Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola unfazed by recent criticism

Pep Guardiola, Barcelona v Bayern Munich, Champions League
Image: Pep Guardiola: Defiant after Barca mauling

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has shrugged off criticism following their 3-0 loss to Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals, claiming the German champions have played an outstanding season.

Guardiola was brought in two years ago to keep Bayern chasing Europe’s elite-club competition following their 2013 treble-winning season under Jupp Heynckes.

But the Spaniard, who won 14 titles in four seasons at Barcelona, saw his team lose in the last four to Real Madrid last season.

Another likely semi-final exit this year appears to be on the cards, with Barcelona going into Tuesday's return leg at the Allianz Arena with a clear three-goal advantage.

The result at the Camp Nou – Guardiola’s first return to his former club since his departure in 2012 – has taken some of the shine off the Spaniard’s image as a winner, especially after Bayern reached three finals in four Champions League seasons before he joined them.

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Sky Deutschland's Uli Koehler believes Bayern Munich were hampered by injuries to their key players as they suffered a 3-0 defeat at the Nou Camp.

"Super season, super season," Guardiola snapped when asked how he would rate the current campaign, with Bayern likely to end up just with the Bundesliga title this season.

“If a team chase three titles, win the league, reach the German Cup semi-final and the Champions League semi-final then it is a super, super season," he added.

"How many times did Bayern win a treble? How many?," he asked reporters. "One time? One time, okay. Of course we wanted to win the treble but it is still an amazing season."

Bayern secured the German title with four games to spare last month.

But it is exactly the treble that Guardiola had been hired to deliver, with the coach himself only weeks ago saying he was aware the league title was not enough for Bayern and only a treble would do.

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Pep Guardiola refused to place any blame on his Bayern Munich players despite watching them suffer a 3-0 defeat against Barcelona at the Nou Camp.

Their loss in Spain on Wednesday, with Barca striking three times in the final 17 minutes, was their third consecutive defeat in all competitions, after their German Cup exit on penalties to Borussia Dortmund and their league loss to Bayer Leverkusen last week.

Guardiola's tactics, including the substitution of in-form striker Thomas Muller in Barcelona, were questioned, while his limited use of Mario Gotze has also raised eyebrows this season, especially give the string of injuries in recent months.

Guardiola said while the 3-0 deficit against Barca made things extremely hard for Bayern, chasing a sixth European crown, they still had a small chance.

"We played okay in Barcelona, but not perfect. We want to play our best on Tuesday so that we have the best possible chance," he added. "There are still 90 minutes left and in football a lot can happen." 

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