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Big ask against Barça

'We’ll give everything and keep believing'

Barcelona 3. Bayern 0. There’s no question the Reds’ position going into the Champions League semi-final second leg on Tuesday (Live in English from 20:45 CET on Twitter and free Web Radio) is “extremely difficult,” as Karl-Heinz Rummenigge acknowledged. However, no-one has given up hope, because it is figuratively speaking still only half-time in the clash between two of Europe’s leading clubs. There are still (at least) 90 minutes to play!

“What matters to us is a good result, ideally a win. Let’s wait and see if we can do even better than that,” continued the Bayern chairman, “we’re neither pessimistic nor optimistic – we’re realistic. In other words: we have a small chance, but a small chance is also a chance.” Pep Guardiola took a similar view. “We won’t give up. We’re 3-0 down to the best European team of the last 15 to 20 years. But we’ll give it a try.”

A crucial factor will be preventing Barcelona creating chances on the break. “We need to control the play. They have outstanding counter-attacking players. If we don’t keep our shape, they’ll punish us brutally,” the coach warned. At the other end, Guardiola urged his men to take “the few chances that come our way. Obviously we have to attack better than we did in Barcelona, where we weren’t able to create meaningful chances.”

Müller looks to home support

The basic game plan is in place. The Spaniard will work on the details with his men in the hours leading up to kick-off. “The coach will get us fired up for the match,” said Thomas Müller, who reckons a key factor will be “passion, desire and support from the fans.” That was impressively demonstrated on Saturday when the crowd saluted the players despite a league defeat to Augsburg. “It was world-class and I was really blown away,” the World Cup winner admitted.

“Obviously we have ground to make up,” continued Müller, addressing the international press conference at the Allianz Arena, “we’re actually feeling slightly elated. We have nothing to lose and we have to go for it. We’ll give it everything and keep believing until the ref blows the final whistle.” The striker said he was not euphoric, “but not pessimistic either. We’ll work out a game plan and then pursue it to the end.”

Avoid conceding

More than anything else the men from Munich want to avoid conceding, as a single goal for Barça would leave FCB needing five to make the final. That is verging on the impossible, as the in-form Catalans have not let in a single goal in their last seven games. “The problem isn’t just Messi, it’s the whole Barça team,” Bayern full-back Rafinha pointed out.

Despite it all, Munich intend to dig deep one last time and perhaps achieve the seemingly impossible. “Look what happened at the weekend against Augsburg. A long ball, a penalty, a red card, and the game’s turned on its head,” recalled Müller. Rafinha was confident: “We know how good we are here at home with our fans behind us.” And Guardiola thought back to some glorious Champions League nights in the past. “Shakhtar, Porto. No-one expected victories by that kind of margin.”