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Bayern buoyed for Barca showdown

China Daily | Updated: 2020-08-10 09:10
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Robert Lewandowski is hoisted by Alvaro Odriozola after netting Bayern Munich's fourth goal in the 4-1 win over Chelsea. [Photo/Agencies]

MUNICH, Germany-Treblechasing Bayern Munich is relishing a Champions League quarterfinal against Barcelona after Robert Lewandowski netted twice to seal a 4-1 home win over Chelsea on Saturday in their last-16, return-leg tie.

"The anticipation is enormous. Barcelona has a good team with very good players, but if you look at the last few weeks, we can fly to Portugal with a lot of confidence," said Bayern defender David Alaba.

Lewandowski, the Champions League's top scorer, bagged his 12th and 13th goals in Europe this season and played a part in all four Bayern goals in Munich on Saturday.

Leading 3-0 from the first leg at Stamford Bridge in February, before the coronavirus pandemic halted the competition, Bayern progressed 7-1 on aggregate.

"We can be pleased, it was our first game for a month and it's not easy to keep the rhythm," added Alaba. "We have prepared for this for the last two weeks and you could see the result."

The Bundesliga and German Cup champion will meet Barcelona next Friday in Portuguese capital Lisbon for a place in the semifinals.

Lewandowski netted a penalty with just 10 minutes gone at Allianz Arena.

Winger Ivan Perisic then doubled Bayern's lead before England striker Tammy Abraham tapped home to give Chelsea brief hope.

However, midfielder Corentin Tolisso put the result beyond doubt when he fired home a Lewandowski pass with 14 minutes left.

"I am really happy with how we played over the 90 minutes, the first 30 minutes we shut Chelsea out," said Bayern head coach Hansi Flick.

This was a world-class display from Lewandowski who added a late header to his pair of assists.

He is now four short of Cristiano Ronaldo's record of 17 Champions League goals, from the 2013-14 campaign.

"It's not a goal of mine," said Lewandowski when asked about Ronaldo's record. "We have a few more games in the knockout round and I am just as happy creating goals as scoring them."

The Poland star was also coy when asked about a rivalry with Lionel Messi, who netted a stunning solo effort as Barcelona beat Napoli 3-1 for a 4-2 aggregate victory on Saturday in Spain.

"We have to perform well and show our quality as a team against a good Barcelona side, it's a big game for everybody."

'Good exercise'

Chelsea manager Frank Lampard insisted his young side is still a work-in-progress after the mauling.

"It's a good exercise for us to go up against Bayern and their Champions League experience, with a lot of our players having debut seasons," said the 42-year-old.

Chelsea was without the injured Christian Pulisic, Cesar Azpilicueta, Pedro and Willian, while Jorginho and Marcos Alonso were both suspended.

"I can see where I want us to go and I know we'll be back," added Lampard.

"When you match our Champions League appearances to theirs, I saw lots of good things in the team and also some of the bad we have seen this season.

"It was a hard start for us with conceding two early goals and the result didn't quite reflect the game, but respect to Bayern, they deserved the win."

When quizzed on Bayern's chances in the "final eight" tournament, where the remaining ties will be played as one-off matches, Lampard replied: "They have a lot of experience and know how to win this competition, so, yeah, they are among the favorites."

Agence France-presse

 

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