It’s a Great Day for Re­venge

The Economic Times - - Sports: The Great Games -

their seven-point lead at the top of the Bun­desliga by win­ning 2-0 at Hertha Ber­lin with sec­ond-half goals from Ar­turo Vi­dal and Dou­glas Costa. A vic­tory at home to Borus­sia Monchenglad­bach next week will see Bay­ern clinch a third suc­ces­sive ti­tle un­der Guardi­ola.

Bay­ern have also reached the Ger­man Cup fi­nal yet many be­lieve the for­mer Barcelona coach will have un­der-achieved at the club should he fail to win the Cham­pi­ons League.

Mid­fielder Xabi Alonso re­jected that sug­ges­tion, how­ever, high­light­ing the Cata­lan’s pos­i­tive in­flu­ence. “I’ve no doubt his time here will leave an im­por­tant base, in­de­pen­dently of whether we have a fan­tas­tic end to the sea­son or not. Our mem­o­ries of him will be bril­liant, and he won’t be a fail­ure if we don’t win the Cham­pi­ons League,” said Alonso.

Bay­ern for­ward Robert Le­wandowski is hop­ing Europe will pro­vide the per­fect fare- well for their man­ager. “It would be amaz­ing if we could bid farewell to Guardi­ola by win­ning the Cham­pi­ons League, it would be the ic­ing on the cake af­ter all the time we’ve had to­gether at Bay­ern. I hope it hap­pens,” he told the Uefa web­site ahead of the first leg.

As for Atleti, they’re tak­ing the role of un­der­dog se­ri­ously. De­fender Filipe Luis sees sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween his side’s run to the Cham­pi­ons League semi-fi­nals and Le­ices­ter City’s stun­ning march to­wards the Premier League ti­tle. “Look at what is hap­pen­ing this year with Le­ices­ter, they are a mod­est team and are al­most cham­pi­ons in the Premier League,” he said on Mon­day. “Epic things hap­pen in foot­ball. Although there’s a dif­fer­ence in our bud­gets we are the team that plays most as a team.”

Ac c o r d i n g to t h e D e l oi t t e Money League, which ranked the world's rich­est foot­ball teams ac­cord­ing to rev­enues for the 2 014 -15 sea­son, Atletico earned €187 mil­lion ($ 210.68m). Bay­ern, earned €477 mil­lion, while the other two teams i n t he l a s t fou r — Re a l Madrid a nd Manch­ester City — earned €557 mil­lion and €463.5 mil­lion each.

Atletico are the third Span­ish team Bay­ern have met in as many years in the semi-fi­nals, hav­ing been knocked out by Real Madrid in 2014 and Barcelona last year. Atletico are with­out in­flu­en­tial cen­tre-back Diego Godin due to a ham­string in­jury, while Bay­ern will be miss­ing for­ward Ar­jen Robben and de­fender Jerome Boateng.

An­toine Griez­mann cel­e­brates scor­ing a goal for Atletico Madrid against Barcelona with Koke; (inset) Bay­ern Mu­nich will be hop­ing to give Pep Guardi­ola a proper send-off

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