Liverpool 0 Bayern Munich 0: Forwards fail to fire in Anfield stalemate

Which Bayern Munich will Liverpool come up against on Tuesday

Which Bayern Munich will Liverpool come up against on Tuesday

Virgil van Dijk will miss Tuesday's home fixture after he picked up a third group-stage caution in December's 1-0 win over Napoli, while Joe Gomez is still out with a leg fracture and Dejan Lovren looks unlikely to feature.

The satisfaction that Bayern's players showed after the final whistle went much deeper than mathematics, however.

'What was that about Bayern being in crisis?' chirped the sports pages in Bild on Wednesday morning, lavishing praise on Bayern for a surprisingly solid performance.

'Thanks to a courageous performance, Bayern go into the second leg in a good position, ' wrote Munich newspaper TZ.

The sense of relief in Germany is palpable.

There was much anticipation ahead of arguably the standout tie of the Champions League last-16 draw, but it didn't quite deliver.

Bayern fighting and scrapping like a souped-up version of Eintracht Frankfurt, Kovac's former team, could well be enough to reel in Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga table.

The ex-Arsenal man was proactive in seeking out shooting opportunities and certainly did not forget his defensive duties, registering a team-high four tackles - two of which were to curb Liverpool moves that had advanced into the penalty area.

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Javi Martinez was a towering presence, Mats Hummels returned to his previous, astonishing levels of precision and Serge Gnabry looked risky going forward. If you sign up to a service by clicking one of the links, we may earn a referral fee.

"I think it is a great result tonight". For a team that can be so devastating on the counterattack, the second leg would appear to be set up for Liverpool to claim the result required to take them into the quarterfinals. If Jurgen Klopp's team score, then they will only need to draw.

But Liverpool's Champions League aspirations will be well and truly parked for now with arch rivals Manchester United next up in Old Trafford this Sunday. After a nil-nil in Ukraine, Bayern duly hammered their hapless opposition 7-0 in the return leg.

Some deem it insane that one goal can mean more than another, but that's the letter of the law.

"It was the right amount of attacking, the right amount of chances created, Manuel Neuer made some very good saves - he'll have to play well in the second leg, too - and Alisson was hardly tested tonight".

"In the first half, we had the bigger chances".

Bayern, five-time European champions just like Liverpool, turned up, shrugged their shoulders at what greeted them from the Kop and proceeded to give a masterclass in how to emerge from a tough away game unbeaten in this competition. "He went and shook all of the Bayern players" hands. When you come to not lose, a draw feels like a win.

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