Thomas Muller says Bayern Munich’s elimination from the Champions League at the hands of Villarreal is “difficult to accept”.
The Bundesliga leaders crashed out in the quarter-finals for the second season running, as Samuel Chukwueze’s late strike at the Allianz Arena snatched a 1-1 draw on the night – and a 2-1 aggregate victory for the Europa League holders.
Julian Nagelsmann’s side, beaten 1-0 in the first leg, dominated the game as they sought a ninth win from 11 Champions League quarter-final ties.
But despite Robert Lewandowski drawing them level early in the second half, Bayern were unable to capitalise on their superiority as they could only find the back of the net once from 23 attempts at goal.
And the Bavarian giants were stunned two minutes from time, when Chukwueze rounded off a devastating counter-attack to send Villarreal through to a first semi-final in this competition in 16 years.
Muller knows Bayern only have themselves to blame for lacking a cutting edge.
“If you take just this game into account, without the first game, we should have gone through convincingly,” he told Amazon Prime.
“It’s difficult to accept this; I don’t know what to say.
“It’s bitter to concede after that performance. With the fans behind us, we pushed, pushed, pushed from the start. We have to do more in front of goal.”
Head coach Nagelsmann said the nature of Bayern’s exit left a sour taste in the mouth.
The head coach added: “The first leg was the key. Today, we did very well. It was one of our best games. But we should have made it 2-0 in the second half.
“It’s all very bitter. We had very little space, there was always a danger of getting hit on the counter, and creating many chances against such a deep defence is hard.
“If you don’t win and get eliminated, that’s just the way it is.”
Villarreal will do battle with Liverpool or Benfica for a place in the final.