Guardiola calls for calm after Bayern rout
© AFP

Pep Guardiola may have been banished to the stands but he could not hide his delight after his Barcelona side crushed Bayern Munich 4-0 at Camp Nou on Wednesday to all but book their place in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals.

A brace from Lionel Messi and further strikes from Samuel Eto'o and Thierry Henry demoralised Bayern in a first half goal blitz to put Barca in a commanding position for the return leg in Munich on 14 April.

"Obviously 4-0 in the first leg of a Champions League quarter-final match is incredible," said Guardiola. "We did almost everything right. Bayern have great players so it is difficult to beat them. The talent made the difference tonight.

"(Jurgen) Klinsmann is right to say that 4-0 is a great result but Bayern are a great team so we have to keep our feet on the ground. The way we will do that is to focus on the next three points in the league and maintaining our six point gap at the summit."

Bayern are a great team so we have to keep our feet on the ground,
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola.

Deportivo La Coruna famously came from 4-1 down in the first leg to beat AC Milan 4-0 in the 2004 quarter-finals and Barca's Mexican centre-back Rafael Marquez, suspended for the return leg in Munich, issued a word of caution. "The confidence we have at the moment is a real bonus," said Marquez. "We have the quality, a good coach and the right attitude.

"Our will to win and mentality are battling with any fatigue that may be setting in at this stage of the season. However, the tie is not over as Bayern are a team with a lot of quality and we need to score in Munich to relax a bit."

Guardiola was ordered to watch the game in the stands after furiously protesting a yellow card handed out to Messi in the 17th minute for diving. The Barca coach, normally the paragon of coolness, was adamant that it was a penalty and could not control his anger - something he apologised for.

"I am not happy with myself," said Guardiola. "A coach can't do those sort of things. However, the penalty was so clear and the referee had to give it. Then he books Messi which is unbelievable."

Messi was also less than impressed: "It was so fast but as far as I am concerned it was a penalty. I can't believe I got a yellow card." Messi's brace means he now has eight goals in the Champions League making him the competition's top-scorer.

Bayern coach Jurgen Klinsmann, once a world class striker with Bayern and Germany, heaped more praise on Messi after watching the Argentine tear his team apart. "Messi is simply a wonderful player," said Klinsmann. "It is a big disappointment but Barca played very well and you have to congratulate them."

For Barca a historic league, Spanish Cup and UEFA Champions League treble looks a genuine possibility and it is all the more impressive as Guardiola is in his maiden season as a coach after being promoted from the youth team to take over from Frank Rijkaard. As a player he won the 1992 European Cup with Barca and has the chance to join the illustrious club of people to have lifted the trophy as a player and manager.