Champions League – Barcelona resist Bayern Munich fight-back to reach final
Champions League, Allianz Arena, Munich. Bayern Munich 3 (Benatia 7, Lewandowski 59, Muller 74) Barcelona 2 (Neymar 15, 29). Agg 3-5.
Bayern Munich‘s 3-2 victory over Barcelona in the semi-final second leg at the Allianz Arena was not enough, as Luis Enrique‘s side progressed 5-3 on aggregate to reach the Champions League final inBerlin on 6 June.Neymar netted twice for the La Liga side in the opening half hour following Mehdi Benatia‘s seventh-minute headed opener, and despite second-half goals from Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller, Pep Guardiola’s German champions never looked like recovering the three-goal first-leg deficit.
Neymar has now scored nine times in the Champions League this season, level with Real Madrid‘sCristiano Ronaldo and one behind team-mate Lionel Messi, and it is now 114 goals this season for Barcelona’s attacking triumvirate of Neymar, Messi and Luis Suarez.
Juventus face Carlo Ancelotti’s side in Wednesday second leg at the Bernabeu Stadium, and take a 2-1 lead to Madrid from last week’s first leg in Turin.
For Bayern, a season of promise ends in disappointment, with just the Bundesliga title to show for their efforts following this Champions League defeat and the German Cup exit to Borussia Dortmund on 28 April.
Neymar celebrates scoring the first goal for Barcelona
4′ – SAVE! Bayern are again leaving three on three at the back, and Rakitic gets free from Alonso down the right channel but Neuer makes the stop to his right.
7′ – GOAL! Bayern Munich 1-0 Barcelona. Agg 1-3. Mehdi Benatia is unmarked to head home Alonso’s deep corner. Hope for the home side with Benatia’s first-ever Champions League goal.
15′ – GOAL! Bayern Munich 1-1 Barcelona. Agg 1-4. Neymar rolls the ball into an empty net to score for the seventh consecutive match, as Messi sets up Suarez down the right channel, and the former Liverpool striker unselfishly squares for the Brazilian to tap the ball home.
18′ – SAVE! Lahm flicks the ball in towards Muller but ter Stegen makes a brilliant flying to save to claw his header out of the top corner.
26′ – SAVE! Ter Stegen is down quickly to keep out a toepoke on the run by Lewandowski following a Muller pass into the Barca area.
28′ – SAVE! Neuer is down to keep out a Messi effort after the Argentine was set up by Neymar down the left, and got the shot away despite the attention of three Bayern defenders.
29′ – GOAL! Bayern Munich 1-2 Barcelona. Agg 1-5. A second of the night for Neymar, as Suarez chips the ball to the Brazilian in the box and he drives a shot past Neuer. Bad defending by Benatia in the build-up too.
38′ – SAVE! Ter Stegen tips over Schweinsteiger’s header on the run following Bernat’s cross from the left.
59′ – GOAL! Bayern Munich 2-2 Barcelona. Agg 2-5. Lewandowski rolls the ball from foot to foot to fool Mascherano, then curls his 24th goal of the season past ter Stegen.
63′ CHANCE! Muller gets the loose ball on the turn following a free-kick from the left, but the Bayern Munich forward is unable to direct his effort on goal.
74′ – GOAL! Bayern Munich 3-2 Barcelona. Agg 3-5. Muller sidefoots homes a superb finish from Schweinsteiger’s cushioned pass, and there is belief again in the Allianz Arena.
Guardiola y Luis Enrique
Bayern Munich’s win brings an end to Barcelona eight-match winning run, as the La Liga side fail to keep a clean sheets for the first time in eight matches.
Xavi played his 150th game in the Champions League tonight, more than any other outfield player.
Marc-André ter Stegen brachte die Bayern in München zur Verzweiflung
MAN OF THE MATCH
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Barcelona) The German goalkeeper only plays cup games for Barcelona, with Claudio Bravo taking the jersey in La Liga matches, but ter Stegen’s poise and agility was crucial in stemming any sense of panic after Mehdi Benatia’s opening goal for the home side. The pick of the 23-year-old’s saves was a brilliant one-handed stop to deny Lewandowski at point-blank range six minutes before the break.
Is winning the Bundesliga early more a hindrance than a help for Bayern Munich? Pep Guardiola’s side wrapped up their 25th German league title on 26 April following Wolfsburg’s 1-0 loss to Borussia Monchengladbach and their own 1-0 victory over Hertha Berlin the previous day. Bayern have since lost their last four games, if the penalty shootout German Cup defeat to Borussia Dortmund on 28 April is included. Conventional wisdom suggests that Bayern should be in top shape for European competition with the league wrapped up, but has the drop in intensity in the Bundesliga had a detrimental effect on their Champions League performances?
Bayern Munich: Neuer 6, Rafinha 6, Boateng 6, Benatia 6, Bernat 6, Alonso 7, Lahm 7, Thiago 6, Schweinsteiger 7, Lewandowski 7, Müller 8. Subs: Gotze 6, Rode 6, Martinez 6.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen 9, Alves 7, Piqué 7, Mascherano 7, J.Alba 7, Busquets 7, Iniesta 7, Rakitić 8, Suárez 8, Messi 8, Neymar 8. Subs: Mathieu 7, Xavi 7, Pedro 7.