Bayern Munich v Barcelona: Live Report
AFP IS NOW CLOSING THIS LIVE REPORT after a brutal second-half performance saw Bayern Munich steamroll over Barcelona 4-0 in their Champions League semi-final first leg match at the Allianz Arena in Munich.
- Published: 24/04/2013 at 12:49 AM
- Newspaper section: news
Bayern Munich players celebrate after scoring a second goal during their Champions League semi final first leg match against Barcelona at the Allianz Arena in Munich, on April 23, 2013.
The Bavarian side took a stranglehold on this match as soon as Muller opened the scoring midway through the first half.
The Bavarians doubled their lead in the 49th minute as Gomez struck with his sixth goal in his last three games.
Robben grabbed the third on 73 minutes and Bayern added a fourth on 82 minutes when Mueller slid into the net for his second.
2119 GMT: It seems the rich just get wealthier... Bayern were like a finely tuned machine, blowing a hole through the artists from Catalonia, and remember that they still have Guardiola and Borussia Dortmund starlet Mario Gotze joining them in the summer.
2113 GMT: I don't know what book they will be giving out in the Barca dressing room, but Vilanova might want to hand out copies of 'How to defend set-pieces' to his shattered players who were bullied by a ruthlessly efficient Bayern side.
2108 GMT: Martinez tries to keep his feet on the ground after a performance that will increase calls for him to displace Busquets or even the mercurial Xavi in the Spain national side.
"We've played a lot of good games this season so I'm not sure if this is the best. We knew how to play against Barcelona tonight," he tells UEFA.
"They had very few chances while we controlled the midfield and prevented them from moving the ball around. We took advantage of dead ball situations," he adds.
2105 GMT: Bayern winger Ribery says the victory was all down to the German's counter-pressing, a style they copied from Barcelona.
"To get such a result, we knew we had to run and press together a lot. Apart from that, we knew we had a striker who could score. We are very happy. There is one game left but I think we performed well tonight," he says.
2059 GMT: The score was Barcelona's worst European defeat since the 1997 group stage 4-0 loss to Dynamo Kiev.
2056 GMT: This performance will raise questions as to whether this is the greatest ever Bayern side.
"We played fantastic today. I have never experienced a night like this and I have been around for quite some time now," says legendary Bayern striker and current chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
"I think we all saw that Lionel Messi was not fully fit. We have a very good chance to reach the final now," he adds.
2055 GMT: Heynckes' will be smiling at that performace, especially as he was stung by the Guardiola barbs on the eve of the match.
And what will Guardiola be thinking? His new side have just demolished his former proteges...
2047 GMT: Bayern have one foot in the final, and only a complete meltdown in the second leg at the Nou Camp on May 1 will halt their path towards the final at Wembley Stadium.
2046 GMT: Robben can hardly contain his joy and is purring with delight after the match.
"I think we knew we were able to give them a good competition. Before the game everybody said it was 50-50, but I think we can be very proud," he tells British broadcaster ITV after the match.
"They have dominated Europe in the last few years but if you dominate them like we did, we can be very proud.
"But now we have to be quiet because there is a second game to come," he adds.
2042 GMT: Goals from Robben and Gomez and a brace from Muller look to have put this match out of Barca's reach...can the Catalan side overcome four goals at the Nou Camp?
One thing is for sure, they will have to tighten up their defending of set-pieces if they want to stand a chance as they were blown away by Bayern.
2035 GMT: What a performance from a rampant Bayern who tore Barcelona apart with a rampant second-half performance that oozed class.
It almost feels as if Barca have handed over the torch, as Barca's tika-taka brand of football has been overtaken by Bayern's steamroller.
Barca looked very drained and maybe Vilanova should have rolled the dice much earlier and replaced Messi (who didn't look fit) with Villa.
FULL-TIME: A massive roar from the Bayern fans as the ref puts Barca out of their misery and brings the game to a close.
90+ 2 mins: YELLOW CARD!
Iniesta is booked for a reckless challenge on Martinez.
90 mins: There will be three minutes of added time
90 mins: YELLOW CARD!
Alba is lucky he isn't sent off for throwing the ball straight the face of Robben
89 mins: Bayern look to drain a few more seconds from this match and Ribery is replaced with Shaqiri
87 mins: YELLOW CARD!
It's becoming a very scrappy encounter as Schweinsteiger is the fifth booking
86 mins: YELLOW CARD!
