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'We can be proud'

'Super Bayern' will 'fight back'

The fans at the Allianz Arena were outstanding. The South Stand urged their team on non-stop for 93 minutes and they met their match at the other end with the North Stand getting behind FC Bayern in style. And, even though the 3-2 win against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final second leg tie was not enough to secure a place in the Final in Berlin, there was a huge display of pride for the team as the fans sang the praises of “Super Bayern, Super Bayern, hey, hey!”

“We wanted to get to Berlin,” said Pep Guardiola who was initially “sad” at missing out on the Final. “I thanked my players. I’m very happy about the way the team performed.” Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was also full of praise, “the team fought brilliantly.” The chairman said Barcelona “deserved to go through” over the two legs, “but we can go out with our heads held high.”

“We could have done something in the first half. We had some really great chances,” said Jêrôme Boateng in describing Bayern’s desire to get forward that saw Mehdi Benatia open the scoring with a header on seven minutes. “It’s a shame we didn’t make it 2-0,” added Boateng. Instead, two quick breaks ended with Neymar bagging a brace (15 and 29) – that marked the end of the battle for a place in the Final according to Philipp Lahm.

'No need to hang our heads'

The German champions refused to throw in the towel. With the fantastic backing of the fans Bayern took the lead with goals from Robert Lewandowski (59) and Thomas Müller (74) as FCB took their leave of their eighteenth Champions League campaign. “We showed what we can do,” said Müller, whose 28th goal in the Champions League secured a sixth home win in Europe’s premier club competition this term. Manuel Neuer declared: “We gave one hundred percent to turn the game round in the second half.”

“We were in the semi-finals for the fourth time in succession so that’s alright,” said Rummenigge in drawing a positive conclusion to the Champions League campaign that ended with FCB setting another club record. This is the first time a Bayern side has ever clocked up 33 goals in this competition. Bayern are also the only team in the Champions League to score six or more goals three times in a season. “We can be proud and we don’t need to hang our heads,” said Boateng.

Guardiola’s plan

“All in all, we had a great season,” said Müller looking on the bright side, “we did very well considering all the injuries we had, we played very well in some games and turned it round against Porto.” Bastian Schweinsteiger pointed out FCB have been in “the Champions League every season for the past five or six years” and were often in the semi-finals or the Final, “so I believe we deserve to be praised as a team.”

And that did not take very long. “I’m very, very proud,” said Guardiola in backing his players who he was keen to praise in the FCB dressing room after the final whistle. The Bayern coach promised: “We want to fight back next season. We’ll start from the beginning again.” Until then the Catalan boss has plans for his players and the outstanding supporters: “I want to celebrate the league title now!”