Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Guardiola snaps at suggestion Bayern faded in Juve draw

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 24 Feb 2016

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Pep Guardiola snapped at suggestions a lack of fitness caused Bayern Munich to wilt against Juventus, claiming: “I don’t give a f*** for the physical condition.”

Bayern produced a masterful away performance for the first hour in Turin on Tuesday, easing into a 2-0 lead courtesy of Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben.

It appeared at that point next month’s second leg of the Champions League round-of-16 tie at the Allianz Arena was going to be little more than a formality, but Juve battled back to draw 2-2 thanks to goals from Paulo Dybala and Stefano Sturaro.

However, Guardiola insisted the surrender of such an advantage was nothing to do with the perceived frailty of his squad, which has struggled with injuries this season.

“I know that in Italy you are all about physical condition, but I don’t give a f*** about the physical condition. It’s the mental condition that I care about.”

Guardiola went on to express his pride at how Bayern performed at the home of the Serie A champions, who have been in stunning form in recent months.

“I didn’t expect to come here and … Juve not to shoot on target, or that we would play 90 fantastic minutes.

“They have players like [Mario] Mandzukic, [Paul] Pogba and [Leonardo] Bonucci, one of my all-time favourite players. And we showed character.

“We could have won the game. We have a team with many youngsters. We will learn from this. Don’t forget it was Juventus.

“We played a great team, the finalists in the Champions League last year. We did not play a team from the provinces. They have won four titles in Italy. Last year, they went further than us.

“I am very happy with how I did. It is probably the evening that I am the most pleased as coach in my career.”

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