Sanchez is booked as he tugs at Robben's jersey to prevent another raid on Valdes' penalty area.
84 mins: Vilanova leaves it late to make a change and finally decides to bring on Villa for Pedro.
83 mins: Muller gets a standing ovation from the Bayern faithful as he is substituted for Pizarro.
82 mins: GOAL!
Bayern 4, Barcelona 0
The Barcelona nightmare goes from bad to worse as Muller adds a fourth goal for the German champions.
Beautiful build-up play from Bayern who take advantage of a yawning gap in the Barca rearguard.
Ribery gallops down the left before releasing Alaba who drills the ball across the six-yard box for Muller to force his way past Alba to hammer the ball into the roof of the net. Bayern fans can hardly believe the scoreline.
80 mins: Messi loses possession and Martinez launches another quick-fire attack as he feeds Muller who charges toward the Barca area before lining up a stinging shot which Valdes does well to save.
76 mins: Dearie me, what an awful miss by Bartra. The defender fools the Bayern rearguard by sneaking his way onto a Xavi cross but mistimes his cross-range shot
73 mins: GOAL!
Bayern 3, Barcelona 0
Can Barcelona come back from that body-blow?
Robben sprints down the right wing and takes advantage of an illegal block by Muller on Alba to cut inside the area and drill the ball past Valdes.
Barca's players are furious with the referee but it wont change the scoreline and its now becoming a carnival atmosphere in the Arena after that strike!
72 mins: Pique nearly puts his name on the scoresheet with a thunderous header but Neuer has to be at full stretch to palm the ball away.
71 mins: Bayern make the first substitution as Gustavo replaces Gomez.
Heynckes is looking to shore things up with the tigerish Gustavo, who will be snapping at the heels of Xavi and Iniesta.
69 mins: Neuer is called into action as he spreads himself to deflect a shot from Sanchez.
65 mins: Barcelona are slowing inching their way back into this game and Alves' fierce cross is headed away by Dante as Messi was lurking at the back post.
62 mins: Barcelona have really slowed the tempo of the match and are trying to catch their breath after a barnstorming performance from Bayern.
Xavi pulls the strings from midfield and nearly finds Alves but Neuer is alert to the danger and dives low to pinch the ball off the Brazilian's toes just as he is preparing to shoot.
60 mins: Robben tries to create another opening after some nice play from Martinez but his final pass is too strong for Ribery.
58 mins: The Bayern fans are on their feet thinking they have added a third, as Robben leaps over Alves to meet Schweinsteiger's free-kick, but the Dutch winger can only drill his header a whisker wide of the post.
55 mins: Messi suddenly springs into life and twists his way past two opponents before running into a cul-de-sac of Bayern defenders and is quickly dispossessed
54 mins: Bayern are in dominant form as Ribery nearly adds a third after another jinxing run from Muller.
The German frees Ribery on the edge of the area but the French winger drags his shot wide!
That was close for Bayern, and a third goal would really put the game out of Barca's reach...
52 mins: Muller nearly increases Bayern's lead as he goes on a mazy run and then sees his fierce shot flash narrowly wide of Valdes' goal.
49 mins: GOAL! Robben drills a corner to the back post where Muller nods the ball back into the path of Gomez, who sneaks past Pique to knock the ball past Valdes to the delight of the Allianz Arena.
48 mins: Neat play from Iniesta and Pedro but the final pass is lacking and the linesman waves for offside.
46 mins: YELLOW CARD! It only takes Martinez a few seconds to earn a booking.
The ref waves a card after Martinez bundles Iniesta over for a soft booking.
46 mins: Barcelona get the second half under way
1943 GMT: The first-half statistics show that Barca enjoyed 63 percent possession but it was sterile as they only managed one shot in 45 minutes.
1937 GMT: Barca have been bundled out of the game, and Vilanova might consider sending on Fabregas to give his side more ballast in midfield as the diminutive Xavi and Iniesta cannot compete with the powerful Martinez.
1935 GMT: Bayern look really powerful and have knocked the rhythm out of Barcelona.
Messi has been a peripheral figure so far but Bayern look very dangerous from set-pieces.
45 mins: The ref brings the first half to a close and the players march back to the dressing room, with Bayern fully deserving of their lead.
45 mins: Bayern's midfield duo of Martinez and Schweinsteiger have really knocked the stuffing out of Barca, and the Basque draws polite applause as he breaks up another Catalan attack.
