Son nets twice as Tottenham ease past Red Star

Pep Guardiola says Bayern Munich must attack Barcelona to beat them

05/05/2015

Pep Guardiola insisted he was "here to win" as he marks his return to Barcelona in Wednesday night's Champions League semifinal at the Nou Camp, while adding his team must attack Luis Enrique's defence.

The 44-year-old, now the Bayern Munich coach, is preparing to go head to head for the first time with the club with which he is synonymous.

Guardiola won 14 titles, including two Champions Leagues, during four golden years in charge at Barcelona, where he also enjoyed a glittering playing career.

The Spaniard is now hoping to guide Bayern to similar success and finds Barca, now managed by his former teammate Enrique, standing in the way of a Champions League final appearance.

Although he is likely to get a warm welcome, he told a press conference ahead of the first leg of this much-anticipated heavyweight contest: "I am here not as a tribute, but I'm here to do my job, with Bayern Munich to reach the final.

"Barcelona was the most important part in my life. Barcelona was everything, but I'm here to win."

While the Bayern boss is wary of the threat of three-times world player of the year Lionel Messi, he admitted the Argentina international was "just too good" to be stopped.

He added: "It's almost impossible to play defensively against Barcelona. We have to attack. We need to score in Barcelona.

"There is no defensive system that can stop him. Messi is unstoppable. He is just too good. But we can try (and hope that) he does not come into (possession of) the ball."

Bayern have enjoyed a fine season and the Bundesliga title is already secured, but their form has just tailed off. Borussia Dortmund ended their treble hopes in the DFB-Pokal last week and they also head to Spain after a defeat at Bayer Leverkusen.

In addition to that they have a number of injury issues, but the meeting is nevertheless a mouthwatering one.

Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski is expected to defy facial injuries to play. The Poland international fractured his jaw and cheekbone in the cup defeat by Dortmund but could start wearing a protective mask.

Guardiola said he would leave the decision over Lewandowski until Wednesday, adding: "I'll talk to him. I want to know how he's feeling with the mask. Of course we need 11 players who are 100 percent.

"If he is fit, he will play, sure, but that just depends on his fitness."

Lewandowski's presence will give Guardiola's men a lift with Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, David Alaba and Sebastian Rode missing through injury.

Boateng faces a tough task as he comes up against Barca's formidable attacking trio of Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar but the World Cup-winner is not fazed.

"It's not just their strikers, Barcelona have world-class players throughout their whole team," said Boateng. "We know that it's going to be difficult at the Nou Camp, but we are Bayern Munich.

"We are heading there to get a result. We desperately want to make the final."

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