feel the atmosphere in the stadium and that they were hoping for a point."

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