Pep Thanks Players After Porto ‘Madness’

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Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola was delighted with his team’s performance after they thrashed Porto 6-1 to reach the Champions League semi-finals.

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Bayern started the second leg at the Allianz Arena needing to score twice without conceding, after a 3-1 defeat in the first leg in Portugal had put their weakened squad on the back foot.

It didn’t take the German champions long to get going and Thiago Alcantara found the net after 14 minutes, before Jerome Boateng equaled the aggregate scores and put Bayern ahead on away goals. But Die Roten weren’t done yet.

Polish striker Robert Lewandowski scored either side of a deflected effort from Thomas Muller and Bayern were 5-0 ahead at half time.

Jackson Martinez got a consolation goal for Porto before Xabi Alonso wrapped up the scoring with a free kick and the tie ended with a massive 7-4 aggregate score in favour of Bayern.

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“It’s madness,” said Guardiola. “I’m so happy to be coaching these outstanding players. I want to thank my players. Obviously we’re extremely pleased to be through to the semi-finals.

“We’ve had problems creating chances and scoring goals in recent matches, but today we’ve scored six. We had trouble controlling the game in the second half, partly because Porto changed their tactics. But they still had very few chances.

“Obviously tactics and the line-up are important, but at the end of the day mentalstrength makes the difference at this level.Let’s see who we get in the draw. We’ll giveit our best shot again in the semi-final.”

“I can’t put it into words,” said Muller. “It couldn’t have gone better! It was a huge effort and we made our own luck. It was phenomenal at times tonight.

“Having your backs to the wall can be a good thing sometimes. There’s been lots of talk about us being down to the bare bones, but they’re good bones.

“We ran out of steam in the second half. Porto switched things around and we lost our grip. But what is there to criticise whenyou’ve won 6-1?””We played really terrific football in the first half,” said Lewandowski.

“Lots of people thought we couldn’t do it, but we’re FC Bayern!””Bayern Munich are one of the best teams in the world and favourites to win the Champions League,” added Porto coach Julen Lopetegui.

“The margin of victory was deserved. You have to give them credit and congratulations. They were magnificent in the first half.”

Bayern joins Barcelona in the last four and will watch with interest on Wednesday to see who else makes it through to the semis, with either Juventus and Monaco and one team from Madrid (Real or Alteico) set to compete in the next round.

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