Guardiola: Manchester United were difficult to break down

Pep Guardiola admitted Bayern Munich found it hard to break down Manchester United

Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola said Manchester United were difficult to break down after his side progressed to the semi-finals of the Champions League.

United threatened to shock the European Champions in both games after Nemanja Vidic gave them the lead in the first leg at Old Trafford before Bastian Schweinsteiger got an away goal for the Bundesliga winners.

Patrice Evra’s 57th minute thunderbolt also threatened to see United through to the last four but Bayern hit back almost instantly with a Mario Mandzukic header. Goals from Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben rounded off the scoring, meaning United face a season without Champions League football next term for the first time since 1995.

Guardiola said in his post-match press conference after the game: “It’s not easy to play against eight players in the box – that happened in Manchester too. We tried to create a little bit in the middle but quickly go to Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery and cross but they defend [well].”

The Bayern boss – who is on course for his third European crown – praised other English sides they have faced this season in Arsenal and Chelsea for their defending.

He also said that once Mandzukic had got the tie back on level terms his side started to play a lot better.

However, there are some positives to take out of the two legs for United. Some have been of the opinion this season that they have lacked fight – but they showed plenty of that over the two legs.

There have also been times when United’s defence has been opened up all too easily by the likes of West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United this season – along with the sides challenging towards the top of the Premier League – and Olympiakos in the previous round.

In these two games United’s defence was a lot more solid, even if things did go awry towards the end. But they showed they are capable of mixing it with the best despite a poor season. It’s something which manager David Moyes will take some encouragement from.

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