Bayern Munich boss Carlo Ancelotti has told Gazzetta dello Sport he wants his players to use the “anger” of last season’s controversial defeat to Real Madrid as motivation to win the Champions League.
Bayern lost 4-2 in extra time at the Bernabeu to go out 6-3 on aggregate in the quarterfinals but were infuriated by several key decisions by referee Viktor Kassai.
“If there had been VAR , we would not have lost in Madrid and we would not have been knocked out of the Champions League,” Ancelotti said.
“I’m in favour of innovation, just as long as the game does not suffer for it.
“It’s not that we’ve stomached it now — we’ve totally cancelled it from our memories.
“Now we start from scratch, with more anger within us and the knowledge that we are among the top teams in Europe.
“It will all be decided in the spring — whoever arrives there in the best form, without many injuries, will be able to challenge for the title.”
Ancelotti said he expected James Rodriguez, who has joined Bayern on loan from Madrid, to help the Bavarians in their bid for European glory.
“I’m counting a lot on James. I wanted him and know him well from my time in Madrid. He is injured now, but will be back quickly,” he added.
“He allows us to play different ways and gives us unpredictability and pace. I am convinced that he is going to make a real name for himself at Bayern.”
— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) August 5, 2017
Following five defeats in six preseason games, Bayern beat Borussia Dortmund on penalties to win the German Super Cup on Saturday after a 2-2 draw.
Bayern’s No. 2 keeper Sven Ulreich, deputising for Manuel Neuer, kept out penalties from Sebastian Rode and Marc Bartra to secure the victory.
Ancelotti said Bayern, despite “thousands of difficulties and many absences, showed character,” adding: “It’s not only the sides who run the most who win — even technique and determination are important.
“The strength of the team and quality of the individuals is not in any doubt. Bayern will be protagonists in the Bundesliga, in the Champions League and in all the competitions we play in.”
Meanwhile, Thomas Muller told kicker that winning the Super Cup “was a relief” after their preseason struggles.
“We were desperate to win,” he said. “Of course, it’s always special to play against Dortmund, especially when the first title is up for grabs. In the buildup it was already important — especially to shake off those preseason defeats.
“We didn’t play perfectly — personally, I didn’t rate our second half performance. Nevertheless, our will to win was really evident.”
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.