Bayern Munich attacker Thomas Muller believes he and his team-mates have sent out a big statement to the teams left in the Champions League after thrashing Barcelona – and insists the Bavarians are in “incredible shape” ahead of a mouthwatering potential semi-final showdown with Manchester City.
Bayern inflicted Barca’s heaviest ever European defeat, putting eight past the Catalan giants in a ruthless display in Lisbon – the first time the La Liga side have conceded so many times in one match since 1946.
Although David Alaba’s own goal cancelled out Muller’s fourth minute opener, Bayern led 4-1 by half-time after Ivan Perisic and Serge Gnabry netted before Muller scored his second.
Luis Suarez made it 4-2 after the break before Bayern turned it up another gear, with Joshua Kimmich, Robert Lewandowski and Philippe Coutinho – who scored a brace against his parent club – all netting.
That sealed a disastrous evening for Lionel Messi and co. which will surely see Quique Setien sacked as Barca boss in the coming hours.
This is the first time in 15 years that neither Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo will be in the semi-finals of the Champions League.
And the victory sets Bundesliga champions Bayern up for a potential showdown with City, who take on Lyon in the fourth and final quarter-final on Friday night.
The French club will be no walkover for Pep Guardiola’s side after they dumped out Juventus over two legs but City are heavily fancied to progress and set up a showdown with their manager’s former club.
Bayern are Europe’s in-form team but City have plenty of weaponry to hurt Hansi Flick’s team themselves having ended the Premier League season with five straight wins, scoring 21 goals.
Yet Muller insists Bayern are full of confidence – though he also admitted that he and his team-mates cannot afford to get complacent with such a victory as they seek a sixth Champions League triumph.
And the World Cup winner says that Bayern are here only to win the European Cup, having not done so for seven years, losing in the semi-finals on four occasions since then – three times under Guardiola.
Goalscorer Muller, who was also involved in Germany’s iconic 7-1 defeat of Brazil in the 2014 World Cup, told BT Sport: “It’s tough to explain, I think in this moment our team is in an incredible shape right now.
“Thank you for the man of the match trophy but I think we have maybe 12 or 15 players more that deserve this trophy as well. We work so hard, we work with this intensity.
“I think for everybody out there it’s tough to beat us. We had so much fun today and at the moment together.
“For our style of play, it doesn’t matter who the names of the players are.
“Of course they have special players and we have to be even more aggressive and come back in the situation again and again and again.
“When somebody presses and they get through, it’s not a problem, the next guy has to come and if he gets through, the next guy has to come.
“We kept the ball and then we have so much talent in the offensive line, Philippe [Coutinho] comes in, Kingsley [Coman] comes in.
“So we feel good, you can imagine you’d feel good after this match. It was very special. It’s a little bit special, this tournament is special.
“But we have to be quiet, we have to regenerate.
Muller admits that while Bayern sent a message to City and the other two semi-finalists – Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig – it does not give them any advantage in the final four.
“Of course it’s a big statement but I think the next game, the semi-final, it starts 0-0. The statement doesn’t matter,” the 30-year-old continued.
“I know the other teams watch our game and they can be impressed or not, but it starts from 0-0 and have to win the next game to reach our big goal, to reach the final.
“We have to be quiet, we have to be calm, we have to be relaxed but also today we have to be very happy.
“Tomorrow morning when we wake up and answer the messages on our phones from home and the whole world then we have to focus and concentrate on our next game. That’s the business.
“We are not here to win the quarter-final or the semi-final, we’re here to win the final.
“I know these tournament situations a lot. Most of the time after these big wins it’s more difficult so we have to be careful.”
Source Daily Express :: Sport Feed