Real Madrid 1 Bayern Munich 0: Pep Guardiola insists he is 'proud' for dominating possession even though Bayern trail in Champions League semi-final
Guardiola's side had 72 per cent of the possession yet lost the first leg in Madrid due to an early Karim Benzema strike
Thursday 24 April 2014
Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola insisted he was proud of his team even though they lost the first leg of their Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid.
The European champions had 72 per cent of possession over the course of the game but were beaten by Karim Benzema's first-half goal, the result of a lightning-quick counter from Real.
Carlo Ancelotti's side created more goalscoring chances than the visitors, and could have been 3-0 up at half-time had Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria taken their chances.
Bayern's best opportunity fell to substitute Mario Gotze with five minutes remaining, but his effort was repelled by Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas.
However, Guardiola insisted he was pleased with how his players had performed.
"I could not be prouder of my team, because we dominated the ball," Guardiola told reporters.
"I told my players that I wanted them to play with courage and bravery and with respect to the people who were watching us, and that's what we did.
"I know how difficult it is to play against Real Madrid, as a player and as a coach, and many players are scared when they come here, but we showed character."
The coach also defended his team's tactics, when asked if they should have played in a more direct manner.
"The faster the ball goes forward, the faster Madrid bring it back to us," he said. "Madrid's virtue is that they are so quick on the counter-attack, they are unstoppable in that sense. Their players are footballers but they are like athletes, so playing back and forth is a risk."
Bayern winger Arjen Robben also insisted that the Bavarians had produced a strong performance.
He told German television station ZDF: "We head into the second leg with a lot of confidence. I think we played well, we were up against Real Madrid, a super team, and we dominated them.
"We created a couple of chances, Gotze's was excellent. Now we have to improve for the return match."
However, former Bayern player and coach and honourary president Franz Beckenbauer was less impressed.
He told Sky television: "Possession doesn't mean anything when your opponents create the better chances. We are lucky they only scored one."
Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti was delighted with the result.
"I'm happy in every sense, with the result, and with the effort the players made, because it was a very difficult game," he said.
"We played well and we knew how to cope under pressure.
"At first we were a little shy and had some problems, but we had more control of the play in the second half. We defended a lot, but we created some very good counter-attacks."
Cristiano Ronaldo made his first appearance in 22 days following a hamstring injury, but was replaced by Gareth Bale with 16 minutes left.
And Ancelotti explained he had always planned to bring his prolific forward off before the end of the game.
"The only risk was that the muscle would be tired so we were always planning on substituting him," he said. "It's normal that after 20 days out he was not going to be at 100 percent."
However, the Italian stated that Ronaldo and Bale, who began on the bench because he was recovering from a flu virus, would be able to start the second leg at the Allianz Arena.
Latest in Sport
Danny Ings: Liverpool target wanted by Borussia Monchengladbach... who could get Burnley striker for just £260,000
Humiliated Brazil look to continue recovery at Arsenal
Marco Reus vs Theo Walcott: Which is the better option for Arsenal?
England vs Lithuania match report: Harry Kane fires in first Three Lions goal just 78 seconds into debut to put icing on the cake
'God, she's beautiful': Embarrassment for basketball player Nigel Hayes after microphone picks up comment about female reporter
- 1 Finland schools: Subjects scrapped and replaced with 'topics' as country reforms its education system
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
- 5 Zayn Malik quits One Direction: Hundreds of workers request compassionate leave following band member's exit
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'