Barcelona the best in Europe, says Sammer

The former Germany international feels the Bavarians do not deserve to be criticised after the defeat because they were beaten by the strongest side in the continent

Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer has praised his side’s effort in Wednesday’s 3-0 defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final first-leg, admitting that they were beaten by Europe’s very best.

Despite missing Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and David Alaba, Pep Guardiola’s men managed to keep the Catalans relatively quiet for 77 minutes, but a Lionel Messi double and a Neymar strike eventually handed the Catalans a comfortable win, thus all but ending Bayern’s European ambitions.

“What the team’s achieved so far is entirely praiseworthy,” Sammer told the official Bayern website. “I cannot criticise the team. They fight away and give everything. Due to all the different circumstances with injuries, we’ve come up against our own limits.

“We resisted pretty well for 77 minutes against a team that’s currently on song and is probably the best in Europe at the moment, but we lost our shape at the end, and then we wanted too much.

“We’re at home in the return, and we owe it to our supporters to put on a show. First of all, we need to pick ourselves up and digest the result.”

The return will take place at the Allianz Arena on May 12.