Benatia out for two to four weeks

The Bayern Munich defender has confirmed he will miss both legs of the Champions League quarter-final against Porto with a hamstring injury

Bayern Munich have been dealt another injury blow with the news that Medhi Benatia could be out for a month due to a hamstring injury.

The Moroccan limped out of Bayern’s penalty shoot-out win over Bayer Leverkusen in the DFB-Pokal on Wednesday and has now confirmed that he will miss both legs of the Champions League quarter-final against Porto.

“Following medical tests I am out for two to four weeks,” Benatia tweeted on Thursday. “I’m disappointed, but it is an occupational hazard.”

For the Bavarians, it is the latest setback on the medical front, with Arjen Robben, Bastian Schweinsteiger and David Alaba also missing at the moment due to injuries.

Franck Ribery has been on the sidelines too but made his return to training on Thursday, completing a light workload of sprinting exercises.

Benatia has made 19 appearances for Bayern since arriving from Roma in the summer of 2014 in a €28 million deal.

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Neuer: I removed Bayern armband to ease the tension

The Germany international says that he felt more comfortable without the armband during the Bavarians’ 5-3 penalty shootout win at the BayArena

Bayern Munich ace Manuel Neuer has revealed that he removed the captain’s armband during Wednesday’s shootout success over Bayer Leverkusen in order to ease the pressure on him.

The goalkeeper was given the armband when Philipp Lahm was replaced midway through the second half but the elected to take it off when the DFB-Pokal clash went to penalties.

That move surprised many pundits but Neuer has now explained that he did not want to have to deal with any additional psychological burden during a high-pressure shootout.

“It felt right,” the 29-year-old told the DFB’s official website after helping his side to a 5-3 spot-kick success by stopping Josip Drmic’s effort.

“There is always a slight tension when you wear it and you need to do everything possible to be as comfortable as possible when you have a shootout.

“I think every penalty, including from Leverkusen, was taken very well. It’s obviously very tough for any team to lose on penalties.

“It was fair for the game to go to penalties after 120 minutes and we were lucky to have come out on top in the end.”

Neuer was particularly pleased that Bayern had managed to prevail despite the unavailability of a number of key players, including wing wizards Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben.

However, the shot-stopper added that the current injury crisis at the Allianz Arena has had a galvanising effect on Pep Guardiola’s squad.

“This was already clear after the Dortmund game [Saturday’s 1-0 win at Signal Iduna Park]. I think the team has been brought closer together,” Neuer added.

“This is important going into the next few weeks. Every fit player is vital for us. 

“We’re aware of the injuries and we are hoping that one or two can come back quickly.

“The most important thing for us now is to recover as quickly as possible, stay fit and go into the next game.”

Bayern’s triumph at the BayArena means that the Bavarians remain on course for a treble, given they are currently 10 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga and set to face Porto in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Bayern struggling without Robben and Ribery – Guardiola

The coach is concerned with how his attack are performing without the Dutch and French attackers’ influence in breaking down defences

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Pep Guardiola has conceded Bayern Munich are struggling to break down opponents without star wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben.

The Bavarians have scored just once in their past three games in all competitions and needed penalties to defeat Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday for a spot in the DFB-Pokal semi-finals.

Robben was injured early in the first game of their current three-game dry spell while Ribery has not featured in over a month for Bayern, and Guardiola was open about the impact their absence is having.

“We are having a lot of problems,” the former Barcelona head coach told reporters. “We don’t have any others players for the one-on-one situations right now.

“We are a different team without Robben and Ribery fit, but we have to adapt to the current circumstances.”

Bayern are still 10 points clear of second-placed Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga and are back in action on Saturday when they host eighth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt at the Allianz Arena.

Guardiola will then prepare for a Champions League quarter-final first leg visit to Porto, while they must defeat Borussia Dortmund in the DFB-Pokal semi-final on April 28 to keep their treble hopes alive.

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Muller: Bayern never get tired

The forward credited his team’s inability to get fatigued as part of how they reached the DFB-Pokal semi-finals, though admits they had some luck too

Thomas Muller believes fatigue is entirely in a person’s head and Bayern Munich’s power to get over was key in them defeating Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday.

The forward was one of the Bavarians’ clinical penalty takers in the DFB-Pokal quarter-final at BayArena, with all five players converting for Pep Guardiola after a 0-0 result following extra-time.

Muller admitted Bayern – who won the competition in each of the last two seasons – had fortune on their side but were aided by being indefatigable.

“When it is about penalties, it is a mixtures of luck and also practice,” Muller told ARD . “A big part of it is luck.

“We sometimes take penalties after training, but I don’t think all the players who shot today do that.

“Being tired is only something in your head. Of course you don’t always feel that fresh, but you have to keep going. We wanted to play and we wanted to win.

“It was a very tight match. I counted a few more chances for us, but Leverkusen were dangerous too. But I think no team could have scored a goal today from open play.”

Bayern were drawn at home against Borussia Dortmund in the last four in a repeat of last year’s final, while third-tier surprise package Arminia Bielefeld will host Bundesliga side Wolfburg.

Bayern draw Dortmund in DFB-Pokal semi-finals

Pep Guardiola was unfazed by facing last year’s fellow finalists, while shock last-four entrants Arminia Bielefeld will host Wolfsburg

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Bayern Munich have drawn Borussia Dortmund in the DFB-Pokal semi-finals in a repeat of last season’s final.

The Bavarians reached the last four in dramatic circumstances on Wednesday after Bayer Leverkusen took them to penalties with the scores level at 0-0 after 120 minutes, with Manuel Neuer saving Josip Drmic’s effort before Thiago Alcantara scored their fifth and final spot-kick.

That triumph at the BayArena has set up a home clash at the Allianz Arena with Borussia Dortmund, whom they defeated in the final in 2013-14, after Jurgen Klopp’s men needed extra-time to edge past Hoffenheim with a 3-2 win secured with a cracking Sebastian Kehl strike.

“Dortmund are a top team,” Guardiola told ARD when asked about facing BVB on April 28. “To win the cup one must beat everybody.

“We just defeated one of the fastest teams in the world. We did well and we controlled the game, even if we had a couple of issues. Manuel Neuer is a great goalkeeper, as is Leverkusen’s Bernd Leno; they both played well but in the end we won.”

Third-tier club Arminia Bielefeld continue their fairytale run with a home tie against high-flying Bundesliga club Wolfsburg on April 29.

Arminia, who were relegated from 2. Bundesliga last season, caused a major upset in the quarter-finals on Wednesday by eliminating Bundesliga heavyweights Borussia Monchengladbach on penalties.

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