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Neymar double against Bayern Munich keeps Barcelona on track for Champions League glory

Bayern Munich 3-2 Barcelona

By Staff Reporter

Published 13/05/2015

Three kings: Barcelona’s Neymar (left) celebrates his second goal against Bayern with Luis Suarez (centre) and Lionel Messi
Three kings: Barcelona’s Neymar (left) celebrates his second goal against Bayern with Luis Suarez (centre) and Lionel Messi

Bayern Munich failed to summon the miracle they required to prevent Barcelona easing into the Champions League final at the Allianz Arena.

Thomas Muller's 74th minute strike at least gave former Barca boss Pep Guardiola's men the satisfaction of victory on the night but Bayern's 3-2 win could not stop the visitors coasting to Berlin with a 5-3 aggregate success.

Bayern, 3-0 down from the first leg, dared to dream when Mehdi Benatia powered home a seventh minute header but a quick double from Brazilian superstar Neymar effectively sunk their hopes of staging an astonishing comeback.

Benatia's opener, which caught out Barcelona keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, was just what the home fans dreamed of and Bastian Schweinsteiger had them hoping for more when he fired over the bar.

But Bayern paid for defensive errors in the 15th minute when Lionel Messi brilliantly cut open the German rearguard to feed Luis Suarez, who unselfishly crossed for Neymar to prod home the equaliser on the night.

Muller missed an excellent chance to put Bayern back in front when Ter Stegen flapped away his goal-bound effort, then the keeper proved equal to a poor effort from Lewandowski as Bayern dominated.

But Bayern's inevitable desire to attack cost them dear again in the 28th minute when former Liverpool star Suarez crossed from the right and found Neymar in plenty of space to knock home the visitors' second.

Ter Stegen was called on again in the 28th minute to paw a Lewandowski effort off the line at the second attempt as Barcelona looked increasingly happy to sit back and conjure fleeting counter-attacks against the Germans.

Philipp Lahm almost cued up a fine chance for Schweinsteiger in the 49th minute and 10 minutes later Lewandowski turned on the edge of the box and drilled a superb low shot past Ter Stegen to draw level on the night.

Muller shot just wide as Bayern began to dominate, and they got the third goal their performance deserved in the 74th minute when Muller steered home after Schweinsteiger played a neat lay-off with his back to goal.

Lewandowski saw an effort deflected wide as Bayern looked to go out in style, but with time ticking by and the home side's slim hopes long extinguished, the last say was almost left for Barcelona.

Neymar was sent into space in the left side of the box and instead of going for his hat-trick he unselfishly tried to find Messi, only for his attempted pass to evade the Argentinian and roll harmlessly across the face of an empty goal.

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic said: "It was a really hard game for us and we were playing against one of the best teams in the world.

"The first game's result (3-0) made it easier - now we are really happy and want to win it.

"Our coach (Luis Enrique) is very important for us. Every coach has different ideas and I want to thank him from our team. Without him, it is impossible. It was perfect work from everybody and I hope we can win this title now.

"We respect all the teams and tomorrow is a big game for Real Madrid and Juventus."

Bayern Munich: Neuer, Rafinha, Boateng, Benatia, Bernat, Lahm (Rode 68), Thiago, Alonso, Schweinsteiger (Javi Martinez 87), Müller (Gotze 87), Lewandowski.

Goals: Benatia 7, Lewandowski 59, Muller 74

Subs not used: Reina, Dante, Pizarro, Weiser.

Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Dani Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Alba, Rakitic (Mathieu 72), Busquets, Iniesta (Xavi 75), Messi, Suárez (Pedro 45), Neymar.

Goals: Neymar 15, 29

Subs not used: Bravo, Rafinha, Bartra, Adriano.

Belfast Telegraph

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