Football: Guardiola gunning for 'final' against Juventus after beating Bremen

Bayern Munich forward Thomas Mueller celebrates scoring a goal against Werder Bremen. PHOTO: REUTERS

(AFP) - Record-breaker Pep Guardiola described Wednesday's crunch Champions League clash at home to Juventus as effectively being 'a final' for Bayern Munich after they warmed up by routing Werder Bremen.

Thomas Mueller and Thiago Alcantara both netted twice on Saturday in Bayern's 5-0 victory after defeat at home to Mainz and a draw at Borussia Dortmund.

With second-placed Dortmund hosting Mainz on Sunday, Guardiola's Bayern took the chance to reopen an eight-point gap in the Bundesliga, but he says all focus is now on Juventus.

Bayern host Juve having drawn their last-16, first-leg 2-2 in Turin after throwing away a two-goal lead.

"We played well against Bremen, that is the most important thing for me," said Guardiola.

"I'm the coach, but also a fan of this team and our positioning was better.

"We didn't let them counter-attack much and it was important to win after the defeat to Mainz. Now we have four days before our 'final' against Juventus.

"We'll need our fans behind us from the first to the last minute in order to reach the quarter-finals."

Bayern, who won the league title two years ago with seven games to spare, set another club record against Bremen by winning Guardiola's 75th match of his 94 league games in charge for an 80 per cent win ratio.

The victory over Bremen came with Werder missing injured former Bayern striker Claudio Pizarro, while captain Clemens Fritz and dead-ball expert Zlatko Junuzovic were suspended.

"People think it's easy to win 5-0, but every game is like a final for us to stay ahead of Dortmund," said Guardiola, who rested Dutch star Arjen Robben from the match-day squad.

Alongside Mueller and Thiago, France winger Kingsley Coman was outstanding and set up three of Bayern's five goals with pin-point crosses.

"It was a great match, we can be very happy with the result," beamed the on-loan Juventus forward who will again be facing his parent club at the Allianz Arena.

There were several plus points for Guardiola.

Thiago scored his first goals since February 2014 after a horror run of injuries and Germany's World Cup winner Mario Goetze started his first league game since October after a persistent groin problem.

"I'm just pleased to be back and that I can play free of injury," said Goetze, after playing 54 minutes of his 150th Bundesliga game.

"I need to start off slowly and find my rhythm again."

Mueller was in sharp form for both of his goals. He eventually made way for Lewandowski, who claimed Bayern's fourth and his 34th goal of the season in all competitions.

He now has 19 league goals and is third only to Lewandowski (24) and Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (22) in Germany's top flight.

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