Vilanova: Bayern physically stronger

Tito Vilanova reflected post-match on the ‘killer blow’ for Barcelona that was Arjen Robben’s goal and on how Bayern were at a better level physically.

Barca were defeated 3-0 at the Camp Nou by the Germans in Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg, thanks to second half goals from Robben and Thomas Muller either side of a Gerard Pique own-goal.

“Congratulations to Bayern on reaching the final – they really demonstrated the level they're at,” Vilanova told reporters afterwards.

“I would like to thank our fans for backing us until the end. My team stood up to the challenge all the way through.

“I told them not to drop their heads and we competed well in the first half. Without doubt the goal Bayern scored at the start of the second hurt us a lot and was the killer blow.

“Bayern got to this stage of the tournament at a great level physically, in comparison with ours. Their players are all in top form while ours aren't, and that's the area in which we need to recover.

“We had a lot of players missing too.”

Notably, Lionel Messi was left out of the starting line-up.

“Lionel Messi played in Bilbao [last weekend] because he felt better. In the final stages of that game he noticed a strange sensation but there wasn't an injury.

“He wasn't feeling well although he was training. He felt that in that condition he couldn't help the team. It's normal that you would notice an absentee like Messi.

“We wanted to compete better but the first leg really affected us. Those who were training well and haven't been injured [this season] did well for us.

“Both us and Real Madrid can compete against the German sides but in these semi-finals they were better than us.”

Vilanova was asked whether there were regrets in his team selection policy this season.

“We’ve given playing time to all the players this year. We have never distributed the load more than we have this season.

“I think that if you do not train and have discomfort, then that costs you in trying to find your form.

“Why did Xavi and Iniesta come off? We had to score six goals and at that moment I thought we couldn’t do it. Xavi has been dealing with injuries and we have an important game this Sunday.

“Will we make decisions in the summer? Every team in every year is reinforced. I said the other day that we should not change much since the players have to recover.

“Bayern have reached this point with all their players and us with many casualties. With the difficulties for the team, which have been great, you cannot win everything and it has weighed heavily across these two legs.”

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