Thomas Tuchel rates Arsenal after Bayern Munich Champions League win | Football

Thomas Tuchel masterminded Bayern Munich’s Champions League victory over Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Thomas Tuchel branded Arsenal an ‘elite’ side after he masterminded their Champions League downfall.

After seeing their decade-long reign as Bundesliga kings come to a crushing end last weekend, Bayern Munich bounced back emphatically to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League after their manager masterminded a tactical masterclasslast night.

With the tie evenly poised following a pulsating 2-2 draw in north London last week, Bayern kept their nerve at the Allianz Arena, blunted Arsenal’s attack and struck the decisive blow just after the hour mark with Joshua Kimmich’s bullet header securing a 1-0 win.

In truth, Arsenal struggled to lay a glove on Bayern in what remained of an absorbing contest which left Mikel Arteta with much to ponder having seen his side’s Premier League hopes take a major dent just four days prior following a shock home defeat against Aston Villa.

Despite the Gunners staring down the barrel of another trophyless season, Tuchel had words of comfort for Arteta and the work he has undertaken to turn Arsenal into a credible European force again.

He said: ‘For me they are an elite team. I know that Mikel maybe does not want to hear this.

‘If you watch Arsenal games it’s consistent, it’s fun to watch, and every match something to learn. Maybe what they miss a little bit is experience in big games like this.

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Joshua Kimmich celebrating scoring against Arsenal in the Champions League

Joshua Kimmich’s header knocked Arsenal out of the Champions League (Picture: Getty)

Victory represented something of a personal vindication for Tuchel who has been forced to field all manner of criticism as a consequence of Bayern’s dismal domestic campaign.

‘But where did the criticism come from,’ said the defiant former Chelsea manager after the game who will stand down at the end of the season. ‘From you, the media, and now you ask me if I feel any gratification?

‘It is what it is. I have given it all from the first day and will give it all until the last day.

Bayern Munich celebrate beating Arsenal in the Champions League

Bayern Munich will play Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal player Bukayo Saka during the Champions League game vs Bayern Munich

Arsenal and Bukayo Saka must now recover in time for Saturday night’s must-win game at Wolves (Picture: Getty)

‘The semifinal is a huge step. The last four, that was fun. Great joy and great relief. These are special moments.

‘We beat one of the top Premier League clubs. We will have to see what this win does to the club. The season is not yet over. Especially not now.’

Of all the key decisions Tuchel made, it was the gamble to play both Raphael Guerreiro in a more advanced role that paid most dividends with the Portugal international playing a key role in quelling the threat of Bukayo Saka while offering a genuine attacking threat.

‘I play in many positions, so I try to adapt as best as I can,’ said Guerreiro, who hit the post in the second half before creating Kimmich’s winning goal.

‘I know my qualities and I try to bring them to the pitch. I didn’t play in my favourite position today but I think I played a good game and am happy with myself.

‘I lost too many balls for my liking towards the end of the game, but fatigue also played a role. Overall I’m very happy with my performance and I feel really good in this team”


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