Thursday, May 2, 2013

Messi was NOT injured! Vilanova spared star from drubbing at hands of Bayern

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova
confirmed after his side's 7-0
aggregate Champions League semi-
final loss to Bayern Munich that star
forward Lionel Messi was not injured
but did not feature in the second leg
for fear of picking up a knock.
Newly crowned Bundesliga champions
Bayern prevailed 3-0 at the Nou Camp
this evening to seal an emphatic 7-0
aggregate triumph over the Catalan
club and set up an all-German
Wembley final against Borussia
Dortmund on May 25.
Leading 4-0 from the first leg, the
Bavarians were similarly clinical in
Catalunya with second-half goals from
Arjen Robben, Gerard Pique - who put
through his own net - and Thomas
Muller sealing a one-sided win over a
sorry Barca side for whom Messi was
an unused substitute.

'Messi felt good against Athletic
Bilbao (on Saturday), but in the final
minutes of the game at San Mames he
noticed a strange feeling,' Vilanova
said of the four-time reigning world
player of the year.
'He's not injured, but he felt he could
pick up an injury.
'Yesterday he trained, and also
today... but he did not feel well. He's
an explosive player and he could
break. So, maybe he could not help the
team.'
Vilanova, speaking at his post-match
press conference, acknowledged the
tie had been lost in Bavaria last
Tuesday.
'To lose, that can pass, but to lose 3-0
at home and 7-0 overall... It is clear
this is not the tie we wanted," he said
"If we had arrived at 100 hundred per
cent, it could have been different. I
believe the first leg weighed heavily
on us. I do not want to recall how they
got those goals.'
Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes
acknowledged that the absence of
Argentina forward Messi had had an
effect but felt it should not detract
from his side's achievement.
He said on German television channel
ZDF: 'Messi's (absence) surprised us
and, even though it's clear that we've
had an excellent game, you need to
accept that Barcelona are one thing
with Messi another without Messi.
'If we look at the whole tie, we've won
7-0. That couldn't be more clear and
now we have to enjoy it.'

Rested: Lionel Messi was not risked
against Bayern Munich on Wednesday