Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova and his players were gracious losers despite the lopsided 7-0 aggregate defeat Bayern Munich handed the storied Catalan club in their UEFA Champions
League semifinal series. “Congratulations to Bayern on reaching the final – they really demonstrated the level they're at,” Vilanova said. “I would like to thank our fans
for backing us until the end.” He added that a combination of injuries and form were the main differences between the clubs: “Bayern got to this stage of the tournament at a great level
physically, in comparison with ours. Their players are all in top form while ours aren't, and that's the area in which we need to recover. We had a lot of players missing too.”
Midfielder Andres Iniesta said: “This defeat needs to teach us how to learn from our mistakes. This team gave its all to beat Bayern but for a number of reasons, their physical power, their positional play, and other things they deserved to beat us. In the away leg and in this match they were better than us…But defeats, if you use them well, are how to improve the future.”
Once again, Barca defender Gerard Pique was blunt in his assessment: “When another side is so superior to you there isn't any alternative than to congratulate them. I think we know that we got to this stage of the tournament a little bit under pressure in terms of our resources. In all honesty, the second half was really tough. But the first half display wasn't bad and I don't think that the absence of Leo Messi changed our mood.”
Regarding Messi’s absence, Vilanova said: "Leo played in Bilbao on Saturday because he felt better. He imprinted a change on the team but at the end of the game he felt some strange sensations. He trained this week, but he didn't feel right. He is an explosive player and there was a risk he could tear his hamstring, so he couldn't help the team in these conditions."