Bayern sweat on Thiago injury, yellow cards


Istanbul (AFP) – Bayern Munich are waiting on Thiago Alcantara after the Spain midfielder picked up a new injury in their Champions League last 16 win at Besiktas.

The 26-year-old went off on 35 minutes after scoring Bayern’s opening goal in the 3-1 second-leg win as the German giants sealed an 8-1 aggregate victory and booked a quarter-final slot for the seventh year in a row.

However, Thiago’s injury dampened the celebrations ahead of tough Bundesliga games against RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund in the coming weeks.

“Thiago didn’t come off as a precautionary measure,” admitted Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes.

“He said he felt a pain on the sole of his foot, but the first assessment is not that bad.”

Bayern hope a scan on Thiago’s foot will not mean another lengthy lay off after he missed 13 games up until mid-February with a leg injury.

The injury-prone Spain star, who also missed half a year with a torn a knee ligament in 2015, claimed Bayern’s 100th goal this season on 18 minutes before injury struck.

An Gokhan Gonul own goal then extended Bayern’s advantage early in the second half.

Vagner Love scored a consolation goal for Besiktas before back-up Bayern striker Sandro Wagner came off the bench to mark his Champions League debut with a late goal.

Bayern captain Thomas Mueller was pleased to see the Germans make Friday’s quarter-final draw, but rued the three yellow cards his team picked up.

Defender Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and Rafinha were all booked in Istanbul. It means they join Robert Lewandowski, Sebastian Rudy and Joshua Kimmich, as the six Bayern players who are all just one more yellow card away from suspension.  

“The bookings were a bit annoying,” admitted Mueller. “Besiktas tried a lot in the second half and it was a wild game.

“I can barely remember a game where we gave the ball away so often and the second half didn’t feel so good.”

This was a no-frills performance from Bayern, but Heynckes was happy with the win.

“Besiktas were undefeated at home so far and to not be that focused after a 5-0 win is human,” he said.

“It is always a special atmosphere to play here, there are few other stadiums like it. The only negative is that we gave away too many yellow cards.”

For Heynckes, who replaced Carlo Ancelotti in October, this was his 11th straight win in the Champions League which set a new competition record.

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