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Kovac defends Neuer over Mane goal

  /  autty

The Croatian manager believes his goalkeeper did the right thing, despite ultimately being beaten by the Reds forward after rushing out of his area

Bayern Munich head coach Niko Kovac has defended Manuel Neuer's decision to come off his line in the build-up to Sadio Mane's opening goal for Liverpool in their Champions League round-of-16 clash.

Bayern went on to lose the tie 3-1 and were sent crashing out of the Champions League at the last-16 stage for the first time since 2011 and for just the fourth time in their history.

"A goalkeeper has to come out at this moment, to stop the striker eventually passing through," Kovac said after the game.

"Manuel's decision was the right one."

Neuer, too, defended his actions, claiming that it was the Senegalese's brilliance, rather than his error, that led to the goal.

"Mane is in the inside channel and is running towards me, and I thought I could put him off," Neuer said after the full-time whistle.

"If he takes a normal touch, I get the ball, but he takes a world-class touch so the ball is right in front of his feet. He makes a body feint, goes around me and chips the ball into the goal. "If I had stayed in goal, Mane would have been one-on-one against me and had a clear chance to score."