Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has warned Bayern Munich not to let history repeat itself against Liverpool in their home Champions League last 16, second leg after a goalless draw at Anfield.
Bayern earned the draw in a nervy first leg on Merseyside to put the German giants in a good position for the return at their Allianz Arena on March 13.
“We have opened the door for the second leg a bit, but I warn against going into the return leg with too much euphoria – it’s not a result that is safe,” Rummenigge, Bayern’s chairman, warned.
The 63-year-old speaks from experience having been in an identical situation before. He was part of the same Munich team as current president Uli Hoeness that lost the semi-final of the 1981 European Cup to Liverpool.
In 1981, Bayern also earned a goalless draw at Anfield and Rummenigge scored in a 1-1 draw in the return leg, but an away goal by Ray Kennedy at Munich’s Olympic Stadium put Liverpool through.
“We were eliminated after a 1-1 draw in Munich, so we must not make the same mistake my team made. We have to play very well in the second game,” said Rummenigge.
Bayern put in a solid defensive display on Merseyside on Tuesday to frustrate a Liverpool side fresh after a 10-day break, but head coach Niko Kovac also warned they must finish the job in Munich.
“Everyone was there for the other and you can see that if we have a structure in our game, it’s hard to score against us,” said Kovac.
“That’s the approach, but there was still room for improvement.
“We have reached our goal and earned a draw, now we have to see that we finish the job at home.”
Centre-back Mats Hummels said Bayern’s game plan was focused on frustrating Liverpool’s forward trio of Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.
“It was primarily about taking out the strengths of the opponent and we succeeded,” said Hummels.
“The goal was to slow down Liverpool’s three forwards.
“We now have a situation where we can progress with a home win and no team is ever happy to come to Munich.”