Alonso: We knew it wouldn’t be easy

Xabi Alonso FOX_ONLY_1024

FC Bayern M√ľnchen midfielder Xabi Alonso admits they always knew Benfica would give them a run for their money in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

The Bavarians took a slender advantage into the encounter after winning the first leg 1-0 in Germany last week, but found themselves on level terms on aggregate after Raul Jimenez fired the Portuguese side into the lead in the 27th minute.

The visitors recovered through goals from Arturo Vidal and Thomas Muller to all but secure their passage to the final four before Talisca ensure a grandstand finish with a lovely free-kick to bring the score to 2-2, which is how it stayed.

“We knew that it was a very important step to go through today because we were facing a very good team in Benfica and now we are in the semi-finals,” Alonso said after the match. “We are delighted. We know we still have a way to go, but we are where we want to be.

“We knew before the game that they were going to fight and we’ve seen that from the first moment, especially after they scored, that it wasn’t going to be easy.

“Luckily, we have come back to 2-1 and it looked like we were in control, but they kept pushing so credit to them. They did really well, but in the end, we are pleased that we have gone through.

“For Pep [Guardiola], for the club, for everyone; we have one more step to go before the final. Whoever we face it’s going to be tough because it’s the semi-final, but we know that we are really close and we want to make the final,” he concluded.