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UEFA Champions League

Muller's Champions League ban upheld - Bayern without attacker for both Liverpool legs

19:19 GMT+3 04/02/2019
Thomas Muller, Nicolas Tagliafico, Ajax vs Bayern Munich
The World Cup winner has not been shown leniency after appealing a red card shown in the final UCL group stage match against Ajax

Bayern Munich will be without Thomas Muller for both legs of their Champions League round of 16 match-up with Liverpool after UEFA rejected the German club's appeal to reduce the attacker's two-match suspension.

The Bundesliga champions announced on Monday that the European Football Union's Appeals Senate had upheld French referee Clément Turpin's decision to show Muller a red card following a dangerous challenge on Ajax defender Nicolas Tagliafico.

Replays of the incident show the 29-year-old's foot connecting with Tagliafico's head, seemingly accidentally scraping the Argentine's scalp, whilst trying to control a high ball. There would be no lasting damage, thankfully, with Tagliafico going on to complete the match, scoring a last-gasp equaliser in the process.

And, although it did appear that Muller only had eyes for the ball, Bayern's call for the decision to be overturned has been rejected, meaning they will have to face a high-flying Liverpool side without the talismanic 2014 World Cup winner.

Muller, of course, apologised for the incident, stating on Twitter: "I would like to apologise to Nico Tagliafico for yesterday's incident. There was no intention in the foul - get well."

Bayern boss Niko Kovac echoed his player's sentiments somewhat, though did feel that the officials were right to dismiss Muller - even if he feels they got other decisions wrong during a thrilling 3-3 draw.

"The red card for [Maximilian] Wober was totally justified because he took on that challenge in a negligent way," the Croat said.

"The red card for Thomas was fair as well. He didn't see the player but you have to be aware of your opponent coming at the ball at your back. Both penalty decisions correct. Both red cards correct.

"The referee did well, except in the case of the goal that made it 3-3. I'm not a referee but I think it was offside."

Muller, a youth product of the Bavarian giants, has scored 108 goals in 305 league appearances for the club and has 38 goals in 100 caps for national side Germany.

Liverpool host the first leg of the highly-anticipated clash at Anfield on February 19.