Bayern Munich inflicts second humiliation on Barça in one week to reach final
BARCELONA - Reuters
Bayern Munich's players celebrate after scoring during the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg football match FC Barcelona vs FC Bayern Munich at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 1. AFP photoBayern Munich cruised into a first all-German Champions League final when they routed Barcelona 3-0 at the Nou Camp on May 1 to secure a crushing 7-0 aggregate success.
The newly-crowned Bundesliga champions, who will play Borussia Dortmund in the May 25 final in London, had effectively killed off the tie with last week's 4-0 victory and there was no way back for Barça when Arjen Robben blasted the ball past Victor Valdes in the 49th minute.
Barça's humiliation was completed late in the game when Gerard Piqué skewed the ball into his own net and Thomas Mueller, who scored twice in last week's first leg, nodded a third for Bayern who are seeking a fifth European crown.
The Spaniards, last defeated in both legs of a European knockout tie in 1987, were deprived of the talents of Lionel Messi, who is coming back from a hamstring injury and was left on the bench. Without the talismanic World Player of the Year they barely threatened.
"We played an outstanding game but there is a difference of Barca with and without Messi. But it is a result one could not forecast," Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes told ZDF television.
"I know the philsophy of Barcelona and my team understood extremely well how to deploy our tactics. It was harder than it looked. My team was very focused... we knew what we were up against."
Cesc Fabregas was initially deployed in Messi's roving forward role in a three-pronged attack with Spain team mates Pedro and David Villa.
Crowd cheers 'olé'... for Bayern
Bayern were first to threaten when Robben burst clear on the left in the 13th minute but the Dutch winger was denied by a fine covering tackle from Pique.
The Spain centre back made another excellent intervention to nip the ball away from Philipp Lahm six minutes later before Manuel Neuer had to be alert to tip a long-range Pedro effort over the crossbar and Xavi volleyed high and wide when well placed.
As the half wore on and Bayern looked increasingly comfortable against Barca's toothless attacks, their boisterous fans high up in the stadium began to make themselves heard on a balmy night in the Catalan capital.
The home crowd were silenced two minutes later when David Alaba sprayed the ball across to Robben on the right wing and he cut inside Adriano before crashing a left-foot drive past Valdes.
Barça now needed six goals to get through and any fans looking towards the bench to see if Messi was warming up were disappointed.
The Germans began to stroke the ball around in the style Barca have made their own in recent years, each pass being greeted with an "Ole!" from their travelling support.
Barça huffed and puffed for a goal to salvage some pride but Piqué's own goal and Mueller's back-post header completed a miserable night.
Bayern will be appearing in the final for the third time in four seasons after defeats to Inter Milan in 2010 and Chelsea last season and are on course for a treble of Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup.
Dortmund reached the final after overcoming Real Madrid 4-3 on aggregate on April 30.