Olivier Giroud accepted Bayern Munich were too good last night and explained why it was so hard to keep the ball when we won it back off them.
The French striker led the line for the second game in a row after his star turn against Tottenham at the weekend, and he proved a useful outlet in attack against the Germans, particularly in the first half.
His physicality and aerial ability helped set up some rare forays forward, but ultimately Bayern overwhelmed us and left the Bridge with a 3-0 win.
‘It was a difficult night,’ Giroud said. ‘They were too strong. It’s hard to say but they deserved to win.
‘At half-time the feeling was we were matching them. We had a few good opportunities also. If I go a bit early on Mason’s cross I think I would have been offside anyway, but that was close. We had hope after the first half.
‘But they accelerated on the counter-attack in the second half. When they scored early, two goals in three minutes, psychologically it was hard. We tried to come back afterwards but they were too strong. They were very efficient. They exploited a few small errors we made. We could have defended better but they were too quick.
‘It was difficult for the attackers,’ added Giroud. ‘I didn’t see a lot of the ball. You spend a lot of energy running after the ball when they have the ball. The problem was when we got the ball back, maybe we missed some personality and energy because you work hard to get it back. They place such importance on possession.
‘To win the match every player had to be at their best, and unfortunately we weren’t.’
The return leg is in three weeks’ time, and Giroud explained the size of the task for us in Germany as well as underlining our focus must now turn to domestic matters, starting with the trip to Bournemouth this weekend.
‘It’s nearly impossible but without belief you can’t do anything. Let’s go to Munich with pride and we will try to score and win that game. It’s going to be difficult to go through but you never know.
‘For now we need to focus on the Premier League first and finish in the top four. We need to put things right on Saturday and bounce back as soon as possible.’