Pep Guardiola said he’d given his life to Bayern Munich over the previous three years and refused to accept the inability to provide the Champions League meant he’d failed in his assignment to the German team. Nevertheless, Benfica showed their fighting qualities to limit Pep Guardiola’s side to only any one particular goal and, buoyed by the accomplishment of their compatriots Porto in defeating Bayern 3-1 in Portugal last season, will be convinced of pulling off a shock by reaching the semifinals for the very first time since 1990. They defend quite high up the field and are quite competitive and tight, making it difficult to pass the ball through. But we’ll attempt to win the match because that’s the Bayern attitude. A draw would do for Guardiola’s guys while Benfica will be compelled to come out of their defensive shell to assault them, which might play into the German team’s hands. I don’t have any doubt about it. Benfica’s hopes could be dented by the lack of two of their assaulting abilities. On the other hand, the hosts permitted Monchengladbach to recover the initiative, and there were even some whistles from the home crowd as Bayern’s defensemen at one point passed the ball among themselves. The Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels has submitted an official request to join Bayern Munich next season, with discussions over a transport fee now anticipated to be finalised. This week Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, the Bayern chairman, revealed that talks with Hummels had already started over a summer move. A statement from Dortmund on Thursday affirmed that the Germany international, 27, had signalled his intent to depart the Westfalenstadion, although there still is apparently a stumbling block over his cost.
Bayern threw themselves into the strike without offering much of a risk in the closing minutes, while Monchengladbach held on to stop a run of four consecutive away defeats and move above Hertha Berlin on the table. For the third season in sequence, Guardiola lost at the semi-final phase of Europes top-notch contest on this occasion, to Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid. Bayern won 2-1 on the night but it wasn’t enough to prevent an away goals leave, and Simeone paid tribute to them as the greatest team he’d ever confronted. It was my intention to realise this, Guardiola, who’ll join Manchester City in the summer, said. At Barcelona, everyone asked me this question, and it’s been the same thing here. We’ve tried our best, but it hasn’t worked out. About my interval here, it’s up to you what you need to believe. I think I’ve helped the players here. I’m quite satisfied with the performances. Perhaps it wasn’t enough, but ultimately, I’m happy with everything that’s occurred here. Everything is great. I’ve done my best. The players understand that. And that’s that! Bayern scored early and threatened to steamroller Benfica. But the Portuguese giants grew into the match, held firm, and are right in this tie at the halfway point. They passed up a few excellent opportunities to catch a precious away goal, but they’ll be happy enough to have restricted Bayern to their one-goal house success. The house fans aren’t as content, however, and you get the feeling they won’t be that sad to see the back off Pep Guardiola. The second leg in Lisbon guarantees to be a cracker. Defenseman Mats Hummels of Borussia Dortmund has conveyed his desire to leave the team in the summer and needs to join the League opponents Bayern Munich next season, read the statement on the team’s official site. Borussia Dortmund’s board has later determined to make this type of change depending on whether Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund can agree on a reasonable fee. Up to now, Bayern Munich hasn’t made an offer.
The news will come as a shock to a host of teams who’d needed to sign Hummels, including Manchester United. Perhaps we played not so good at other times. I’m quite proud. It was a real honour to train these players. I’ve truly loved it here, and I’m certain the future at Bayern Munich is perfect for these players. Titles are only numbers, figures, he said. I needed to accomplish the Champions League final here, and I didn’t realise it, but it doesn’t alter my view about the manner I’ve performed. Yes, we’re miserable now, and we need to visit Ingolstadt [on Saturday] to procure the Bundesliga title. It was especially so in the first half, Simeone said. That was incredible how they played. It was unbelievable to see such intensity. I was literally in love with this match. But we soaked up the pressure, and we won the game. We made do with the pressure they put on us. It’s simply amazing what we’ve attained. We’ve defeated two of the most dominant teams in Europe first Barcelona in the quarterfinal and now Bayern. Vidal had most of the opportunities for the remaining portion of the match, with Benfica’s defensemen doing good to stifle Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Miller, Bayern’s top-scoring forwards. Lewandowski missed the greatest chance to wrap it up in the 89th minute, with an open goal beckoning. We’d welcome enough goal opportunities. Well go to Lisbon with the aim of winning the match, of scoring a goal or two, Pep Guardiola said after his 150th competitive game responsible for the Bundesliga team. Benfica substitute goalkeeper Anderson made several significant blocks with the captain, Nicols Gain, and Pizzi posting the visitors biggest risk. Occasionally a 1-0 triumph must be enough, the Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said. We’re going to Lisbon and understand that it’s a close call. Is this the biggest letdown of my profession? No. You’re disappointed when you don’t play nicely. It’s a Champions League semifinal. Borussia Monchengladbach damaged Bayern Munich’s celebration when they struck back for a 1-1 draw on Saturday, pushing the Bavarians to wait at least another week to clinch a fourth consecutive Bundesliga title.
Bayern is offering to reach their fifth successive semi-final while Benfica, the Portuguese league leaders, are expecting to reach their first since 1990. Vidal scored with Bayern’s first foray forward. The Spanish fullback picked out Vidal in the middle with a precise cross. It’s not pleasant, it wasn’t our strategy, the Benfica trainer, Rui Vitoria, said on granting so early. But we came with a strategy and the players kept it stretched. It could have knocked us off our pace, but we responded very well. Bayern continued assaulting, with Douglas Costa examining Anderson from the right. Anderson was playing in place of the first-choice goalkeeper Julio Csar, who was outside with a groyne harm. Bayern was controlling possession with Benfica living on fights. Pizzi and Gaitan had joined for a well-worked free kick before the ball was deflected out for a corner. Atletico was quite defensive. We played to win, and we did that. We could have scored three or four tonight. My thought is to attack and go forward. The most significant idea is this team has a great future, with great players and a great attitude. I only want the best for the future on this team, and I expect Carlo Ancelotti [the incoming manager] can keep the same amount going. Vidal went close with another header before Benfica completed the half strongly with Vidal making an important block to refuse a violent strike from Giant. Victor Lindelof made a vital interception on Lewandowski at the start of the second half, before Benfica restarted getting back in amounts and closing down space. Jonas had spotted an excellent chance overly close to the underworked Bayern goalkeeper before Bernat drew his shot wide at the other end. Lahm, Javi Martnez and Alcantara subsequently scrambled back to refuse Jonas an equaliser.