Wednesday,
23 August 2017
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Real Madrid's Pepe: Coentrao not to blame for Bayern winner

The left-back was beaten to the byline by Philipp Lahm, who then crossed for Mario Gomez to slot home and give the Bavarians a crucial 2-1 advantage ahead of their trip to Spain, according to Goal.com.

Real Madrid defender Pepe has refused to pin the blame on team-mate Fabio Coentrao for Bayern Munich`s winning goal in Tuesday night`s Champions League semi-final first-leg defeat at the Allianz Arena.

Coentrao committed himself to a tackle on Philipp Lahm in the closing stages of the game in Bavaria and was left prone on the turf as the Germany captain skipped past him before whipping the ball over for Mario Gomez to nick a 2-1 victory for the hosts.

However, Pepe resisted the temptation to point the finger at his Portugal team-mate during a post-match interview.

"Fabio Coentrao is not to blame for the goal," the centre-half told his club`s official website. "We`re all to blame. Football is a collective sport.

"We controlled the match and we`re sad about the last minute, but we`re also happy because it was important to score and we did."

Mesut Ozil`s 53rd-minute strike, which had cancelled out Franck Ribery`s first-half opener, means that Madrid only need a 1-0 win on home soil to book their place in the final, and Pepe is anticipating a very different game in the Spanish capital next Wednesday.

"[Real Madrid legend] Juanito once said that 90 minutes at the Bernabeu is a very long time," the defender mused. "And we have the quality with which to turn the score around."

However, before Bayern`s visit to the Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid must travel to Catalunya this weekend for their crunch El Clasico clash with Barcelona.

By Mark Doyle, Goal.com

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