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Confident despite defeat

Rummenigge: I want to go to Milan

Shortly after midnight the Bayern stars entered the ballroom at the team hotel to warm applause. Anticipation and defiance had replaced the first sense of disappointment at the avoidable 1-0 defeat away to Atlético. “It's not going to be an easy return in Munich, but it would be a mistake to be angry about the result. Let me say one thing: I want to go to Milan!” Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in his address. “The result is an obstacle, no question. But I think we have a good chance of overcoming this obstacle next Tuesday to continue pursuing our big goal, our big dream,” added the Bayern chairman, who drew confidence from the second half in particular: “You could see how much quality and character our players have.”

However, the Bavarians failed to score a yearned-for away goal, just as in the last two Champions League semi-final ties. “We created enough chances,” declared Pep Guardiola. David Alaba almost netted the equaliser, but his long-range drive hit the underside of the bar ten minutes into the second half. Atlético's Saúl Niguez had aimed better early into the top-class contest, when he scored the only goal with his left foot after a sumptuous dribble.

FCB count on home crowd to turn the tide

The match began with a strong phase for Atlético, whereas Bayern lost “almost every tackle,” according to Guardiola. “We had a bad start. Overall I'm satisfied with our performance. But in the Champions League you need 90 good minutes, not 75.” The result makes the return “a little complicated, but we'll try to make it to the final with the support of our fans.”

Bayern will take heart from their recent record. Munich have won all of their last 11 Champions League home matches, and ten of these by a scoreline that would at least send the game into extra-time. “We'll hit the gas and turn it round,” promised Thomas Müller, who surprisingly started on the bench. It is crucial to keep calm and not attack recklessly, according to the Germany international: “We have to play with the intensity of the second half, focus our emotions and give them hell in Munich!”

Neither has skipper Philipp Lahm given up on the final. A 1-0 defeat is not a good result, but “with the support of our fans we still have a chance. Everyone knows about the atmosphere at the Allianz Arena for matches like these.” Xabi Alonso concurred: “We'll give it everything, we believe we’ll go through!”