Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola admits his side may have to throw caution to the wind in order to overturn their 3-1 first-leg deficit and knock Porto out of the Champions League.
The Bundesliga leaders have plenty of work to do at the Allianz Arena on tonight in the second leg of their quarter-final after slipping to a shock loss in Portugal last week.
Porto capitalised on a string of defensive mistakes to triumph, with Ricardo Quaresma scoring twice in the opening 10 minutes — the first a penalty — thanks to gifts from Bayern.
The German champions got a goal back through Thiago Alcantara in the 27th minute before Jackson Martinez capped a fine night for Porto in the 65th.
The result meant Porto extended their unbeaten record in this season’s competition and Bayern must find a way to end it in Germany if they are to reach the semi-finals for a fourth consecutive season.
Speaking at yesterday’s press conference, Guardiola said: “Obviously it’s a huge challenge, but you don’t want to waste time thinking about it.
“We simply need to play well and show courage, and then we can get the result we need.”
He added: “But we’ll have to take risks. It’s not easy to turn around a 3-1 deficit in the Champions League.”
The first-leg defeat has seen Guardiola’s future come under scrutiny but he insisted yesterday there is no chance of him leaving Bayern Munich this summer.
“I will also be working here next year,” he said.
Bayern were also rocked off the pitch following the Porto match by the shock resignation of long-serving club doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt, who said the medical team had been ”made responsible for the defeat for inexplicable reasons”.
Guardiola’s side gave themselves a confidence boost with a 2-0 away win over Hoffenheim at the weekend, though, and captain Philipp Lahm was in defiant mood ahead of the clash.
“The huge benefit compared to the first leg is that we’re at home,” he said.
“We’ll have unconditional support from our fans. Everything’s possible if we can score an early goal. We know what we’re capable of, so I’m utterly convinced we’ll reach the semi-finals.”
Muller added: “A 2-0 home win for Bayern wouldn’t be a footballing wonder of the world.”
Bayern still have plenty of injury problems to contend with, as they did in Portugal, with the likes of Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, David Alaba, Mehdi Benatia and Javi Martinez all still out. Bastian Schweinsteiger is fit again.
Porto boss Julen Lopetegui, a former team-mate of Guardiola at Barcelona in the 1990s, warned his team they had to be on their game again if they were to see out the tie.
“We have to learn to respond to all situations in the game, attacking when we can and always defending we so required,” he said.
Lopetegui said Bayern were his favourites to win the Champions League at the start of the competition and added: “There is no key to winning. We have to do everything well against a team of this size.
“The game is a huge challenge.”