FC Bayern München manager Pep Guardiola has once again defended his decision to rest Thomas Muller for his side’s clash with Atletico Madrid, saying he did not feel comfortable playing two strikers.
The Spaniard, who will take over at Manchester City ahead of the 2016/17 season, felt he had to play with alone striker up front to mitigate the threat posed by Atleti in Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final, first-leg tie.
Having rested Robert Lewandowski for much of his side’s 2-2 draw with Benfica in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-finals, Guardiola felt the Poland international was the obvious choice to lead the line against Diego Simeone’s men at the Vicente Calderon.
However, Guardiola faced a barrage of criticism after the game as his side slumped to a 1-0 defeat against the Spanish title hopefuls.
“The reason was purely tactical. I just wanted to play with one striker,” he told reporters ahead of Saturday’s clash with VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach.
“My experience of playing with two centre-forwards is not good. I wanted more control, but I love playing with Thomas Muller.
“In Lisbon, Robert Lewandowski sat out but we won. Then it was not an issue.
“In the end, I have to make a decision. It’s not over yet, we still have a chance. [If it goes wrong] then you can kill me!”
Looking ahead to the clash with Monchengladbach and the chance to confirm their title triumph, he added: “Our thoughts are only on Gladbach. They have a lot of quality.
“Alongside Dortmund they are perhaps the team in the Bundesliga with the most quality.
“They have good players, a good coach and a good sporting philosophy.
“We are not yet champions, but I hope the fans can celebrate tomorrow.”