Pulse.ng logo

Soccer-Guardiola hails Bayern's "super season" despite Barca loss

  • Published: , Refreshed:

By Karolos Grohmann

May 8 (Reuters) - Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola shrugged off criticism following their 3-0 loss to Barcelona in their Champions League semi-final, first leg this week, saying the German champions had played an outstanding season.

Guardiola was brought in two years ago to keep them in Europe's elite following their 2013 treble-winning season under then coach Jupp Heynckes.

But the Spaniard, who won 14 titles in four seasons at Barcelona, saw his team lose in the last four to Real Madrid last season.

Another likely semi-final exit this year, with Barcelona going into Tuesday's return leg with a clear advantage, has taken some of the shine off Guardiola's image as a winner, especially after Bayern reached three finals in four Champions League seasons before him.

"Super season, super season," Guardiola snapped on Friday, when asked how he would rate the current campaign, with Bayern likely to end up just with the championship, the second under the coach.

"If a team chase three titles, win the league... reach the German Cup semi-final and the Champions League semi-final then it is a super, super season," he said ahead of Saturday's league game against Augsburg.

"How many times did Bayern win a treble? How many?," he asked reporters. "One time? One time, okay. Of course we wanted to win the treble but it is still an amazing season."

Bayern secured the German title with four games to spare last month.

But it is exactly the treble that Guardiola had been hired to deliver, with the coach himself only weeks ago saying that he was aware the league title was not enough for Bayern and only a treble would do.

Their loss in Spain on Wednesday, with Barca striking three times in 17 minutes in the second half, was their third consecutive defeat in all competitions, after their German Cup exit on penalties to Borussia Dortmund and their league loss to Bayer Leverkusen last week.

Guardiola's tactics, including the substitution of in-form Thomas Mueller in Barcelona, were questioned more than ever before while his limited use of Mario Goetze has also raised eyebrows this season, especially give the string of injuries in recent months.

Guardiola said while the 3-0 deficit against Barca made things extremely hard for Bayern, chasing a sixth European crown, they still had a small chance.

"We played okay in Barcelona, but not perfect. We want to play our best on Tuesday so that we have the best possible chance," he said. There are still 90 minutes left and in football a lot can happen."

As for any talks regarding a contract extension past 2016, Guardiola said: "It is still too early." (Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Nigeria?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +2349055172167, Social Media @pulsenigeria247: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng. More information here.