NEWS
Tuesday April 23 2013
Bayern batter Barca

Two goals from Thomas Muller and one apiece for Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben gave Bayern Munich a resounding 4-0 win over Barcelona.

Lionel Messi was passed fit for the semi-final clash after overcoming a hamstring injury which had kept him out for the last few weeks. There was bad news in defence however for Tito Vilanova, as Jordi Alba had to be drafted in at centre-back following the injuries to Javier Mascherano and Carles Puyol.

For the Bundesliga side meanwhile, they called upon the Spanish-born Gomez after Mario Mandzukic was suspended for the clash. Former Athletic Bilbao man Javi Martinez also started.

And it was the Bavarian club who begun the match the brighter of the two sides. Robben was having some joy down the right-hand side early on, and forced Victor Valdes into a smart save within the first two minutes.

The heavily watered pitch at Allianz Arena was clearly having an impact on the Catalan side’s passing game, and they struggled initially to get into the game. Possession wasn’t the problem, but penetrating the opposition defence was.

That lack of cutting edge would eventually come back to haunt the Blaugrana midway through the half. Thomas Muller pounced on a loose Dante effort to head home from close range, to give the hosts a well-deserved lead.

Jupp Heynckes’ men may have been second-best in terms of time on the ball, but they were really hurting Barca in wide areas and on the counter-attack. David Alaba and Philipp Lahm’s marauding runs from full-back were causing a real headache, and it was only the pace of Jordi Alba and Dani Alves that was keeping that threat at bay.

Wayward passes and a lack of movement were endemic for the visitors, and they went into the break not having created any opportunity of note.

After the interval, it was more of the same for Vilanova’s side – and they fell further behind after only 50 minutes. A Robben corner was headed back across the box by Muller, and Gomez was there to tap into an empty net.

It may have taken them an hour, but eventually the Catalans started to probe away at the Bayern defence. Alexis Sanchez and Pedro were getting to the byline and crossing, but Messi usual lightning reactions weren’t on show, and Manuel Neuer was able to keep his gloves clean.

And it just went from bad to worse for the Camp Nou club, as on 73 minutes the Bavarians hit them on the counter-attack, culminating in Robben curling a shot past Valdes and into the bottom left-hand corner.

The misery wasn’t to end there though. With eight minutes remaining, Alaba’s surging run took Dani Alves out of the game, and the Austria international found Muller with a superb cross, for the striker to just tap in for an easy win.

Bayern Munich 4-0 Barcelona

Scorers: Muller 24, 82 (BM), Gomez 50 (BM), Robben 73 (BM)

Bayern Munich: Neuer; Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Alaba; Martínez, Schweinsteiger; Robben, Müller (Pizarro 83), Ribéry (Shaqiri 88); Gomez (Luis Gustavo 70).

Barcelona: Valdés, Alves, Alba, Piqué, Bartra;  Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta;  Pedro (Villa 83), Messi, Alexis.

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