Bayern boss happy despite team toiling in drawn game

MUNICH (Germany) • Manager Jupp Heynckes expressed his delight at Bayern Munich's ability to keep their composure despite a frustrating 0-0 draw against 10-man Sevilla as they qualified for the Champions League semi-finals.

Bayern progressed to the last four on Wednesday for the seventh time in nine seasons, prevailing 2-1 on aggregate, following their first-leg victory in Spain last week.

Winger Franck Ribery had Bayern's best chance but he fired straight at Sevilla goalkeeper David Soria in the first half at the Allianz Arena.

Sevilla midfielder Joaquin Correa hit the Bayern crossbar with a header on the hour mark, before he was sent off just before the final whistle for a foul on defender Javi Martinez.

It was an ugly, scrappy affair in Munich, with Martinez finishing with a heavily bruised knee while team-mate James Rodriguez also picked up a thigh injury.

Heynckes was pleased his side ground out the result despite their inability to breach a resolute Sevilla defence. The LaLiga side were bidding to make it to the last four for the first time in their history and they restricted the hosts to just 51 per cent possession.

"You can't always play brilliantly and put the opponent to the wall, sometimes you have to just keep them scoreless," he said.

"They hit the bar, which didn't let us rest, but we didn't get nervous."

The 72-year-old, who will be leaving the German champions at the end of the season, also praised the discipline exhibited by his players.

Top scorer Robert Lewandowski, who was on the end of some rough treatment by the Sevilla defence and sported a swollen eye post-game, Ribery, Jerome Boateng and Joshua Kimmich had all been a yellow card away from a one-match ban but the quartet emerged unscathed for the last four.

Thomas Muller admitted it had been a difficult night for the Bavarians and their fans as they struggled to contain Sevilla playmaker Ever Banega. "In the first 20, 25 minutes, we managed to constrict Sevilla, but... we didn't get pressure on Banega," he said.

After Barcelona and Manchester City - the runaway league leaders in Spain and England respectively - crashed out on Tuesday, Bayern are the only team left in Europe who can still win a treble.

Liverpool, defending champions Real Madrid and Roma are also in today's draw for the semi-finals, but Heynckes admitted there were no easy games left. "Of course, we are ambitious and we want to reach the final but we have two hard games ahead of us, whoever we get," he said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2018, with the headline 'Bayern boss happy despite team toiling in drawn game'. Print Edition | Subscribe