Joshua Kimmich has apologized for his “unsportsmanlike” behavior after celebrating Bayern Munich’s victory over Freiburg in front of home fans.
Bayern won Saturday’s tight Bundesliga clash 1-0 at Europa-Park thanks to a long-range shot by Matthijs de Ligt early in the second half.
The victory came four days after Bayern were relegated from the DFB-Pokal in favor of the same team, which Freiburg happily reminded their opponents of before the match.
Kimmich clenched both fists and gestured towards the fans after Bayern retaliated on Saturday, sparking a massive confrontation on the pitch.
Freiburg midfielder Nicolas Hofler accused Kimmich of “unsportsmanlike and unnecessary” behavior and added that his colleague “should not feel the need to provoke the fans”.
When Hofler’s comments were relayed to Kimmich after the match, the Germany international acknowledged that he may have gone too far with his celebration.
“There were a lot of emotions,” he told reporters. “For us it was an important victory – the defeat against DFB-Pokal caused deep pain.
“I got carried away; I shouldn’t do this. You could say it was unsportsmanlike.”
Asked what prompted his actions, Kimmich added: “During the warm-up, a 10-minute film about the Pokal game was shown. [on the big screen].
“I can understand anyone who describes [my reaction] as unsportsmanlike. In the end, it’s just emotions.”
Thomas Tuchel’s team missed some good chances on either side of De Ligt’s shot, but also relied on goalkeeper Jann Sommer to make a couple of important saves.
Freiburg were previously unbeaten in a club-record 12 home games, but Bayern did enough to secure a win that puts them two points behind Borussia Dortmund.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game,” head coach Tuchel said. “They were unbeaten at home for 12 games and beat us in the World Cup in the middle of the week.
“In the end, I think that the victory was well deserved. We had great chances to score in both halves. I’m glad we won and kept a clean sheet. It was so important.”
Long ranger De Ligt, who passed Mark Flecken, generated an expected goal value (xG) of just 0.02.
The centre-back took particular pleasure in scoring against his team mate in the Netherlands, who made seven saves on either side of the winning goal.
“I always beat Mark in training, so I decided to give it a try,” said De Ligt. “Our performance has been good, but we still have room to grow.”
Bayern have won two of their three games since Tuchel took over and are now focused on the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final against Manchester City.
“We have to be brave. We have to believe in ourselves, be smart, have tactical decisions and go to the limit of our physical efforts,” Tuchel said of Tuesday’s match in Manchester.
City have been playing in absolute form for several weeks now. We need to recover and hope that everyone will be in shape.”