Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Shaqiri admits to Barcelona distraction

SoccerNews in La Liga 16 Apr 2013

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Bayern Munich starlet Xherdan Shaqiri admits that it was tough to focus on their DFB Pokal semi-final ahead of the clash with Barcelona.

The Bavarians were drawn against the La Liga outfit in the last four of the Champions League last Friday – with the first leg scheduled for April 23.

Shaqiri, who was given a starting berth and scored the third goal of Tuesday’s 6-1 thrashing of Wolfsburg in the DFB-Pokal semi, said after the clash that concentration had not been easy to maintain.

“We wanted to reach the cup final but it was difficult for us. All talk about Barcelona had made it hard to concentrate. But we did it and had the game under control,” the winger said.

Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking lamented the heavy loss, which saw Bayern substitute Mario Gomez score a hat-trick in six minutes late on, after Mario Manduzkic’s opener, Arjen Robben’s second and Shaqiri’s third.

“For 65 minutes, it was a very good game from us but then they came at us hard,” he said.

“It should not have happened that we conceded six times with such a performance – it was two or three goals too much. This cannot be explained. But we have big plans and getting to the semi-final has still been a great success.”

The visitors pulled a goal back just before half-time to bring the score to 2-1 at the break, but they were unable to capitalise on Bayern’s moment of weakness which frustrated Brazilian defender Naldo, who praised his team-mate’s performances and bemoaned the slanted scoreline.

“We played very well. We tried to get a result, but the final score is too high – the game did not deserve to finish 6-1,” he said.

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