Barcelona coach Luis Enrique saw his team beat Bayern Munich 5-3 on aggregate to reach their eighth European Cup final on Tuesday, but said it had been a nerve-racking experience having to watch their stellar run from the sidelines.
The Catalans are in the running for a treble of titles in the coach's first season in charge and Tuesday's 3-2 defeat at Bayern allowed them to advance to the final for the first time since 2011 courtesy of their 3-0 first-leg win.
While their stunning football has been a pleasure to watch for both fans and neutrals this season, the coach confessed it had not been so enjoyable from the dugout.
"I have suffered, I have suffered in each and every round," he said.
Barcelona have encountered little resistance in Europe having eased past Manchester City and Paris St Germain in the previous rounds.
They have found goals easy to come by with their South American trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar in sensational form, scoring 25 times between them in the competition.
"We don't need to talk about the trio's qualities. They understand each other very well. They have a solidarity and it is extremely difficult to control them," Luis Enrique said.
Neymar scored twice in Munich to ease some of the coach's suffering as Barca led 2-1 at halftime.
"We brought a good result to Munich but Bayern took the lead and we reacted well after that," the coach added.
"We levelled and we created chances. The team was good and had the lead at halftime. The second half was physical and the Bayern players fought and wanted to turn the game."
Bayern Munich vs Barcelona player ratings
Bayern Munich vs Barcelona player ratings
1/22 Neuer 5
Far from his impregnable best, the big German was left stranded for Barca’s first goal and beaten at his near post for the second.
2/22 Rafinha 5
Was ineffective at both ends of the pitch tonight. The full-back was typically tidy in possession but couldn’t get anywhere near the dangerous Neymar.
3/22 Boateng 5
Finished the first leg on his back side and didn’t cover himself in glory tonight either. An absolute shadow of his stunning World Cup winning form.
4/22 Benatia 5
His header gave Bayern hope early on but equally killed off their chances with some shocking defending. Failed to assert any control on the Barca front three.
5/22 Bernat 7
Tried to get forward at every opportunity but his attacking exploits left Bayern light at the back when Barca broke away. One of Bayern’s better performers.
6/22 Lahm 6
A night to forget for the Germany captain. Largely ineffective in his new central midfield role, Lahm only came into the game when he retreated to wide positions.
7/22 Thiago 7
Looked very busy against his old club and was probably the pick of Bayern’s midfield ranks. Tenacious pressing interrupted the probing of Busquets and Iniesta.
8/22 Alonso 6
As always impeccable in possession but failed to create many chances from his deep midfield role. The Spaniard gave next to no support to his defence who were repeatedly overrun
9/22 Schweinsteiger 6
The World Cup winner was tireless in his work ethic but couldn’t stamp his authority on the game. The midfielder was a merely a gateway to Barca’s counter attacking moves.
10/22 Muller 7
The prolific forward was always a threat and his industrious pressing didn’t go unnoticed. Linked up well with Lewandowski on countless occasions.
11/22 Lewandowski 7
The Polish striker looked a class apart once again and restore some pride to the Bayern ranks going forward. Excellent footwork and finish for the second goal.
12/22 Ter Stegen 9
The Barca keeper pulled off countless world class saves to deny the Bayern revival. Outshone his fellow countryman Neuer with ease.
13/22 Dani Alves 7
Gave Barca added width when Messi came inside and was always faultless in possession. Sensational chipped pass to Suarez for the first goal.
14/22 Pique 6
Typically assured at the back even if he struggled to deal with the impressive Lewandowski at times. Kept order at the back Bayern pressed heavily.
15/22 Mascherano 6
Once again showed his quality as a centre back even if he lost out on the physical battles with Lewandowski and Muller. Efficient sweeper.
16/22 Alba 6
Not the best night for the lightning fast left back. Got forward well as always but couldn’t deal with the movement and physical presence of Muller.
17/22 Rakitic 6
Showed his ability on the ball finding Messi and Suarez on countless occasions in the first half. His influence dipped after the break though.
18/22 Busquets 7
Classic performance from the Spaniard. Strong, clever and precise, Busquets took the sting out of the game well in the second half. Won his decisive battle with Thiago in the midfield.
19/22 Iniesta 7
Controlled Barca’s tempo in the first half unleashing Neymar and co to a devastating effect. Still has an incredible impact at this level.
20/22 Messi 7
Although he played something of an understudy role this time around, Magical Messi was still a class act behind Suarez and Neymar.
21/22 Suarez 8
Despite his early departure, Suarez played his part in ultimately killing the tie off before the break. Put both goals on a plate for Neymar.
22/22 Neymar 8
The Brazilian clinical brace ensured that he took the starring role tonight. He has now scored 8 goals in his last seven games. Deadly.
Neymar's goals, however, meant Bayern needed to score five more and despite netting twice through Thomas Mueller and Robert Lewandowski, Barca confidently hung on to secure a ticket to the final in Berlin next month.
They are also one win away from clinching the Spanish league title and are through to the Spanish Cup final.
"We have reached a wonderful goal. We forced them to take risks and I am very satisfied with our performance," said the Barca coach.
"We are now just one game away from each of the three titles and it is a great feeling. We now have to reach those goals."Reuse content