Guardiola satisfied Bayern's treble dream remains alive

The Spaniard admitted he was satisfied, if a little underwhelmed, with his side’s victory at Allianz Arena and felt they had enough chances to have scored more goals

Pep Guardiola is glad Bayern Munich’s treble dream remains alive after a professional 2-0 win over Werder Bremen in the DFB-Pokal semi-finals on Tuesday.

But while pleased, Guardiola was disappointed his team did not score more, particularly as he felt they were gifted a penalty when Arturo Vidal dived over a challenge in the box to win a second-half spot-kick.

Thomas Muller stepped up to score his second of the game, after heading home in the first half from a corner, but Bayern created relatively few chances otherwise.

“I’m pleased of course. It’s going to be a great final in Berlin. Bremen beat Gladbach [Borussia Monchengladbach] and [Bayer] Leverkusen in the cup. We knew we’d be up against courageous opponents,” Guardiola said.

“We wanted to play more aggressively with our five forwards, but we had enough chances to score more goals.

“The penalty shouldn’t have been given.”


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Two-goal hero Muller was just happy to get through, admitting it was not his side’s best display.

“We’re happy, but we’ve turned in better displays than today. It was hard work,” he said.

“We offered Werder too much after bad passes. We made it difficult for ourselves. It was tough today.

“There were no frenetic cheers, but the only thing that counts for sportspeople is that we’re in the final. What we’re turning in every three days is incredible.”

Despite the controversy of the penalty, Bremen coach Viktor Skripnik was gracious in defeat.

“Bayern won deservedly: congratulations! We tried to achieve the impossible,” he said.

“We had a few good moves. I don’t blame the referee. But it’s a pity for my lads who turned in a very good display. We can be proud of ourselves.”

Muller critical of Bayern display despite cup progression

The Germany international felt there were too many mistakes from his side despite keeping their treble hopes alive with victory over Werder Bremen at the Allianz Arena

Bayern Munich’s progression to the DFB-Pokal final brought mixed emotions for match-winner Thomas Muller, who felt their performance did not reflect the 2-0 scoreline.

The Bundesliga leaders dominated possession against Werder Bremen in Tuesday’s semi-final, but were uncharacteristically sloppy in the final third.

Luckily for Bayern they were not made to pay for their profligacy as Bremen struggled to really stretch Manuel Neuer, and ultimately a Muller double sealed the tie.

The World Cup winner scored in each half at the Allianz Arena to take him past 150 goals for the club and seal their fourth cup final in five years.


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“We won 2-0. We did what we set out to do and what was the most important thing which was making it to the next round,” he told reporters.

“In my opinion there were a few too many mistakes from our side, too many misplaced passes.

“Bremen made life difficult for us, but we’ve had a lot of better games.”

Franck Ribery echoed Muller’s frustration at Bayern’s display but was delighted to have kept treble hopes alive.

The former France international added: “Of course I think it’s fair to say that wasn’t our best game of the season, but we’ve won and reached the final. 

“We’ve always got to win the games and, at times, that’s been difficult this season.”

Bayern Munich players to star at Euro 2016

Being on the cusp of a potential treble should require no extra motivation or focus from Bayern Munich, but Pep Guardiola will have to ensure that his players remain committed to the cause instead of having one eye on the upcoming European Championship in France.

 

The team have clicked into gear at just the right time of the season, with the club’s recent passage into the Champions League Semi-Finals where they will face high-flying Atletico Madrid putting them within touching distance of ending a three-year barren spell. It promises to be an intriguing battle between two coaches with contrasting philosophies, yet have enjoyed considerable success on and off the pitch. Bayern’s chances of European glory may be improved if they are able to wrap up the Bundesliga title early, and with a seven-point advantage over Borussia Dortmund with just four to play, it could be decided on Week 32 at Hertha Berlin – four days before the team travel to Spain for the first leg against Atletico Madrid. Bayern are certainly considered one of the strong favourites with Coral to triumph in Europe, and with the DFB-Pokal also in Guardiola’s sights, the coach will have to ensure his stars remain focused on the tasks ahead.

