Manchester United manager David Moyes has described conceding a goal within 30 seconds of scoring as "schoolboy" stuff in tonight's Champions League quarter-final.
United went down 3-1 on the night and 4-2 on aggregate, but they initially took the lead at the Allianz Arena with Patrice Evra's goal in the 57th minute sending the Red Devils within 30 minutes of the semi-finals.
Yet it was the manner in which Bayern equalised via Mario Mandzukic that so annoyed Moyes. He told Sky Sports, via BBC Sport:
It probably went wrong 30 seconds after we scored. If you're a schoolboy you're told don't concede after you score. From the kick-off they went up the pitch and scored, we needed five or 10 minutes to compose ourselves. The players didn't do an awful lot wrong tonight. They played really well but it was just a couple of small errors that cost us in the end.
While David Moyes might have praised his men tonight, Martin Samuel of the Daily Mail is not so sure. He noted that Bayern did not have to be at their best to see off United:
The goal that put Bayern ahead was little better, Munich hardly needing to be at the top of their game to secure victory after Thomas Muller got in front of Nemanja Vidic to turn in a low cross from Franck Ribery.
With United languishing in seventh position in the Premier League, it is almost certain that the Red Devils will have to wait until the 2015/16 season before they can again taste football at Europe's highest level. Twitter account OptaJoe notes that United have appeared in each of the past 18 Champions Leagues, meaning the competition will take on a very different look next year:
18 - Man Utd have appeared in each of the last 18 seasons of the CL, their last absence coming in 1995-96. Teetering.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 9, 2014
Guardiola, meanwhile, spoke of his pride for his Bayern players, citing their determination to win as the deciding factor in the tie:
"Very proud of team and players" - Pep Guardiola. pic.twitter.com/XnvWVwPBKX— Mark Lovell (@LovellLowdown) April 9, 2014
''Players have got a big heart'' - more Pep praise. #Bayern— Mark Lovell (@LovellLowdown) April 9, 2014
While United now have a flight home to lick their wounds, Bayern can look forward to a semi-final against either Real Madrid, Chelsea or Atletico Madrid. Asked about his possible last-four opposition, Guardiola said, as shared by Mark Lovell:
Guardiola on potential semi oppo: “#cfc have a lot of experience with Cech, Terry & Lampard & they have a manager with a lot of experience'— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) April 9, 2014
Pundits have questioned whether or not Pep's Bayern are as strong as last year's vintage, which took an unprecedented treble in German football. Daniel Taylor of The Guardian claims they were even verging on the predictable at the Allianz Arena:
Bayern may have won the Bundesliga in record-quick time this season but, for all their strengths, the old sheen of invincibility is not always so obvious these days when put in context with that stunning 7-0 aggregate win over Barcelona in last season's semi-finals.
At times, they were even bordering on the predictable, feeding the ball to Robben over and again, and relying on his ability to run at defenders, cutting in from the right.
But Guardiola defended his players, singling out Arjen Robben for praise. He said, as reported by The Telegraph's Henry Winter on his Twitter feed: "Arjen Robben was fantastic; every time he got the ball it was ‘go, go, go’."
We now have a mouth-watering set of possible semi-final matchups in store.
From Wednesday night's showing, Bayern were good enough to beat United without ever touching the heights their fans know they can reach. However, Guardiola's men still have every opportunity to become the first side to defend the Champions League title.