'A valuable victory'
Wed, 04/04/18, 10:55
Bayern pleased with 'very good away result'
The 2,300 away fans noisily celebrated the German record champions long after the final whistle at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán. FC Bayern won the Champions League quarter-final first leg 2-1, sealing a good position for the return leg next Wednesday when they entertain Sevilla.
Coach Jupp Heynckes spoke of a "valuable victory" over a "very good team," whereas centre-back Mats Hummels said: "We played in Seville, it's a difficult away match, so we're absolutely satisfied with the result of course." Captain Thomas Müller called "two away goals and a victory" a "very good away result" for the Bavarians.
Too many mistakes in the build-up play
However, Bayern struggled against the disciplined Spaniards who were looking for chances on the break, especially in the first half. The frenetic 40,635 crowd saw Pablo Sarabia hand his side the lead after the half-hour mark, but Jesús Navas' own-goal levelled the scores before half-time.
"In the first half Sevilla showed they haven't made it to the Champions League for no reason," analysed Heynckes. "We made many mistakes in our build-up play, we often lost possession. We weren't well-strucutred in defence and especially in midfield, so our opponents had presentable chances," added Heynckes. "We were a bit lucky in the first half. If things don't go in our favour we trail at half-time," Hummels admitted.
Strong words at half-time
Heynckes made his feelings known at the break (Hummels: "Just short of very loud, the door didn't shake, but he made clear what he wanted to tell us") and made tactical corrections. "I wanted the team to improve their defensive discipline, impose their passing game, improve their positional play and especially keep possession when attacking," revealed Heynckes.
"We did much better in the second half, we controlled the match, created chances and deservedly won at the end of the day," said Jerome Boateng. "We stepped up our game and fought our way into it, that's why the victory was deserved," commented Müller. Thiago's headed goal midway through the second half sealed Bayern's seventh consecutive win in Europe's premier club competition and Sevilla's first European home defeat against a German side.
"The victory means we have one foot in the semi-finals. We have yet to go through. I'm convinced we'll do it next Wednesday," said chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge at the traditional post-match banquet shortly before midnight, looking ahead to the return leg. Goalkeeper Sven Ulreich added: "It's going to be another fiery match at the Allianz Arena. We'll have to be primed for a big fight."