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Apr 3, 2013

Heynckes: Controlling Pirlo was key

Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes believes containing Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo was the key to his side's 2-0 win in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

• Delaney: Bayern experience wins
• Rzouki: Juve left for dead

Pirlo, who has been a standout for Juve in Europe this season, was given little time on the ball at the Allianz Arena and the Italian's dominance in the midfield was something Heynckes was eager to contain

"We were very well prepared for this match," he told Sky. "You could see that in our tactics. We attacked them very early and took Pirlo out of the game collectively. The early goal gave us safety and we played amazingly at some points after that.

"I studied Juventus over and over again. We are happy to have won the match against an Italian [team] without conceding. We played high-class football. We controlled and dominated the match. And against the Italian champions. I must compliment my team."

Heynckes deployed his players to press the Juve defence and Thomas Muller insists their closing of Pirlo took much of the fluidity out of the visitors' game.

"We played with lots of intensity in both directions," Muller said. "Our defensive work started with the forwards. You could see that we wanted to win.

"I don't think it was just Pirlo having a bad day. We put Juventus under pressure so early and forced them into long balls."

Pirlo was quick to take the blame for Juve's defeat, insisting he will be closely studying footage of the match ahead of next week's return leg in Turin.

"I am the first to say I'm not satisfied with my performance, as I made many mistakes in such an important match and it's disappointing," he said. "We now have to analyse why we had so many misplaced passes. Clearly we need something more in the second leg, as what we did tonight was not enough."

Bayern midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger admits progression to the semi-finals is far from secured, but was impressed by the success of Heynckes' tactics.

"The result is good. It wasn't easy - the Italians have tactics that no team in the Bundesliga plays," he said. "My feeling tells me we deserved more than one goal.

"We did not concede and defended well. It's never easy to play in Turin. It would be good if we scored there."

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