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Guardiola praises 'awesome' Barcelona

FC Barcelona coach Josep Guardiola admitted it is hard to stay at the top but heaped praise on his players after they beat AC Milan to reach the semi-finals for a fifth straight season.

Guardiola praises 'awesome' Barcelona
Guardiola praises 'awesome' Barcelona ©UEFA.com

Josep Guardiola, Barcelona coach
We were facing a team that has won seven European Cups, a side with very good players. We had 21 shots on goal against an Italian team, they had three. Having said that, if people came here tonight expecting Milan not to cross the halfway line and for us to win by a big margin, that was never going to happen. Milan have huge experience and pose a big threat. 

The season is so long, you have different spells. I don't think we're favourites [to win the trophy] – Bayern are there, Madrid [will be] there. We have won the Champions League twice in three years and have now reached five semi-finals in a row. The most difficult thing in the world is to continue because you can win anything once but to do it again is very, very tough. These players are awesome.

We have reached five semi-finals because of the effort everybody has put in and the players are happy to do their talking on the pitch. We always try to be at the highest level we can and we know we will have to reach the highest level if we want to go all the way to the final in Munich.

We are more than satisfied with the season so far and with the effort everyone has put in. We've won three trophies, are into the final of the Copa del Rey, involved in a difficult fight for the Liga, and have reached the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

Massimiliano Allegri, Milan coach
We're disappointed because the second penalty came a few minutes before half-time, when Barcelona weren't doing much after our goal. It's a pity because the first penalty was a gift – you can't afford to do that against a team like Barcelona.

After we equalised we honestly thought we could go through because Barcelona were under a bit of pressure and weren't managing to play their football. Barcelona played their fluent football only after their third goal, which was quite lucky because a deflection changed a Messi shot into an assist for Iniesta.

You have to play perfectly to win here and we made some mistakes both defensively and in missing some important final passes when we had space in attack. In both games we had a lot of chances to create opportunities to score but weren't precise [enough] with our passes.

After their third goal it wasn't easy to react. We were all disappointed during the break after conceding late in the first half, and when we came back we soon conceded another.

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