Kovac: We gave the opposition encouragement
FC Bayern München could not capitalise on a bright start in their second Champions League group game against Ajax and had to settle for a point against strong opponents. "We started well but then we let Ajax play," commented Manuel Neuer. Coach Niko Kovac also pointed that out. "We gave the opposition encouragement and that ultimately wore us down," said the 46-year-old. "Therefore we have to settle for the point today."
Reaction to Bayern v Ajax
Niko Kovac: "We were a little shy of my expectations today and of the whole team's expectations. We did a lot well in the first 15 minutes and we took the lead, but the goal didn't give us any sort of security. On the contrary, we gave the opposition encouragement and that ultimately wore us down. Ajax got stronger and played really well. We misplaced too many paces and wanted to get forward too quickly in decisive situations. When you make mistakes, you become unsure. Then it comes down to the basics: running, sprinting and tackling. Ajax did them well today, so we have to settle for the point."
Manuel Neuer: "It wasn't an easy game. We started well and showed a lot of confidence in possession. We had everything under control and you could tell we wanted it, but then we let Ajax play. They're strong on the ball, we knew that. We had some problems and conceded the equaliser. We're left with a 1-1 draw and four points from two games. A total of two points from our last three games is not enough, but our luck will come back around."
Thomas Müller: "We started very well with a lot of energy in the first 15 minutes. However, we then let Ajax get into the game too much. They got into their rhythm. You could see our desire was there but we were often too rushed in our play. It was too back-and-forth and we gave possession away too easily, so we couldn't establish ourselves in the opposition half. In terms of our commitment it was good and we need to stay positive. In football you always have to look ahead, even if we weren't at our best today. The first quarter of an hour was good; the rest we need to look at again."
Erik ten Hag (Ajax coach): "I'm not surprised by my team. It's not normal for teams to take a point from Munich, either in the Bundesliga or the Champions League, so we're very pleased with that. I'm even more pleased with the way we played - other than the first 10 minutes. After that we found our way into the game well, we asserted ourselves with the ball and played at a very high level as a team. We were good in possession but also off the ball and defended well."