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Barcelona 3-0 Bayern Munich: Lionel Messi hits double at Camp Nou on 100th European performance

Published 06/05/2015

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (R) shoots to score a goal during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs FC Bayern Muenchen at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (R) shoots to score a goal during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs FC Bayern Muenchen at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi gestures during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs FC Bayern Muenchen at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ QUIQUE GARCIAQUIQUE GARCIA/AFP/Getty Images
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 06: Luis Suarez of Barcelona reacts during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final, first leg match between FC Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Camp Nou on May 6, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 06: Luis Suarez of Barcelona reacts during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final, first leg match between FC Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Camp Nou on May 6, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 06: Joachim Loew the head coach of Germany looks on during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final, first leg match between FC Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Camp Nou on May 6, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 06: Referee Nicola Rizzoli of Italy shows the yellow card to Juan Bernat of Bayern Muenchen during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final, first leg match between FC Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Camp Nou on May 6, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 06: Neymar of Barcelona and Rafinha of Bayern Muenchen compete foir the ball during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final, first leg match between FC Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Camp Nou on May 6, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 06: Neymar of Barcelona squares up to Referee Nicola Rizzoli of Italy as he is shown the yellow card during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final, first leg match between FC Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Camp Nou on May 6, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 06: Goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen of Barcelona celebates as teammate Lionel Messi scores the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final, first leg match between FC Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Camp Nou on May 6, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 06: Goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen of Barcelona celebates as teammate Lionel Messi scores the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final, first leg match between FC Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Camp Nou on May 6, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 06: Bastian Schweinsteiger of Bayern Muenchen reacts after his team concede two second half goals during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final, first leg match between FC Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Camp Nou on May 6, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images)
A Bayern Munich's supporter looks at his mobile phone before the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs FC Bayern Muenchen at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ JOSEP LAGOJOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (C) vies with Bayern Munich's Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso (R) during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs FC Bayern Muenchen at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO / JOSEP LAGOJOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images
Bayern Munich's forward Thomas Mueller gestures past the referee during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs FC Bayern Muenchen at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOUPIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (Front) vies with Bayern Munich's Spanish defender Juan Bernat during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs FC Bayern Muenchen at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Bayern Munich's forward Thomas Mueller gestures during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs FC Bayern Muenchen at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ JOSEP LAGOJOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar da Silva Santos Junior (R) vies with Bayern Munich's Brazilian defender Rafinha (L) during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs FC Bayern Muenchen at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi celebrates a goal during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs FC Bayern Muenchen at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOUPIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images
Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi scores a goal during the UEFA Champions League football match FC Barcelona vs FC Bayern Muenchen at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 6, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ LLUIS GENELLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images
Bayern's Robert Lewandowski wears a protection mask during the Champions League semifinal first leg soccer match between Barcelona and Bayern Munich at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, May 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Barcelona's Gerard Pique, left, and Dani Alves control Bayern's Robert Lewandowski during the Champions League semifinal first leg soccer match between Barcelona and Bayern Munich at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, May 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
Bayern's head coach Pep Guardiola instructs his players during the Champions League semifinal first leg soccer match between Barcelona and Bayern Munich at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, May 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Champions League semifinal first leg soccer match between Barcelona and Bayern Munich at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, May 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi, right, scores his second goal past Bayern's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer during the Champions League semifinal first leg soccer match between Barcelona and Bayern Munich at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, May 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Lionel Messi's late brace ensured it was a miserable return to the Nou Camp for Pep Guardiola.

The former Barcelona boss, who won 14 titles in four years with the Catalan giants, saw the architect of so many of his greatest triumphs put him on the brink of a Champions League exit at the penultimate stage for the second successive year.

Going into the game Guardiola admitted Messi was "just too good" to be stopped and so it proved as the Argentinian ace, who was quiet for long periods, burst into life to give Luis Enrique's side the advantage before Neymar twisted the knife to make it 3-0 at the death.

Early on Guardiola lured everyone into a state of confusion by playing three at the back. His bold tactics, which also included a high line and man-marking, created a nervy opening to the game before the hosts got to grips with it.

With Jerome Boateng, Rafinha and Mehdi Benatia going toe-to-toe with Neymar, Luis Suarez and Messi, opportunities were always going to come for Barca and it only took six minutes for Bayern's backline to creak.

Suarez's pace had the visitors retreating and while his scuffed shot from distance did little to trouble Manuel Neuer it gave Luis Enrique's side the impetus to up the tempo and put Bayern firmly on the backfoot.

The former Liverpool striker beat Bayern's offside trap to race clear six minutes later, but Neuer stood his ground and managed to flick Suarez's goal-bound effort clear with his outstretched right leg.

As Barca cut loose with blistering pace, power and skill it began to look like Guardiola's plans would blow up in his face and Rafinha had to be on hand to block a certain goal for Neymar at the far post in the 15th minute.

That seemed to be a wake-up call, with the visitors tightening up and reverting to a more familiar shape afterwards, and a masked Robert Lewandowski was inches away from giving them the lead with their first purposeful raid shortly after.

Thomas Muller found space on the right and played it across the six-yard box for Lewandowski, who was in acres of space, but it was just out of reach for the Poland international.

Five minutes before the break Neuer was once again at his best to deny Dani Alves with a point-blank block at the far post and somehow keep it goalless after a breathless 45 minutes.

Guardiola's side made a more assured start to the second half without crafting clear-cut chances, but Barca remained a constant threat on the break.

Messi, who buzzed around the periphery of the game for large parts of the first half, unleashed a powerful drive from just outside the box after a give-and-go exchange with Neymar during one such surge upfield, but Neuer gathered cleanly, making it look easy.

And the German justified his 'sweeper-keeper' nickname around the hour-mark, when he raced well off his line to thwart Neymar from a ball over the top.

But after a night of heroics from Neuer, Messi finally broke his resistance by catching him out on his near post 13 minutes from time.

The Argentinian picked up the ball on the right, gave a trademark half-shimmy and then unleashed a rasping left-footed drive through a crowd of bodies. Neuer dived, but was unable to get anything on it.

Messi then left Boateng flat on the floor as he twisted and turned in the Bayern box before chipping home exquisitely for his 10th goal in 11 Champions League matches this season three minutes later.

The four-time Ballon d'Or winner slipped Neymar through one-on-one against Neuer at the death and the Brazilian remained cool to give Barca an even bigger advantage.

Press Association

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