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Van Gaal warns Bayern as Leonardo exudes belief

Published: Monday 14 March 2011, 20.01CET
FC Bayern München have a 1-0 lead and the boost of a big weekend win but Louis van Gaal told them to keep focused against an FC Internazionale Milano side full of motivation.

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Tournament statistics

BayernInternazionale

Goals scored19
 
18
Attempts on target59
 
63
Attempts off target55
 
67
Corners56
 
52
Offsides17
 
21
Fouls committed113
 
107
Yellow cards17
 
19
Red cards0
1
 
Published: Monday 14 March 2011, 20.01CET

Van Gaal warns Bayern as Leonardo exudes belief

FC Bayern München have a 1-0 lead and the boost of a big weekend win but Louis van Gaal told them to keep focused against an FC Internazionale Milano side full of motivation.

FC Bayern München coach Louis van Gaal said his team would go into their round of 16 decider against FC Internazionale Milano with renewed confidence but warned his players not to lose concentration despite a 1-0 first-leg lead. Inter's Leonardo promised that the holders would be fired up and stressed that anything was possible for a team desperate to retain their hold on the UEFA Champions League trophy.

Louis van Gaal, Bayern coach
A professional football player must focus always on the next game, which is not that easy, because everything affects players' concentration. We had a very good game against Hamburg [winning 6-0 on Saturday] and it was a very important victory, so we have renewed confidence in ourselves, but Inter are very strong opponents; we have to be very careful.

At San Siro, Inter played the same way as they did in last year's final. From my point of view, we were the better side in both games; one we won, one we lost. Football is always about who scores the goals. My players have to be very focused, especially during opening minutes, so they can size up Inter's tactics and respond.

Bayern are a great club, perhaps the best organised club in the world. Any coach would love to work here, and since my relationship with my players has been very good, I am a little sad that I will be leaving in the summer. Even if we win the Champions League, nothing will change; we will go our separate ways because [my and the board's] philosophies are very different. But we cannot think about the past now. We must focus on the future and not forget that Bayern, the club and its fans, are the most important thing.

Leonardo, Inter coach
Of course, Bayern just need a 0-0 but I do not think the game will end that way. At San Siro any other result than the 0-1 was very possible and similarly tomorrow anything is possible. It would not be a wonder if Bayern won and also it would not be something special if we did.

Samuel Eto'o is a very special player. He has won the Champions League twice already and he has been playing very consistently for years now. He is definitely one of the best players in the world. Mario Gomez is in great shape. He is still young, but has already reached an extraordinary high level and has time to become even better.

I do not think either team has an advantage tomorrow and we have already got a clear strategy. I won't and I can't promise anything, but we will play with a lot of confidence, passion and desire. We know we have to be in our best shape tomorrow but I can see a lot of motivation. For my players it is a privilege to play games like this. These are games which have the feel of a final.

Team news
Bayern
Bayern have a full squad to choose from with the exception of long-term absentee Ivica Olić (cartilage damage). Danijel Pranjić, Mario Gomez and Toni Kroos are a booking away from a ban.

Inter
Lúcio (buttock) should be available but Esteban Cambiasso (thigh) has not played since the first leg, while Diego Milito (thigh) has been out since February and Walter Samuel (knee) may not play again this season. Lúcio and Cristian Chivu miss their next game if booked.

Latest results
Saturday: Bayern 6-0 Hamburger SV
(Robben 40 47 55, Ribéry 64, Müller 79, Westermann og 85)
Arjen Robben's 15-minute hat-trick helped Bayern return to form following three successive defeats. It was their biggest win since beating Hannover 96 7-0 on 17 April 2010, a game in which the Dutch winger scored his other treble for the club.

Friday: Brescia Calcio 1-1 Inter
(Caracciolo 84; Eto'o 18)
Samuel Eto'o's 35th goal in 43 appearances for club and country this term was not enough for Inter on an evening to forget for second-half substitute Iván Córdoba. The defender's error allowed Andrea Caracciolo to equalise and he was sent off a minute from time after conceding a penalty. Júlio César saved Caracciolo's spot kick.

Did you know?
Bayern have won all 20 of the UEFA competition ties in which they have won the first leg away, including the five in which the opening match finished 1-0. Their most recent triumphs after a 1-0 first-leg victory came in their 2000/01 UEFA Champions League campaign when Bayern beat Manchester United FC (quarter-finals) and Real Madrid CF (semi-final), both 2-1 at home, en route to lifting the trophy.

See the match background for more information.

Last updated: 27/11/12 18.32CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2011/matches/round=2000119/match=2003766/prematch/preview/index.html#van+gaal+demands+focus

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