Red card was decisive – Schweinsteiger

The Germany international accepted Bayern’s tie with Shakhtar turned on an early sending-off while Arjen Robben allayed fears over his injury


Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger admitted the early sending-off of Shakhtar Donetsk defender Olexandr Kucher changed the complexion of their Champions League last-16 tie.

The second leg was evenly poised after a goalless draw in Lviv three weeks ago but the return was effectively over as a contest after just three minutes when Kucher was harshly adjudged to have fouled Mario Gotze inside the area.

Kucher saw red – the fastest sending-off in Champions League history – and Thomas Muller dispatched the spot-kick to set Pep Guardiola’s men on their way.

Jerome Boateng, Franck Ribery, Muller, Holger Badstuber, Robert Lewandowski and Gotze all scored as the contest turned into a rout with Bayern cruising through 7-0.

“The red card and the penalty were decisive,” said Germany international Schweinsteiger. “With 11 versus 11 it’s surely a different game. But we played well, our passing was good.”

Badstuber claimed the match was actually harder than it appeared to most at the Allianz Arena.

“It was a tough game, despite the scoreline,” he told Sky. “We are very relieved. 0-0 [in the first game] was a dangerous result but our attitude was superb. We made it 1-0, then 2-0 and never slowed down.”

The only negative after a straightforward clash for the hosts was the fact both Arjen Robben and Ribery had to taken off – although neither injury looked serious.

Robben is confident he will make a swift recovery, telling Dutch broadcaster NOS: “Just a few days’ rest and I’ll be back. At the start of the match I slipped in the goal. My back locked and that pressed my nerve which links to my hamstring. The muscle itself is perfect, however.”

And Ribery added: “It is not that bad, it is something with my ankle. I hope I can play again at the weekend.”