Football Football

Guardiola: No handshake, no problem


WENGER-GUARDIOLAMUNICH, Germany, March 12- Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola would not say why he again failed to shake hands with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger following his side’s 3-1 aggregate win in their Champions League last-16 tie.

Eyebrows were raised when Guardiola and Wenger did not exchange pleasantries at the end of the first leg of the Champions League clash at Emirates Stadium last month, with a repeat performance sparking an inevitable question at the Spaniard’s post-match press conference.

“No problem,” was all Guardiola would say as he side-stepped questions over his relationship with Wenger. “As a trainer I respect everything about the opponents.”

Guardiola was also avoided getting drawn into Wenger’s accusations surrounding the ‘diving’ of his winger Arjen Robben, as he instead opted to focus on his side’s relatively comfortable passage to the Champions League quarter-finals.

“The players were very intelligent in the way we played,” reflected Guardiola. “We wanted to control the game. In the first half we only had one chance but we didn’t give them any chances, so we played very well in that aspect and we wanted to put a bit more pressure up front.

“Our goal was very good. We then conceded a goal that wasn’t so good, we had a few problems for about 15 minutes but we didn’t have any big problems in the game. We deserve this qualification for the next round.”

Robben was equally convinced his team deserved to win over the course of the two games, even though the reigning Champions League holders were not at their best in the second leg on home soil.

“In the end it was a deserved draw to take us through to the quarter-finals,” the Dutch winger told Sky Sports. “They have a very good team. If you give them the ball then they can play and cause trouble so the main thing for us was to keep possession and to control the game.

“I think we did that in the first half in which we played really well, created some chances and with a bit more luck we should have scored a goal.

“In the second half we scored a goal and it looked like a comfortable position but then it was 1-1 and for about five or 10 minutes we lost a little bit of control and we recovered.”