43 mins: Barca look really short of ideas and lack their normal fluidity, and are forced to loft a ball over the top of the Bayern rearguard but the speedy Alba cannot reach the pass and the ball goes out of play.
40 mins: Messi looks short of fitness and lacks the usual spark of acceleration that normally strikes fear into the heart of opponents. The Argentinian tries to launch an attack but Martinez is there to pinch the ball just as the jet-heeled star was sizing up a shot.
39 mins: YELLOW CARD! Bartra is booked for a clumsy challenge that nearly decapitates Muller. Bartra mistimes his jump and thumps into the side of Muller, who really felt that tackle.
37 mins: YELLOW CARD! Gomez goes into the ref's book as the powerfully-built striker smashes into the side of Messi. No complaints from Gomez, but Messi is a bit slow getting up after that hefty challenge.
32 mins: Big appeal for a penalty as Bayern earn another corner and Dante's goalbound header is blocked by Alexei Sanchez.
28 mins: Barca click into gear and Pedro cuts the ball back for Messi but the athletic Dante is aware of the danger and hooks the ball away from the Argentinian forward.
27 mins: TV replays show that Dante was climbing all over Alves in the build-up for the goal, but there were no complaints from Barca.
The Germans have been good value and fully deserve the lead as Barca have really struggled to impose themselves in this match.
25 mins: GOAL! Bayern 1 Barcelona 0
Lovely worked goal by Bayern, as Robben cuts inside Alba and arcs the ball towards Dante who nods it back into the path of Muller at the near post...the German forward makes no mistake as he stabs the ball past Valdes with a close-range header.
22 mins: Bayern push forward and earn another corner after a mistake by Bartra -- who up to that points seemed very composed.
Bartra passes it straight to Bayern and Alba sprints back to clear the danger but can only kick the ball into touch for a corner.
Robben floats the ball into the heart of the penalty box but Valdes punches the ball clear.
21 mins: Great piece of skill from Iniesta, as he ghosts past Lahm and tries to feed Pedro but Bayern fans breath a sigh of relief as the move comes to nothing.
17 mins: Lahm is proving to be a thorn in Barca's side as he wins a corner after another swashbuckling charge down the flank, but the home side waste it with Robben is flagged offside
15 mins: The Bayern fans scream for a penalty as Pique uses his arm to block Lahm's meaty strike but the referee waves play on..much to the disgust of a snarling Schweinsteiger
12 mins: Barca are not being given the time or space to establish their famous triangular passing patterns, but Alaba has to be at full stretch as Pedro is lurking on the edge of the area and looking to reach a perfectly weighted pass from Xavi.
10 mins: Martinez has done a good job shielding his defence, and he draws cheers from the Allianz Arena as he breaks up another Barca attack.
8 mins: Barca suddenly spring into life and earn a corner as Messi forces Dante into conceding the set-piece...
The shaven-headed Pique nearly opens the scoring with a powerful header.
6 mins: St George is also the patron saint for Catalonia, and it is customary to give people roses and books as gifts. Vilanova might want to give his players a football as Barca have struggled to keep possession which is very uncharacteristic of this side.
5 mins: Messi has still to touch the ball and Bayern fans are in full song as Lahm charges down the wing before he is upended by Bartra.
4 mins: Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova urges his side forward as they have still failed to get a toe-hold in this clash.
2 mins: Bayern go straight for the jugular, and a neat move sees Martinez back-hell the ball into the path of the fast-charging Robben but his shot is blocked by Valdes.
1845 GMT: The referee blows his whistle and the Germans (in their traditional red strip) get the match under way.
1839 GMT: Bartra is called into the Barca rearguard, and he will have his hands full battling the powerful Gomez
1836 GMT: Bayern have been forced to reshuffle their striking line-up, and Gomez (who has a Spanish father) is drafted into the side for the suspended Mario Mandzukic.
It looks like Heynckes will not revert to the 4-4-2 that demolished Hanover 96 at the weekend, so Pizarro sits on the bench.
The pacy Jerome Boateng is preferred to the towering height of Belgium's Daniel van Buyten at centre-back.
Bayern defenders Dante and Philipp Lahm have to be careful they dont conceed any fouls as they will miss the second-leg match on May 1 if they pick up another booking.
1829 GMT: The Bayern coach bristled when asked if he sought any advice from former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola ahead of tonight's match.
The former Barcelona coach will be replacing Heynckes in the Bayern dugout this summer and the German coach was irritated by suggestions he mights have given him the 'how to stop Messi' blueprint.
