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Heynckes hints at Spanish challenge in semis

Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes hailed his side’s concentration after they cruised into the Champions League semi-finals.

Just four days after wrapping up the Bundesliga title, Bayern completed a 4-0 aggregate victory over Juventus with a 2-0 win in Turin on Wednesday.

Mario Mandzukic and Claudio Pizarro were on the scoresheet and Heynckes was delighted his team kept their composure despite the league title win being on their minds.

“It’s not easy for players to be fully focused on a game after you’ve won the league just four days before,” Heynckes said.

“That appeared to be the case in the first 20 minutes when we often lost possession too easily and weren’t fluent in our game going forward, but slowly we took control of the match and improved a lot in the second half.

“In the end we fully deserved the win.”

Bayern will face Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona or Real Madrid in the semi-finals, with the draw to be made in Switzerland on Friday.

While pleased with their efforts so far this season, Heynckes said he wanted to see his team challenged by one of the La Liga giants.

“We discussed a few tactical matters at half-time. The tactical organisation had to improve and that’s what happened in the second half,” Heynckes said.

“We have received a lot of praise in the last few weeks. The positive aspect of this is that we recognised the praise but never let it influence our performances.

“We are having a very good season with some fantastic displays. We are Bundesliga champions, but we still have other goals.

“We will see if we are on the same level as Madrid or Barcelona.”

Heynckes said Bayern defender Daniel Van Buyten was substituted 10 minutes before half-time because he was having trouble with his vision.

Thu 11 April, 2013
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