Bayern Munich turned on the style to progress to the last four of the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, and Pep Guardiola feels there is still more to come.
It looked as though the Germans could be heading out of Europe when they suffered a surprise 3-1 defeat to Porto in the quarter-final first leg last week, but by the time the half-time whistle blew in the return leg, there was little doubt they would overturn this deficit as goals from Thiago Alcantara, Jerome Boateng, Thomas Muller and a Robert Lewandowski brace gave them a 5-0 lead.
Jackson Martinez pulled one back for the Portuguese side on 73 minutes, but this was never going to be anything more than a consolation especially when Xabi Alonso scored in the latter stages to seal a 6-1 win on the night and a 7-4 aggregate success for Bayern. Yet speaking after the match, Guardiola revealed that he still believes his star-studded squad can improve further.
“It’s easy to love my players now,” the Spaniard told ZDF Television. “I am the coach of extraordinary players. I didn’t expect such a first half. We can still play better. We lost the ball here and there and we can improve on that. We had a few problems in the second half. They had only a few chances in the second half but you should never relax in the Champions League.”
Bayern remain on course for another extraordinary season, as they just need to win one of their remaining five matches to retain the Bundesliga title and they are also on target to keep their grip on the domestic cup as they take on Borussia Dortmund in the semi-final later this month, the winner of which will play either Wolfsburg or third division Arminia Bielefeld.
Meanwhile, it was also a comfortable night in the Champions League for Spanish giants Barcelona. Leading 3-1 from the first leg in France, The La Liga leaders put Paris Saint Germain out of sight within the first half of the second leg when Neymar scored twice to wrap up a 5-1 aggregate victory. Like Bayern, the Camp Nou side are also in contention for a treble this season.
Of the two sides through to the semi-finals on Tuesday night, who would you back to lift the Champions League – Barcelona or Bayern Munich? Let us know your thoughts below.