"I admire Pep Guardiola, but I don't need any advice from other coaches," he said on the eve of the match.
"I know my team better than anybody and I also know a lot about Spanish football and Barcelona.
"There has been no kind of contact (with Guardiola) at all."
Guardiola is currently in New York on a sabbatical, I wonder if he will sneak into the packed stadium to watch this scintillating clash.
1828 GMT: Munich's Marienplatz is full of Barcelona fans in the run-up to the match, according to AFP's Stephane Ghazarian.
"Hundreds of Barca fans have taken over the main square in Munich, and are chanting Messi, Messi, in tribute to their hero," he says.
1826 GMT: Bayern have no excuses for underestimating Barcelona after their 4-0 thumping at the Camp Nou stadium in the 2009 Champions League quarter-final, when Messi netted twice as Barca went on to win the title.
The hosts led 4-0 at half-time to leave Bayern shell-shocked and the defeat signalled the end of ex-Germany coach Jurgen Klinsmann's pitifully short 10-month tenure as Munich trainer.
1825 GMT: Martinez has been just as effusive about the role played by Busquets in Barca's system.
"Sergio Busquets is the key piece at Barca. There are others who capture the headlines more, but that Barca has achieved so many it is thanks to him," he also told Barca's website.
Hmmmm, lets see if they are as friendly and complimentary to each other when they are on the pitch....
1820 GMT: Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets has been gushing with praise for his Spanish international colleague Javi Martinez.
The Basque-born midfielder joined Bayern Munich last summer after a 40 million euro transfer from Atletico Bilbao, and Busquets believes his arrival has been the key to Bayern Munich's success this season.
"Martinez has spectacular physical power," he told Barcelona's website.
"He is all over the pitch, he covers a lot of ground and recovers a lot of balls. He is Bayern's lungs. As many of his teammates and manager have said, he is the piece that the team needed."
1815 GMT: Messi has been passed fit after shaking off a hamstring injury he picked up in the first-leg of Barcelona's quarter-final tie with Paris Saint-Germain on April 2.
"Leo Messi has received on Tuesday the medical all-clear and will be able to play against Bayern Munich in the first-leg of the Champions League semi-finals," said a statement on the club's website.
The 25-year-old returned to play the final 30 minutes of the return-leg against the Parisians a week later as Barca sneaked through on away goals after a 3-3 draw on aggregate.
However, he has missed league matches against Real Zaragoza and Levante.
1811 GMT: The starting line-ups: -
Manuel Neuer; Philipp Lahm (c), Jerome Boateng, Dante, David Alaba; Bastian Schweinsteiger, Javi Martinez; Arjen Robben, Thomas Mueller, Franck Ribery, Mario GomezManager: Jupp Heynckes
Barcelona:Victor Valdes; Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Marc Bartra, Jordi Alba; Xavi Hernandez (c), Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta; Pedro Rodriguez, Lionel Messi, Alexis Sanchez
Manager: Tito Vilanova
Referee: Viktor Kassai (HUN)
WELCOME TO AFP'S LIVE REPORT on the Champions League semi-final first leg match between Bayern Munich and Barcelona at the Allianz Arena in Munich.
Bayern are aiming to become the first German team to win the treble of European, league and cup titles and the Bavarians are looking to avenge last year's final defeat to Chelsea as they bid to reach their third Champions League final in four years.
Jupp Heynckes' side are in red-hot form and have wrapped up the Bundesliga with a record six games to spare, allowing the wily coach to rest some of his key players before the crunch semi-final clash.
The Germans warmed up for the showdown with a 6-1 win at Hanover 96 on Saturday.
Bayern are firing on all cylinders and are relaxed enough with their own form to shrug off the threat posed by Lionel Messi's return to the Barcelona side, even though Heynckes knows his side to gain some sort of an advantage in Munich before the return leg in Spain on May 1.
"Barcelona aren't just about Messi, they have plenty of great players. Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Cesc Fabregas and David Villa - the list goes on," he said on the eve of the match.
Barcelona warmed up for tonight's showdown with a 1-0 win against Levante to keep them 13 points clear at the top of the Spanish league, but have looked a pale imitation of themselves without Messi who has not featured in either of Barcelona's two league games since they overcame Paris St-Germain.
Kick-off is less than an hour away at 1845 GMT (1945 BST) so stay with us for all the action as it unfolds in Munich.
About the author
- Writer: AFP
- Position: News agency