FINAL SCORE: Bayern 3 v Barcelona 2
MUNICH (Sporting Alert) — Barcelona were beaten 3-2 at Bayern Munich but booked a place in the final of the Champions League on aggregate after cruising to a 5-3 result in the two-way semi-finals battle.
The La Liga leaders are into the Champions League final for a fourth time in ten years and look good to lift another title.
“Bayern improved in the second half, but you have to celebrate the fact we’ve reached the final,” Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta said.
“We are where we wanted to be but won’t just be happy with that, we want to win titles. We are in a final and it is within our reach. We will try and win it.”
Goals from Medhi Benatia, Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller gave the home side something to cheer about, despite the German champions getting dumped from the tournament in the semi-finals.
Bayern Munich with the day’s win stopped a five-game losing streak, but a win that very well was just a consolation.
Neymar scored the goals for Barcelona, with Louis Suarez setting up the Brazilian for both his goals in the first half. Neymar has been bang on form, as his brace tonight increased his tally this season to nine goals in the Champions league. He also scored has scored in his last 7 games.
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 12, 2015
Bayern Munich came into the game hoping for a miracle, but the deficit was too much to make up.
“The fans have been really great today. We believed in the miracle, but we couldn’t make it happen,” Bayern captain Philipp Lahm said.
“It’s impossible to stop those players for the whole 90 minutes. We didn’t lose it today, but in the first leg.”
Bayern boss and former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola said he was proud of his team, while wishing Barca well in the final.
“I want to congratulate my players. Congrats to Barça also, I hope they win their fifth Champions League final in Berlin,” said Guardiola.
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 12, 2015
It’s another quick strike for Bayern again and this time it is Thomas Muller with the goal with 74 minutes gone on the clock. They lead the game 3-2, but still behind on aggregate
Comeback still on?
Barca advantage have now been cut to 5-3 on aggregate, but Bayern would still need to score three goals.
Bayern Munich have pulled another goal back through Robert Lewandowski on the hour mark, but Barcelona still hold a very strong three-goal cushion in the battle.
The scores are now locked at 2-2, but Barca have a 5-2 lead on aggregate.
Another goal for Barcelona and Neymar, and visitors are running away with this semi-finals, as they now lead Bayern Munich 2-1 and 5-1 on aggregate.
Luis Suarez beats the offside trap once again and he made Pep and Bayern paid after slotting through a ball for Neymar to fire past Neuer with 30 minutes gone on the clock.
Bayern Munich players have held their heads down — perhaps they too are thinking its game over.
And Barcelona have regained their advantage through Neymar, who finished off a lovely move in the 15th to even things up at 1-1. Barcelona lead the two-way tie 3-1.
Neymar tapped home, but it was Lionel Messi, who slid a ball through for Luis Suarez to find the Brazilian, who easily beat the advancing Manuel Neuer in goal.
Bayern Munich have struck early in their quest to erase a three goal deficit against Barcelona as Medhi Benatia headed home for the hosts in the seventh minute.
Poor marking by Barcelona defenders left Benatia completely free and the defender made the visitors paid from eight yards with a powerful header past Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who got a touch, but was unable to keep the ball out of the bottom corner.
May, 12, 2015 — Starting lineups and team news ahead of tonight’s Champions League semi-final second leg clash between Bayern Munich and Barcelona.
Barcelona lead the tie 3-0, following their comprehensive victory at home last week.
Both teams named unchanged starting lineups from the first leg for tonight’s game, with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar leading the attack for the travelers, who are the big favourites to go through.
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, midfielder Xabi Alonso and defender Medhi Benatia, who were all rested in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat against Augsburg have been recalled to the starting lineup for Bayern Munich.
Barca XI: Ter Stegen; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Busquets, Iniesta, Rakitic; Suarez, Messi, Neymar
Bayern XI: Neuer, Alonso, Benatia, Thiago, Lewandowski, Rafinha, Boateng, Bernat, Lahm, Müller, Schweinsteiger
MUNICH (Sporting Alert) — Bayern Munich will try to do something no other team has done in Champions League semi-finals history when they take on Barcelona in the 2nd leg tie at Allianz Arena, Tuesday night.
A superb brace from Lionel Messi and another late strike from Neymar carried Barcelona to a 3-0 victory in the first leg and the Spanish La Liga side is firm favourite to go through to the final.
No team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit in the Champions League semi-finals, but Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola isn’t ruling out a classic comeback at home.
“We are happy we are in the semi-finals. We are 3-0 down and we are up against the best team of the last 15 years. We have to defend well first and foremost and then see how the game goes,” Guardiola said at his press conference.
“You never know what might happen – for 77 minutes it was 0-0 in Barcelona.
“Of course we have to score goals. We have to make use of the few chances we will probably get, but with our ability, the game will show what we can do.”
The five-time European champions must score goals at the Camp Nou, but Guardiola also knows that he must be aware of Barcelona’s attack elements.
“We did not expect to win by such big margins against Porto or Shakhtar Donetsk. We have to be patient,” he said.
“We can’t do everything we need to do in 20–25 minutes.
“People think we have to attack but the first thing we must do is defend because Barca has become the best counter-attacking team in the world.
“Obviously, we will have to attack more than we did in Barcelona.”
Despite having the big lead, Barcelona insist they will not be too over-confident in the second leg, adding that they don’t intend to alter their playing style to try to hold on to their lead.
“You can’t be too confident as you have to respect your opponent, so we will need to keep our players calm,” said Barcelona coach Luis Enrique.
“We know how big Bayern are so we will try our best not to allow them too many chances.
“They will have their fans behind them, so we will try to keep possession and create as much as possible up front.”
He added: “Bayern have the quality to score and did cause us problems in Barcelona. The common goal is to reach the final.
“The most important thing is to be motivated; of course we have a very good result from the first leg, but it’s important the players trust themselves.
“Bayern will go on the attack and try to create chances – I know what [Guardiola] is going to try to do and I’m looking forward to a really nice game.”
Barcelona come into the game on good form, having cruised to a 2-0 victory over Real Sociedad in the league at the weekend.
Reserved striker Pedro was among the goal scorers in that game, but the Spanish forward isn’t expected to start.
Bayern’s tired run, however, continued after losing 1-0 to FC Augsburg at the weekend but it doesn’t seem to be a major concern for Pep. They are currently on a five-match losing streak in all competitions.
“I am not fighting for my own reputation, I am here for the players,” the former Barcelona manager said.
“We are Bayern and I never think we have no chance. It is not a game we cannot win, but we have to use our heads and our hearts. ”
The German champions will again be without key players, forwards Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery and defenders Holger Badstuber and David Alaba.
Possible Starting Lineups
Bayern Munich: Neuer; Rafinha, Benatia, Boateng, Bernat; Xabi Alonso; Müller, Lahm, Thiago Alcántara, Götze; Lewandowski.
Out: Badstuber (thigh), Alaba (knee), Robben (calf), Ribéry (ankle)
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Jordi Alba; Rakitić, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Suárez, Neymar.