Jupp Heynckes not picky about Bayern Munich’s semi-final opponents
The Germans could face Real Madrid, Liverpool or Roma.
Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes is not picky about who his side will face in the Champions League semi-finals.
The German champions booked their spot in the last four for the seventh time in the last nine years after a goalless draw with Sevilla in the second leg of their quarter-final sent them through 2-1 on aggregate.
Liverpool, Roma or Real Madrid wait in the next round but Heynckes knows a tough encounter lies in wait, whoever they are pitted against.
He said at his post-match press conference, reported on UEFA’s Twitter feed: “No coach ever has a preference. Look at what happened to Barcelona yesterday. The games will be tight.
“You saw yesterday in Manchester and Rome that anything can happen. You cannot underestimate any team that has qualified for a semi-final.
“Of course we are ambitious and want to reach the final.
“The semi-final games will be tough – but we have the ambition and the motivation to face up to those challenges.
“Some big teams have gone out. There are always surprises in the Champions League. I think we have a good chance. My players have big ambitions to win.”
It was far from a vintage Bayern display as they were kept from scoring in the opening 45 minutes for only the third time in 50 games, while they also were denied victory on home soil for just the third time this season.
For Sevilla, it could have been different had Joaquin Correa’s header gone in instead of hitting the crossbar, but in truth a comeback never looked likely.
They also ended with 10 men when Correa’s evening got worse after a late tackle on Javi Martinez saw him dismissed.
Heynckes was, though, happy with a clean sheet.
He added: “Sevilla played a good game today and showed they had belief, despite losing the first leg 2-1.
“We showed fight with our performance today.
“I’m very happy that we didn’t concede because that’s something I demanded from my team. You have to keep a clean sheet in games like this.
“The goalless draw was enough for us to go through today. We didn’t let ourselves get flustered and become nervous.
“Sevilla had some good moments, but sometimes you just need to keep a clean sheet. That’s what I told the players and that was enough tonight.”
Sevilla boss Vincenzo Montella knew Correa’s header hitting the bar was a pivotal moment.
He said in his post-match press conference: “We have fallen proudly.
“The team played a good game throughout, we played with balance and we had our chances, not very clear ones, but if there was a goal in the second half from the head of Correa….
“The team have played with spirit and personality.
“It was not easy, our opponents can compete to win the Champions League. We had bad luck with two goals at home and today with the crossbar, football is like that and we have to accept it.”