Putting Barcelona under pressure paid off, says Schweinsteiger

The midfielder has hailed coach Jupp Heynckes’ tactical plan in Tuesday evening’s encounter in Munich

Bastian Schweinsteiger feels that Bayern Munich’s decision to put the pressure on Barcelona right from the start played a big role in their 4-0 win in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie at the Allianz Arena.

Thomas Muller gave Bayern the lead in the first half, before Mario Gomez, again Muller and Arjen Robben put the match to bed after the interval and Schweinsteiger was pleased to see that their game-plan paid off.

“We tried to put them under pressure and we succeeded,” Schweinsteiger was quoted as saying on the official Bayern website.

“At the start, it was a steep learning curve, because we’ve never played against a team with this kind of game-plan.

“We did our job better and better as time went on. We invested a lot of effort and it’s great we were rewarded.”

The second leg at Camp Nou will take place on May 1.

Dani Alves: I tip my hat to Bayern

The right-back has voiced his respect for the Bavarians and realises his side face a near-impossible task to turn things around in the second leg at Camp Nou

Barcelona defender Dani Alves has admitted that Bayern Munich fully deserved their 4-0 win at the Allianz Arena in the first-leg of their Champions League semi-final tie at the Allianz Arena.

A Thomas Muller double and second-half goals from Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben helped Bayern to an impressive home victory and Alves has nothing but respect for the Bundesliga giants after their fine outing.

“I tip my hat to Bayern for the match they played. It was very difficult to play against them,” the Brazil international told reporters.

“We have to study what we did poorly. We still have 90 minutes at the Camp Nou, but it will be very difficult. We’ve got to come back from 4-0 down and that will be very tough, but we’ll give it everything and leave with our heads held high and knowing we’ve done our best.

“For now we have to congratulate our opponents. They played with far greater intensity than we did. We just couldn’t score. We didn’t fail – we just didn’t create enough chances.

“As I said before, they deserved to win. When you come up against an opponent that’s better than you, the only thing you can do is congratulate them.”

Barcelona resume domestic action on Saturday away against Athletic Bilbao.

Muller: Beating Barcelona like this is just brilliant

The versatile attacker was understandably pleased with die Roten’s performance and admitted they are now in pole position to make it to the final

Thomas Muller was over the moon with Bayern Munich’s 4-0 victory over Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final tie at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday evening.

The Germany international opened the scoring in the opening 45 minutes, before Mario Gomez, again Muller and Arjen Robben helped the Bavarians to a comfortable home win after the break, much to the delight of the 23-year-old.

“It feels great. We put in an outstanding performance. The way in which we beat them was superb – we gave everything. Everyone battled and ran their hearts out,” the attacker was quoted as saying on the official Uefa website.

“It’s no secret that we have a lot of quality going forward. We’ve had some big wins recently, but to beat them like this in a game of this magnitude is just brilliant.”

Muller then went on to admit that things are looking good for Bayern after the first leg, but stressed that they are not there just yet.

“Everyone knows how strong Barcelona are at home, but we’re in a great position and if I know this team, we’ll be doing everything we can to progress. Nothing has been decided yet, but things could certainly be worse.”

The Germany international was about to be replaced just seconds before he made it 3-0 as he had picked up a knock and was understandably very pleased to double his personal tally before going off.

“I signalled to the bench that I’d picked up a knock before my second goal and was suffering from a bit of cramp, so I was preparing to come off, but we were still in possession so I had to keep going. Then I scored, which was obviously fantastic.”

The second leg at Camp Nou takes place on May 1.

Matthaus: Gotze move harmful to football

The former Germany international has heavily criticised the 20-year-old’s impending summer move

Lothar Matthaus has spoken out in strong terms against Borussia Dortmund star Mario Gotze’s move to Bayern Munich.

Bayern Munich confirmed on Tuesday that they had reached an agreement with the attacking midfielder after meeting his €37m buy-out clause. He is now set to join the German champions on July 1.

Matthaus, who played for die Roten for 12 years in two spells between 1984 and 2000, and is Germany’s most-capped player, made his feelings on the subject clear, however.

“The fans feel ridiculed,” the 52-year-old told Sky Sports News HD, adding that the move was “untrustworthy” and “harmful to all of football.”

The former sweeper also argued that the timing of the move was “unfair” and “just amazing”.

Gotze is now set to become the most expensive German player ever, having won two Bundesliga titles and one DFB-Pokal in his time with die Borussen.

Roura bemoans refereeing bad luck after Bayern Munich battering

The Blaugrana assistant believes his side have suffered at the hands of officials this season after a number of controversial decisions in their 4-0 defeat to Bayern Munich

Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura feels his side have been made to suffer from poor officiating in this season’s Champions League.

The Blaugrana were hammered 4-0 by Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday night, courtesy of a Thomas Muller double and goals from Arjen Robben and Mario Gomez.

However, Roura was left fuming after Gomez’s goal was allowed to stand despite the the player appearing to be offside, whilst claims for a foul on Jordi Alba in the build-up to Robben’s goal were also turned down. 

“We have had bad luck with the refs [in] this [season’s] Champions League,” the 45-year-old told reporters.

Despite their misfortune at the hands of officials, Roura was quick to pay tribute to a scorching display from their German counterparts on the night.

“The first thing we have to do is to congratulatute Bayern,” he said. “They’re very strong, a great team.

“Bayern played a great game, they were the better team. In the first half, we competed well, but in the second half we lacked power.”