Thomas Tuchel targets ‘top performance’ from Bayern Munich at Old Trafford

By Sports Desk December 11, 2023

Thomas Tuchel has warned Manchester United there will be no let-up as already-qualified Bayern Munich attempt to extinguish the Old Trafford giants’ European hopes.

The perennial Bundesliga champions opened Group A with a 4-3 home win against the Red Devils and went on to seal progress to the Champions League knockout phase with two matches to spare.

Bayern are among the favourites to win a competition that United will be out of on Tuesday unless they seal a home win while Copenhagen and Galatasaray draw in the other final group game.

Erik ten Hag’s men would be guaranteed of at least Europa League football if they win a match that Tuchel says his side will approach with full focus despite wrapping up top spot.

“I understand that some people thought that against Copenhagen it looked like we weren’t throwing everything into it,” the Bayern boss said, referring to the 0-0 home draw a fortnight ago.

“But when you sign for Bayern or United, you sign to give 100 per cent every day.

“When you wear the Bayern Munich jersey, you behave like champions, there’s no other way.

“We have high expectations, even if we are always under pressure. United will give everything tomorrow to get through.

“But we expect a top performance from us. I hope we can match United’s enthusiasm and energy, which I’m sure they’ll bring to the game.”

United are not only desperate to stay in Europe but also determined to atone for Saturday’s shocking 3-0 home defeat to Bournemouth, which saw Ten Hag’s inconsistent side booed off the field.

“They’re always a dangerous team, they have a certain aura about them,” said Tuchel of United as Bayern look to maintain their competition record unbeaten 39-match run in the group stage.

“It’s part of the club’s DNA that they can survive difficult moments. They have ups and downs in their game, but they’ve conceded a lot of goals recently.

“In strong moments, you can see what they’re really capable of. The stadium creates special moments. It will be a big challenge for us.”

Bayern are looking to bounce back from a shocking loss of their own, having lost 5-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday afternoon.

It was their first Bundesliga defeat of the season and third in all competitions – losses they bounced back from with 4-0 away victories on both occasions.

Bayern sharpshooter Harry Kane admitted their performance against Frankfurt “wasn’t good enough” and said the group was fully focused on showing the “right reaction” at Old Trafford.

The England captain has hit the ground running and scored 22 goals since joining from Tottenham during a summer he was strongly linked to long-term admirers United.

“Every fan wants Harry to play in their team,” former Chelsea boss Tuchel said. “We’re very proud we were able to sign Harry.

“He’s a great character and a great role model, a terrific player. He scores a lot of goals and will be very happy to play here tomorrow.

“It’s a great story that we were able to bring the England captain, your centre forward, to Germany.”

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