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Reaction to Barça v Bayern

'The return will be complicated'

FC Bayern valiantly kept Barcelona at bay for 75 minutes on Wednesday night, but the home team’s late flurry left them 3-0 winners. The Champions League semi-final ultimately “left a very, very bitter taste,” Philipp Lahm observed. “Messi made the difference,” said Pep Guardiola. And Matthias Sammer produced his usual crisp analysis: “Due to all the different circumstances, we’ve come up against our own limits today.”

Reaction to Barça v Bayern

Matthias Sammer: “What the team’s achieved so far is entirely praiseworthy. I have no criticism of the team. They fight away and give everything. Due to all the different circumstances, we’ve come up against our own limits today. 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 rather 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.”

Pep Guardiola: “We did well for a long time, but then Messi showed off all his talent. We wanted to play our football and control the game, and keep the ball away from Barcelona as much as possible – and that’s what we did. But Messi simply made the difference. It’s a shame we conceded the third goal. The return will be complicated now, but we’ll give it a go of course. We’ll fight hard.”

Philipp Lahm: “We’ve been caught on the break three times. It leaves a very, very bitter taste. We worked hard, we had one huge chance, and we kept it an open contest for a long time. But we’ve made fatal errors that led to goals. We made it too easy for Barcelona, we gave away possession and gave them the chance to counter-attack. That can’t be happening, especially away from home. You can go a goal down, but it mustn’t end in a 3-0 defeat.”

Manuel Neuer: “We did very well for a long time, but we laid on their opening goal for them. We had men over on the left and could have broken at speed, but we’ve offered Barça the ball on a plate. Obviously the individual class of a player like Lionel Messi is unique. I think we were a little thrown by the first goal. Our glimmer of hope is the game against Porto.”

Thomas Müller: “We defended well for a long time. Out on the pitch, I had the feeling we were in control in the second half and maybe even held the initiative to a certain extent, but we’ve been our own worst enemies. We have to pull together as a team now. We’re FC Bayern and our heads stay up. We can’t expect the return to go the way it did against Porto, but the eleven men out on the field will give it everything through to the end.”

Jérôme Boateng: “We played well for 70 minutes. You didn’t have the feeling it might go wrong at the back, but then we’ve made a mistake. Obviously I’m angry that we folded after that and threw the game away. We need team unity now. Our target must be to win in Munich.”

Luis Enrique (Barcelona coach): “It was a difficult match but a very good result for us. Bayern played very well and put us under pressure, but our finishing was superior. It’ll be another difficult game next Tuesday.”

Marc-André ter Stegen (Barcelona keeper): “It wasn’t as easy as the score might suggest. We kept going after opening the scoring and made it 2-0, but the third was almost an injustice, hard on Bayern but fantastic for us. We regard Messi as the best in the world. It’s great having him in the team. A 3-0 lead sounds comfortable, but you always have a fight on your hands in Munich. I think the return will be very difficult.”

Gerard Piqué (Barcelona): “Bayern didn’t make it easy for us. They also saw lots of the ball. It all happened very fast after the first goal. We can be pleased.”