Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac has indicated that some of his players were faking injuries in order to run down the clock in Tuesday's Champions League match against Liverpool.
The Bavarians played out a 0-0 draw in the round of 16 first-leg tie at Anfield. Late into the match Liverpool were pushing for a goal but despite the constant pressure put on the visitors, Bayern's defence held strong and in the end, kept the clean sheet.
Holding a team like Liverpool scoreless for a full 90 minutes is no easy task and it may sometimes require a bit of simulation to ease the constant pressure applied by the Reds. Speaking to Sky Sports, via Goal, Kovac admitted his squad had employed some time-wasting tactics to secure the result.
The manager cited cramps to Javi Martinez and Kingsley Coman were not entirely present and praised the experience of both players. Kovac claimed: "We all know what it's like. It's nearing the end, you're trying a little bit of time, and Javi (Martinez) has (a) good running performance, so he could not have had a cramp.
"We also had the King (Kingsley Coman), who suddenly had a cramp, but it was not one."
It's not often a manager openly comes out and speaks on his team's time-wasting tactics, but Kovac didn't shy away from the conversation. Bayern seemed content to play for a draw from the opening whistle so the squad will feel their job was well done, despite not securing an away goal for themselves.
Bayern are set to play Hertha, Monchengladbach, and Wolfsburg in the coming weeks before the crucial return leg with Liverpool at the Allianz Stadium on 13 March.