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UEFA Champions League

It was nice to knock Arsenal out, says Bayern’s Eric Dier

Published at :April 18, 2024 at 9:07 PM
Modified at :April 18, 2024 at 9:07 PM
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Rajarshi Shukla

Bayern Munich edged Arsenal 1-0 to secure a semi-final spot in Champions League

A gleaming Eric Dier didn’t hold back when discussing how “nice” it was to eliminate Arsenal, his longtime rivals, from the Champions League.

Joshua Kimmich’s decisive header gave the German giants a 1-0 victory in Wednesday’s second leg, earning UEFA’s Player of the Match award to the Tottenham centre-back, who is now on loan at Bayern Munich in a transfer that is expected to become official this summer.

To the satisfaction of Spurs supporters, Arsenal’s European run is officially finished, and Bayern will take on Real Madrid in the semifinals.

Even though Dier is not a long-term fixture for Tottenham under manager Ange Postecoglou, he was unable to disguise his Spurs allegiance after the game.

The 30-year-old acknowledged with an innate smile and a small laugh when asked by Sky Sports if defeating Arsenal made the accomplishment even more memorable: “Yeah it was good, it was nice… To be honest, it’s nice to poke fun at them.

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for Bayern, though, particularly after they lost the Bundesliga title to undefeated Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday, their first loss in eleven years.

With Dier at the core of their strong back line, the six-time European champions were forced to dig in and protect after Kimmich had returned home after earning a 2-2 draw in North London the previous week.

“The spirit between us, you felt it from the first game at Arsenal and today I think we carried on the same way,” the Spurs loanee also told ESPN. “Obviously, we know the quality in our team but we showed a great spirit and a great attitude.

“Over both legs, we had the quality and showed great commitment between each other. I think the manager set us up in a great way to nullify them and to then hurt them.

“I think it was really down to the camaraderie and for me a new thing to feel the experience of some of the players in the dressing room. They’ve been here before many times, and to see that and see the way they carry themselves in those moments in the game, it’s nice to learn from.”

Bayern manager Thomas Tuchel, who plans to leave the club at the end of this season, added on his side’s 3-2 aggregate win: “It means a lot to me. It’s an important step. Semi-finals, last four. It was a lot of fun. It was a bit of a chess game from both teams in the first half. Who would make the first mistake?

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