'Pressure off' as Bayern eye semis: Robben
Turin: Arjen Robben on Tuesday said that Bayern Munich`s recent Bundesliga title triumph has taken the pressure off as they look to qualify for their third Champions League semi-finals in four years against Juventus.
Bayern outclassed the Italian champions 2-0 in the first leg in Munich last week and history is against the hosts, who have never overturned a 2-0 first leg defeat in the competition.
Although the Bianconeri are hoping to end that streak on Wednesday, Robben warned that Bayern are feeling no pressure following their 23rd title triumph at the weekend with six matches remaining in the campaign.
Bayern - beaten Champions League finalists in 2010 and 2012 - have been particularly solid away from home this season, but Robben believes that is simply part of what has been a sterling season so far.
"I think in general it`s not only been the away games, up till now we`ve had a very good season," the Dutchman told reporters in Turin.
"Of course, the pressure`s off in the league now because we have won the title and now we can completely focus on our games in the Champions League.
"It will be a difficult game, but we`re taking it day by day and tomorrow (Wednesday) we aim to reach the semi-finals."
Juventus will be hoping for a different outcome and come into the game still smarting from a jibe aimed last week at their goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who was labelled a ‘pensioner’ by honorary Bayern president Franz Beckenbauer after he failed to stop the Germans` opener despite the ball being deflected.
While Juventus played down that remark, it should provide extra motivation for the Italians.
Meanwhile, Bayern`s keeper Manuel Neuer said, "Buffon remains a top goalkeeper and you can`t forget he stopped us from winning 3-0 in the first leg."
Despite their 2-0 goal cushion, Bayern manager Jupp Heynckes said, "It doesn`t change anything for us.
"We want to score an away goal and try to win this game. Juventus remain a top team, they`ve shown that on several occasions including in the Champions League."
Although Italian media has largely played up Beckenbauer`s jibe at Buffon - to the point that Juve striker Mirko Vucinic was quoted as saying the second leg would be "war" - Heynckes was quick to put things into perspective.
"I`m sure what he really meant was that Juve will give it everything but it`s not the best language to describe what is, after all, a game of football."
Despite Bayern`s title celebrations at the weekend, Robben added, "We`re in an optimal position with our 2-0 first leg win but we have to stay concentrated and play our own style of football."
Heynckes went one step further, adding, "We have a lot of experience of these situations, we got to the final in 2010 and we`ve been to the semi-finals several times.
"But Juve are a strong team and we have to stay focused. They`re capable of making the impossible possible."