Guardiola: Roma feared another thrashing

The Spaniard was not impressed by the Serie A outfit’s defensive tactics, while Mario Gotze feels the German champions are perfectly in tune with their coach’s tactics

Pep Guardiola believes Roma were afraid to suffer another heavy defeat against Bayern Munich and therefore fielded “six defenders” in Wednesday’s Champions League.

The Serie A outfit were beaten 7-1 at home two weeks ago and employed a defensive strategy at the Allianz Arena in an attempt to prevent a repeat of that result.

Nevertheless, they were once more beaten as Franck Ribery and Mario Gotze helped Bayern to a 2-0 win and a spot in the knockout stages.

“The 7-1 was more of a coincidence, something like this happens once in a lifetime,” Guardiola said at the post-match press conference.

“Roma didn’t want to suffer again so they played very defensive, with six defenders.

“Nevertheless we were dominant, especially in the second half.”

Gotze, meanwhile, was very happy with his side’s performance and stressed that Bayern are getting to understand Guardiola’s philosophy more and more.

“It’s fun to play in this team. We won 2-0 and are very happy with this.

“We knew that it would take some time to understand our coach but now we know how to fulfil his wishes.”

Bayern secured top spot in Group E following Wednesday’s results with 12 points from four games, holding an eight-point lead over Roma and CSKA Moscow.

Garcia: We've erased the 7-1 memory

The Roma boss was happy with his side’s display in their 2-0 defeat to Bayern Munich, while Daniele De Rossi admitted they had to accept to being second best

Roma boss Rudi Garcia was proud of his side’s display against Bayern Munich on Tuesday – despite losing the game 2-0.

Destroyed in the reverse fixture 7-1 two weeks ago, the Serie A side delivered a much-improved performance at the Allianz Arena, although goals from Franck Ribery and Mario Gotze were enough to seal Bayern’s win.

Garcia believes the Giallorossi’s display was good enough to erase the memory of their thrashing on matchday three and even feels they could have earned a share of the spoils but the for the exploits of Manuel Neuer.

“We know Bayern are a great team and they showed that once again tonight. Tactically and mentally we got our approach right. It’s a shame we let in two, they didn’t have that many chances,” he told Sky Italia.

“We posed a threat but didn’t get many shots in – when we did we were thwarted by Neuer, the best in the world. I’m happy with the performance of my players, even if we lost. We have erased the bad game of the first leg”.

Midfielder Daniele De Rossi admits his side had to accept they were second best across both matches and is desperate to return to winning ways against Torino at the weekend.

“We’ve tried, we pretty much admitted that they are better and took counter-measures that were not enough to gain some points, but we made a completely different impression,” said the Italy international.

“The first half against Bayern and the game against Napoli were two episodes. We will restart on Sunday, which is perhaps even more important.”

Pizarro injury blow for Bayern

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Pjanic: I rejected a transfer to Bayern Munich

EXCLUSIVE: Ahead of Roma’s trip to the Allianz Arena, the gifted midfielder has revealed that he turned down the chance to join the reigning Bundesliga champions at the age of 18

By Jasmin Ligata

Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic has revealed that he was close to joining Bayern Munich in the summer of 2008, but he eventually opted to move to Olympique Lyonnais instead.

The Bosnia-Herzegovina star was one of Europe’s most sought-after youngsters at the time following an impressive 2007-08 campaign with Metz.

Bayern were one of the teams looking to lure him to the Bundesliga, but the midfielder felt he wasn’t ready for a move abroad.

“I went to Munich to discuss a transfer with Bayern when I was 18,” the creative midfielder told Goal.

“It’s not that anything went wrong, but I simply decided that Olympique Lyonnais would be a better option for me in the end.

“I don’t think I was ready for a club as big as Bayern at the time, so I decided to stay in France. I already knew the language and people knew me, so Lyon were the best option.

“And I don’t have any regrets over that decision. It was the right move at the time.”

Pjanic enjoyed two fine seasons with Lyon before then joining Roma in the summer of 2010, where he has since developed into an important first-team member.

The 24-year-old then went on to discuss Wednesday’s Champions League encounter with Bayern at the Allianz Arena and stressed that Roma are determined to make amends for their 7-1 home defeat two weeks ago.

“I would be happy with a draw in Munich. I am convinced that a result like the 7-1 defeat will never happen again,” he stated.

“We went through something similar to Brazil at the World Cup. This week’s game will be much closer, though.

“We are not really talking about revenge, but getting a point would leave us in a good position to qualify for the knockout stages. The game against Manchester City is the most important one for us.”

Roma currently sit second in Group E with four points from three games.