Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 30 July 2015

Bayern Munich through to Champions League final after 3 - 0 victory over Barcelona

Published 01/05/2013 | 21:34

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 01:  Arjen Robben (C) of Munich celebrates with team mates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League semi final second leg match between Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Nou Camp on May 1, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 01: Arjen Robben (C) of Munich celebrates with team mates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League semi final second leg match between Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Nou Camp on May 1, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 01: Arjen Robben of Munich celebrates reaching the final following his team's 4-0 victory during the UEFA Champions League semi final second leg match between Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Nou Camp on May 1, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 01: Cesc Fabregas of Barcelona reacts as his side concede their third goal during the UEFA Champions League semi final second leg match between Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Nou Camp on May 1, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 01: Franck Ribery of Munich runs with the ball during the UEFA Champions League semi final second leg match between Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Nou Camp on May 1, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 01: Thomas Muller (3rd L) of Munich celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's third goal during the UEFA Champions League semi final second leg match between Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Nou Camp on May 1, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 01: Thomas Muller ( L) of Munich celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's third goal during the UEFA Champions League semi final second leg match between Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Nou Camp on May 1, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 01: Thomas Muller (3rd L) of Munich celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's third goal during the UEFA Champions League semi final second leg match between Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Nou Camp on May 1, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 01: Thomas Muller (L) of Munich celebrates with teammate Anatoliy Tymoshchuk after scoring his team's third goal during the UEFA Champions League semi final second leg match between Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Nou Camp on May 1, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 01: Franck Ribery of Munich and Luiz Gustavo of Munich celebrate after Gerard Pique of Barcelona scores an own goal to make the score 2-0 during the UEFA Champions League semi final second leg match between Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Nou Camp on May 1, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 01: Cesc Fabregas (R) of Barcelona holds off the challenge of Franck Ribery (L) of Munich during the UEFA Champions League semi final second leg match between Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Nou Camp on May 1, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 01: Arjen Robben (C) of Munich celebrates with Mario Gomez (L) and team mates after scoring during the UEFA Champions League semi final second leg match between Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Nou Camp on May 1, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 01: (L-R) Marc Bartra of Barcelona and Javi Martinez of Munich challenge for the ball during the UEFA Champions League semi final second leg match between Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Nou Camp on May 1, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 01: Arjen Robben of Munich collides with Cesc Fabregas and Marc Bartra of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League semi final second leg match between Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Nou Camp on May 1, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 01: Arjen Robben (2nd R) of Munich is congratulated by teammates after scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League semi final second leg match between Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Nou Camp on May 1, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 01: Cesc Fabregas (R) of Barcelona holds off the challenge of Franck Ribery (L) of Munich during the UEFA Champions League semi final second leg match between Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Nou Camp on May 1, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 01: Andres Iniesta of Barcelona goes past the challenge from Javi Martinez of Munich during the UEFA Champions League semi final second leg match between Barcelona and FC Bayern Muenchen at Nou Camp on May 1, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Bayern Munich have thrashed Barcelona 3 - 0 to make it an all German Champions League final later this month.

The side completed a stunning Champions League semi-final mauling of Barcelona to set up a mouthwatering Wembley final against Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund.

Leading 4-0 from the first leg, Bayern were similarly clinical at the Nou Camp tonight with second-half goals from Arjen Robben, Gerard Pique - who put through his own net - and Thomas Muller sealing a one-sided win over a sorry Barca side for whom Lionel Messi was an unused substitute.

The victory sees Bayern through to their third final in four years and they will hope to improve on their runner-up finishes against Inter Milan in 2010 and Chelsea last year when they face Real Madrid's conquerors Dortmund - in the competition's first all-German final - on May 25.

Barca were up against it with only three teams ever having overturned a four-goal first-leg deficit in Europe, and their chances of joining that list looked even slimmer after Messi was judged not fit enough to start the game.

The Argentina forward has been struggling with a hamstring problem in recent weeks and, although he scored after appearing as a second-half substitute in Saturday's Primera Division draw with Athletic Bilbao, coach Tito Vilanova opted only to name him on the bench this evening.

Even with Messi in their side, Barca barely troubled Bayern during the first leg, and it was the German champions who dominated the early exchanges tonight as well.

Robben and Philipp Lahm both looked poised to give Bayern what would almost certainly have been a tie-ending away goal in the opening 20 minutes but Pique produced brilliant last-ditch tackles to deny both players.

Barca's first serious threat on goal came in the 24th minute when Pedro Rodriguez saw his 30-yard drive tipped over by Manuel Neuer as it arrowed towards the top corner.

Two minutes later Xavi volleyed a decent opening over from seven yards out while Adriano drew a relatively comfortable save from Neuer in the 40th minute, but those were rare moments of concern for Bayern in the opening period.

Barca remained unchanged at the start of the second half with Messi continuing on the bench, but any hopes the world's best player might later inspire an unlikely fightback disappeared three minutes after the restart as Bayern took the lead.

Robben picked up a long cross-field pass from David Alaba near the right touchline before racing into the area where he cut inside Adriano onto his favoured left foot and curled an unstoppable shot past Victor Valdes inside the far post.

That away goal left Barca needing to score six times to go through to a fourth final in eight years, and it proved well beyond them.

With the tie gone, Vilanova opted to keep Messi under wraps and his first two changes saw him send on Alexis Sanchez and Thiago for Spain duo Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

Despite those changes Bayern continued to look comfortable and they doubled their lead 18 minutes from time.

Franck Ribery got in behind Dani Alves down the left and his cross was sliced into his own net by Pique with Mario Mandzukic lurking behind.

Ribery was also involved four minutes later as Bayern heaped more misery on Barca with a third goal.

The home side had actually come close to making it 2-1 moments earlier when Villa's glancing header hit the outside of the post, but it was game, set and match for the Germans in the 76th minute when Ribery burst past Alex Song before dinking a cross to the far post where Muller climbed highest to head high home.

Shell-shocked Barca tried to find a consolation goal late on but Jupp Heynckes' side held firm to record a 22nd win in their last 23 competitive games and seal their spot in the final.

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