Mascherano warns Barcelona won't take anything for granted against Bayern Munich

FC Barcelona

The Argentine warned that even with a strong lead, Barcelona will still need to work hard to finish the job against Bayern Munich.

Barcelona arrived at the Allianz Arena on Monday, fired up for their Champions League semi-final second-leg with Bayern Munich, keen to finish the job they started so well at the Camp Nou last week.

Although a 3-0 advantage would seem to suggest Barcelona have a firm foot in the final already, at his preview press conference, Javier Mascherano insisted his side won't simply be looking to defend their lead.

"Given our way of understanding football, we should go out there to win the game, beyond the advantage we already have. If we try anything else, we'll be mistaken. With our qualities and taking our rival into account, we're here to play well and to win."

Mindful that Bayern Munich overturned a 3-1 deficit against FC Porto in the previous round, in spectacular fashion with an emphatic 6-1 victory in the return leg, Mascherano warned that Barcelona won't be taking anything for granted.

"We know the Bayern coach very well, we know Bayern and their stadium well. We're not going to trust in anything that might happen. They have a lot of history. We have an advantage and we'll try to put our strengths into practice."

"Bayern will come out hungry, keen to reduce our advantage. We're prepared to suffer through what the game brings and nothing will surprise us. The reward is huge; playing in the Champions League final."

Barcelona are already in the Copa del Rey final, are one match away from winning La Liga, plus with their lead against Bayern Munich, are clear favourites to reach the Champions League final and win it.

In what's turning out to be an excellent season for the Catalan giants, the prospect of a superb treble is creating euphoria amongst the fans. However, the powerful Argentine player insists there's still plenty of work to be done, before any celebrations begin.

"We know how the fans feel and that they're enthusiastic by what we're offering. Within our group we analyse things differently, both in victory and defeat. For us to reach Berlin, we need to play a perfect game. Bayern will be very demanding of us."

"We're as close to winning titles, as to missing out on them. We have to manage everything with a certain level of calm, as a single mistake could ruin everything. The big prize from this game is very important for us."

Finally and regarding the impressive form of Lionel Messi this season, compared to what was a disappointing previous campaign for the superstar player, Mascherano was asked for his thoughts.

"I'm too much of a Messi fan to make comparisons. You can't compare him to anyone else - he's the best. All I want to do is enjoy playing with him. I won't get into any comparisons over how he was before, and how he is now."

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