Barca backs itself against Bayern despite nervy path to quarters

Barcelona's players feel they have what it takes to beat Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinal, despite their nervy show against Napoli.

Quique Setien

Quique Setien said his side should not be underestimated against Bayern Munich, which swept to a domestic double this season.   -  AP Photo

Barcelona insists it has as much chance as Bayern Munich of winning its Champions League quarterfinal despite a far from convincing 3-1 win over Napoli on Saturday.

First-half goals from Clement Lenglet, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez sent Barca on its way into the 'Final Eight' tournament in Lisbon where it will face the German champion, which crushed Chelsea 4-1 for a 7-1 aggregate win in its last 16 second leg.

Barca's 4-1 aggregate win over Napoli may have looked resounding on the score sheet but was anything but, as Gennaro Gattuso's Italian side dominated the second half after Lorenzo Insigne scored at the end of the first.

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Still, Barca coach Quique Setien said his side should not be underestimated against Bayern, which swept to a domestic double this season in contrast to the Catalans losing out on the Spanish title and failing to win any other silverware.

“It will be tough for us because they've had an excellent season and dominated their tie. It will be difficult for us but also for them. They are an excellent team, but so are we,” Setien told a news conference.

Barca striker Luis Suarez added: “In a one-off game anyone has a chance, so it's perfectly balanced, 50/50. Bayern are a great team, one of the candidates to win the competition, but it's 11 versus 11 over 90 minutes.”

Barca beat Bayern in the semifinals in 2015, the last year it won the competition, which avenged a 7-0 thrashing on aggregate at the hands of the Germans in the last four in 2013.

The Catalans have been haunted in the last two years of the Champions League by their inability to see out comfortable first leg results, surrendering a 4-1 lead over AS Roma in 2018 and a 3-0 advantage over Liverpool last year.

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Midfielder Sergi Roberto said the fact that ties will be played over one match rather than two, due to the competition being rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, means form will count for less.

“Every game is its own different world and that is true now more than ever. There are no favourites in this Champions League, anyone can win or lose a one-off game,” he said.

“Every match will feel like a final so we are going to have to be very concentrated,” he added.

Former Bayern great Lothar Matthaeus, however, was less complimentary of Barcelona, saying the Bundesliga champion was the overwhelming favourite to win next Friday's clash.

“Naturally Barcelona have enough quality to produce the best of themselves in one game, but I think Bayern will have to make many mistakes and do many things wrong to lose against this Barcelona,” he told Sky Sport Germany.

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