Arjen Robben identified Mario Mandžukić's swift equaliser against Manchester United FC as being the "crucial" turning point in FC Bayern München reaching the semi-finals.
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Arjen Robben spoke of his relief at scoring FC Bayern München's third goal in their 3-1 second-leg victory against Manchester United FC to make certain of the holders' progress into the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.
The winger also had a hand in Bayern's second, converted by Thomas Müller, but pinpointed Mario Mandžukić's equaliser just two minutes after Patrice Evra had put United ahead on the night and 2-1 up on aggregate as the "crucial" turning point and praised his team-mates' character in once again coming from behind in the tie. His colleague from the opposite flank, Franck Ribéry, felt the German champions were good value for their win, while Manuel Neuer and David Alaba agreed that Bayern always remained confident even after falling behind.
Arjen Robben, Bayern midfielder
We're very, very happy, of course. Delighted really, because we went 1-0 down. It was crucial that we scored the equaliser straight away and after that we scored two more good goals and we're through.
You have to play aggressively and try to score goals, find the spaces. Let's not forget that we were playing against a team which only defends. They played with eight, nine players behind the ball and were just looking to counterattack. It was difficult to find a solution, but we did quite well.
We had a couple of chances in the first half and with a little bit more luck we'd have scored, but it was 0-0 at half-time. A big compliment to the team, though, for coming from behind and scoring three goals.
It was a big feeling [of relief when my shot went in]. It was an important goal and it gave us a little more breathing space. They needed two more goals then. The Champions League is always a little bit funny. You keep thinking: "One-one, if they score another goal then they're through." Sometimes with these away goals you have to think hard.
Franck Ribéry, Bayern midfielder
It was a strange game, but we were a lot better than them in the second half. We attacked well and we got into plenty of one-on-one situations. We got a goal back immediately after going 1-0 down, which was excellent. From there we were able to score a second and a third and that's what took us through.
We struggled in the first half but overall we did really well. I don't think it took Patrice Evra's goal to wake us up. We worked hard before the break, but Manchester United defended well. They tried to hit long balls and catch us on the counter. We knew they'd do that, but we did well and deserved the 3-1 victory.
Manuel Neuer, Bayern goalkeeper
United are a good side, but once we scored the equaliser I knew we were heading in the right direction. It was enormously important from a psychological point of view when Mandžukić levelled things straight after their opener. We believed in ourselves and at 3-1 we were never in doubt.
David Alaba, Bayern defender
We knew before the game that they defend well and they were going to make life as difficult for us as they could. We knew we needed to score a goal. You could sense that we believed in ourselves even after they scored, though.