Bayern Munich coach Jürgen Klinsmann admitted Barcelona were a cut above his side after the German champions were knocked out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage following a 1-1 draw at the Fussball Arena.
Franck Ribery had given the hosts a second-half lead, but Seydou Keita equalised to seal a 5-1 aggregate victory and semi-final date with Chelsea for the Catalan side.
“We reacted excellently to the defeat in the first leg and played very well against the clear favourites for the title,” said Klinsmann. “Obviously we dreamed about causing a sensation and hoped to score early. If this had happened, Barcelona might have been rattled. Ribéry scored and if we had gone 2-0 up, anything could have happened. However, their equaliser settled the tie once and for all.
“We learnt a lot from these two matches and we know that we all have to improve before next season in the UEFA Champions League. We had great plans but were left stranded by a team who are a notch above us.”
Tito Vilanova, Barcelona assistant coach, standing in for the suspended Pep Guardiola, said his side had been happy to contain Bayern.
“We knew ball possession would not be very important in this game,” he said. “We had to play with tactical discipline and not be too offensive. It was obvious that another goal for us would improve our position enormously, however we didn’t want to risk too much. We prepared perfectly for the match together with coach Josep Guardiola and made the necessary decisions, so it wasn’t difficult for me to carry out the role.
“We are happy to be in the semi-finals. We will focus on Chelsea later on; now we have to concentrate on our tasks in the Liga. But we know Chelsea are very strong opponents after they reached the final last season.”