MUNICH, Germany, April 3 – Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon admitted his side could have no complaints after their 2-0 defeat at Bayern Munich in Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final, first leg.
“We were facing a great team, we were very confident, but we have nothing to complain about, because Bayern clearly deserved this victory and they also had other chances to score more during the game,” admitted the veteran goalkeeper.
Bayern take a significant lead to Turin for next Wednesday’s return leg after an early goal from Austria’s David Alaba and a second-half strike from Germany’s Thomas Mueller at the Allianz Arena put the Germans in pole position.
“We know there is still the return leg to play and we can certainly hope for a comeback,” said Juventus’ veteran Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo.
“Obviously it’s never easy when you play away and you concede a goal after less than one minute, but Bayern played better than us for the entire 90 minutes.
“It was very difficult for us to play our normal game.”
Juventus coach Antonio Conte said that his side had done well considering they had been facing one of the biggest team’s in club football.
“Bayern Munich are a super power and therefore are favourites for the title along with Barcelona and Real,” he said.
“You can feel they have something to prove after the lost final against Chelsea,”
With both sides top of their respective leagues, Bundesliga giants Bayern are bidding to reach their third Champions League final in four years while Juventus have won all five of their previous European quarter-finals against German teams.
The Italians will have to produce a top performance in Turin if they are to maintain that record as Bayern dominated, but victory came at a price with midfielder Toni Kroos expected to miss six weeks with a groin injury.
“It doesn’t look so good for Toni, we’re waiting for more results of tests, he’s an important player for us,” added Heynckes.
Heynckes demonstrated Bayern’s strength in depth by leaving Peru striker Claudio Pizarro on the bench — despite scoring four goals in Saturday’s 9-2 rout of Hamburg — with Mario Mandzukic starting as the lone striker.
“We are happy to have won, while keeping an Italian team scoreless, and I am happy with the manner,” said Heynckes.
“That was a high-class game for long periods and we controlled the game against the Italian champions.
“That was a remarkable performance from my team.
“We studied Juventus closely, prepared well for this game and we managed to disturb their game early and take Pirlo out of the game.”
Bayern needed just 26 seconds to take the lead when Alaba launched a left-footed rocket from 35 metres out which gave Buffon no chance.
Munich kept up the pressure and the second goal came on 63 minutes when Gustavo fired in a long-range shot, which Buffon parried, but Mandzukic was on hand to square the ball for Mueller to tap in.
There was more bad news for the Italians as midfielders Arturo Vidal and Stephan Lichtsteiner will both miss the return leg after picking up second-half bookings.
With Munich aiming to become the first German club to claim the treble of domestic league, cup and Champions League titles, Bayern can wrap up the Bundesliga on Saturday if they win at Eintracht Frankfurt.
With seven games left and a 20-point lead, it would be the earliest confirmed title win in the German league’s history.