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After deciding to take Sadio Mane off against Barcelona, Julian Nagelsmann expresses Sadio Mane's issue.
Sadio Mane found it difficult to make an impact in Bayern Munich's 2-0 Champions League win over Barcelona on Tuesday, prompting Julian Nagelsmann to take the ex-Liverpool winger off the field.
After another underwhelming performance against Barcelona, Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann raised questions about Sadio Mane's sharpness.
While goals from Lucas Hernandez and Leroy Sane contributed the German giants to a 2-0 Champions League victory on Tuesday, former Liverpool winger Mane struggled to get into the game and looked sluggish. Nagelsmann replaced him in the 70th minute and was asked about his £35 million signing's situation after a promising start to life in Bavaria.
"He worked so hard for Liverpool," Nagelsmann, whose club signed the 30-year-old in June, said. "He's a new player. He just needs to adapt. He was making an effort. I'm confident he'll succeed for us."
Mane did not take a single shot against Barcelona, extending his goalless streak to four games. Fortunately for the Senegalese, his teammates were able to deliver. Bayern had been under siege in the first half, but Nagelsmann's team talk before the second period must've inspired his team, who came out firing.
Hernandez scored with a header in the 50th minute, and Sane doubled the lead with an electric goal. To Nagelsmann's delight, the Bundesliga champions even stopped their former star striker Robert Lewandowski.
"In the first half, Barcelona had more chances than us - our final ball wasn't quite there," admitted the German tactician, who is still only 35 years old. "Things improved significantly in the second half, and our efficiency was the difference today."
Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez, on the other hand, was unhappy with the result and believes his team deserved to leave Munich with all three points. "In many ways, we were better than Bayern. "In terms of intensity, rhythm, and physicality, we've matched them," Xavi claimed. "We were excellent with the ball in the first half, but I'm upset because today was a day to win here."
"When we have the match under control, we should not allow our opponent to score due to a failure to mark at a corner. Or to score down the middle of the field on a counter - attack. We must learn from our errors."
With a string of crucial saves, Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer contributed to Xavi's frustration. Despite the impressive result, the legendary shot-stopper is unconvinced.
"We shouldn't exaggerate; we won our Champions League games," Neuer said after the game. "We had room to maneuver against Inter and Barcelona. However, we must improve our performance against defensively compact teams. On the weekend in Augsburg, we will face such an opponent."
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