Bayern Munich Coach Jupp Heynckes has praised his side for their spectacular Champions League win over Barcelona on Tuesday evening, crediting their hurt from failing to win the trophy last season as a motivating factor – but insisting it was not a performance unexpected considering their season so far, BBC
The runaway Bundesliga champions squashed La Liga side Barca 4-0, with a brace from Thomas Muller and a goal each from Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben putting Bayern in a commanding position ahead of the second-leg, to be played at the Nou Camp on May 1.
Bayern lost last season’s Champions League final on penalties to Chelsea in a match played at their own Allianz Arena. Having taken the lead, Bayern were pegged back shortly before full-time by a Didier Drogba goal and lost their nerve in the penalty shootout, Drogba delivering the Champions League to Stamford Bridge with his last action as a Chelsea player.
Heynckes believes that the form shown against Barcelona is not out of kilter with his side’s season, and that the pain of losing last year and the year before helped produce such a striking result. He said: “We’ve been playing extraordinary football all season. It was not a really big surprise to me that we scored four goals. We have played to a high level all season.
“My players were fantastic again. Falling short of success in the past two seasons has only made them more hungry for success this year. We defended so well and in possession we have style of play going forward. We have a lot of creativity and a lot of class and quality.”
Heynckes is to retire at the end of this season, to be replaced by former Barca Coach Pep Guardiola. The winners of this tie will face either Real Madrid or Borussia Dortmund, who meet in Dortmund on Wednesday evening.
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