Bayern Munich 'always' in Champions League semifinals - Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola complimented his Bayern Munich team's stability over the years, saying "[we] are always there," after the team advanced to the Champions League semifinals with a 3-2 aggregate win vs. Benfica.
Bayern went into the match with a 1-0 lead following the first leg in Munich, but found themselves on level terms with the Portuguese club after Raul Jimenez scored from a header in the 27th minute.
Arturo Vidal would level for the visitors and Thomas Muller would score early in the second half to effectively put the tie away. Benfica did score to level the match at 2-2, when Talisca converted a marvelous free kick in the 76th minute.
However, the Bundesliga giants wouldn't let Benfica pull off a dream fightback, and will now play in a fifth-consecutive Champions League semifinal.
"Huge compliments to the club. It just shows the stability of the club [that we're in the semifinals again]," Guardiola said. "Bayern are always there. Huge compliments to my team and my players.
"We've had injuries but reached this stage with David Alaba and Joshua Kimmich in defence. We created enough chances to deserve to win the game.
"I am so happy. The people have no idea how complicated this competition is. It's big compliment to this club that we're here again. Five semifinals in a row is incredible.
"Different coaches, different players, but the club is always there. This stability is great."
Guardiola did not let his players forget that they were in the same position last year, but failed to reach their ultimate goal after losing to Barcelona in the semifinal round. The team also lost to Dortmund in the 2014-15 DFB Pokal semis, another competition in which Bayern will look for redemption when they face Werder Bremen on April 19.
"Semifinal in the DFB-Pokal and the Champions League -- we were there one year ago," Guardiola said. "Hopefully we have one more match in both competitions than back then."