Bayern humiliate Barca, enter Champions League final

Madrid, May 2 (IANS) There were no surprises and no miracles in FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou Stadium as Bayern Munich won 3-0 to qualify 7-0 on aggregate for the final of the Champions League, where they will take on compatriots Borussia Dortmund at Wembley.

If Borussia had to suffer a difficult last 10 minutes against Real Madrid Tuesday night before assuring their place in the final, an impressive Bayern reached their third final in four years without really breaking a sweat, despite a spirited performance, at least in the first half from Barca Wednesday night, reports Xinhua.

Arjen Robben’s goal at the start of the second half made it 1-0 on the night to the Germans and 5-0 on aggregate and Gerard Pique’s own goal merely underlined the obvious: that Bayern were the better team.

The big pre-game surprise was that Lionel Messi, who many had seen as Barca’s one and only hope of working a Champions League miracle, was on the subs’ bench as a result of his hamstring problem.

Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets were also missing, while Bayern were without central defender Dante, who had flu.

Barca coach Tito Vilanova had promised that his side would be true to themselves and play the football that had eluded them and with a Bayern side that had clearly not come to defend their 4-0 advantage from the first leg, the first half was a vibrant open affair with both sides looking to take the game to their rivals.

Barcelona looked to Xavi and Andres Iniesta to be their inspiration, while Bayern based their play on the impressive midfield duo of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez, who despite the importance of the game did not commit one single foul in the opening 45 minutes.

Also to their credit Bayern looked to keep the ball rolling, perhaps because their supreme confidence told them they had no need to try and resort to time wasting tactics.

Despite the high-energy football, it did not produce and goals, with the best chances being a volley from Xavi Hernandez which flew over the Bayern bar and a couple of breakthroughs from Arjen Robben, who saw his chances blocked by last ditch tackles from Gerard Pique and Alex Song, who was enjoying a good game in place of Busquets.

The tie was over as a contest three minutes into the second half when Robben scored for the visitors. Victor Valdes sliced a long clearance from his area and a long pass from David Alaba found Robben in space to cut in from the right and curl a left foot shot into the far corner of the Barca net.

The away goal meant Barca had to score six goals in just over 40 minutes and the only voices heard in the Camp Nou were those of the 5,000 Bayern fans who had made the trip from Munich.

Vilanova soon took off Xavi and Iniesta, perhaps mindful that his side can take the consolation prize of the Primera Liga this Sunday night, but although domestic success awaits Barca, as Pique’s 72nd own goal highlighted, it is Bayern who will have a chance at European glory.

Thomas Muller made it 3-0 on the night with 13 minutes left, but by then the goal was almost an anecdote.

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