Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola described his side’s 4-0 Champions League quarter-final first-leg victory against Bayern Munich at the Camp Nou as “the best display possible”.
Two goals from Lionel Messi along with strikes from Samuel Eto’o and Thierry Henry gave Barcelona a four-goal cushion by half-time and effectively ended Bayern’s hopes in this season’s competition.
“We won 4-0 and it is a great result,” said Guardiola. “I have to congratulate my players for their effort. They did everything right, they have talent and fought for every ball. I am thrilled we achieved so much and gave the best display possible.
“The key was that the ball did not get to [Luca] Toni and [Franck] Ribéry, whereas we were able to take the ball and move it quickly. Bayern barely reached our area so that is great news for us.
“The key to this season’s performances have been the effort of every player, which makes the opposition feel uncomfortable. We played really well as a team but we must continue to concentrate.
“Now we must try to score one goal in the second leg to go through to the semi-finals. We shouldn’t take the second leg for granted despite our advantage – it should be taken seriously.
Guardiola’s opposite number Jurgen Klinsmann highlighted the concession of two goals in the opening 12 minutes and the absence of key players from his line-up as decisive in his side’s downfall.
“From my point of view, the match was a great disappointment,” he said. “It is difficult to explain the game. The key was to fight for every ball but two goals early in the game did a lot of damage and we did not fight enough.
“We need to overcome the criticism. It is a very hard defeat and difficult to digest. Barcelona played very well and showed our limitations. It is quite possible that we have played against the future champions of Europe.
“Messi is a great player and it’s a pleasure to see him playing. We want to be among the four best teams in Europe but have a lot of improving to do.
“It is very difficult to compensate for the absences of important players like Lucio, [Daniel] Van Buyten and [Philipp] Lahm. We must concentrate on the fight for the Bundesliga title and ensure we are in this competition again next year.”