 

Bayern are privileged to have a number of international stars within their squad, and while fans may find it difficult to switch their allegiance to their native Germany, they will have the chance to watch several of the club’s players represent their country at Euro 2016. Germany could have up to five Bayern players in Joachim Low’s squad, and although Manuel Neuer will play an integral role once again between the posts, all hopes will be on Thomas Muller to lead the line. The 26-year-old has enjoyed another wonderful season in front of goal, with nineteen goals in twenty-eight Bundesliga appearances a fantastic return from a player who has flourished since being switched from midfield into attack. Germany are strongly fancied to do well this summer, and with Muller likely to be a contender to finish Euro 2016 as the tournament’s top scorer, he could be the man that fires his country to glory.

 

David Alaba, who recently celebrated his 100th Bundesliga win in the 3-0 victory against Schalke at the Allianz Arena, played an integral role for Austria as they stormed through qualification with nine straight victories to book their place at Euro 2016 where he will look to stamp his authority on the international stage. The 23-year-old has enjoyed another strong season in Bavaria, with his versatility being of great use to Guardiola; being able to play at left-back and centre-back has certainly proved useful when Bayern have been short of numbers at the back, and while Alaba is played in his preferred position of defensive midfielder for his country, Muller and Robert Lewandowski have certainly profited from his marauding runs and creativity down the left flank. He certainly brings many qualities to the table which is rather impressive for a player at such a young age, and although the rest of the squad is previewed here on Coral’s website, Alaba will be pivotal to how Austria fare at Euro 2016. They are by no means a one-man band, however, with the likes of Marc Janko, Marko Arnautovic and Aleksandar Dragovic also names to look out for when Austria, who could surprise a few people if they take their qualifying form into the tournament, take to the pitch.

 

It is difficult to find any more superlatives to describe Lewandowski, with the clinical striker getting better as every season passes by. The 27-year-old has enjoyed yet another prolific season in front of goal for club and country; twenty-seven goals in just twenty-nine league appearances means that he is the Bundesliga’s top scorer, while thirteen goals in ten qualifying games for Poland proved to be crucial for his country as they finished runners-up in Group D behind Germany. Being the leading scorer for club and country is something that has become unerringly natural to Lewandowski who has developed into one of the best strikers in world football, and while he may be the reason that Poland are considered darkhorses in the latest Euro 2016 tips, all hopes rest on his shoulders to continue delivering the goods.

Ribery doubtful for DFB-Pokal semi against Werder Bremen

The French winger will be assessed ahead of Bayern Munich’s domestic cup match against Viktor Skrypnyk’s men on Tuesday after taking a blow to his right foot in training

Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery is a minor injury doubt for Tuesday’s DFB-Pokal semi-final against Werder Bremen after sustaining a knock in training.

Ribery appeared as a second-half substitute as the Bundesliga leaders closed in on a fourth consecutive league title with a 3-0 win over Schalke on Saturday.

But the 33-year-old hobbled out of Monday’s training session after Xabi Alonso caught his right foot in a challenge.


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A report from Bild suggests Ribery’s injury is not serious and he will be assessed ahead of the match at the Allianz Arena, where he might play wearing protective tape.

Former France international Ribery has been severely plagued by ankle issues over recent seasons, making just 15 appearances in all competitions so far this season.

Vidal wants Alexis Sanchez to join him at Bayern Munich

Having played with the attacker for the best part of a decade, the 28-year-old wants to join forces at club level as he eyes successful end to the campaign


Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal would endorse any move the club might make for Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez.

The players know each other well from international duty with Chile, and the attacker has been linked with a move to Germany in recent times, as incoming head coach Carlo Ancelotti is said to be a fan of the former Barcelona star.

It is a move that Vidal would love to see come to fruition.

“We’ve played together since the Under-20 international team, so it would be nice to play with him,” he told the media after the weekend’s victory over Schalke.


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Bayern are closing in on the Bundesliga title, and now 28-year-old Vidal is eyeing a potential treble.

“The team is winning and is going really well. The Bundesliga is our top priority and we’ll be focused on Saturday to secure the title. But the triple is what we want and is our goal,” he added.

Pep Guardiola’s men lead Borussia Dortmund by seven points and could secure the title if they beat Hertha Berlin on Saturday and BVB lose to Stuttgart.