Bayern Munich notched an historic and well-deserved 4-0 victory over Barcelona in their Champions League semifinal first leg, with Barcelona’s gamble to play a half-fit Lionel Messi backfiring on the Blaugrana. Although Barca had much of the possession in the early stages of the match, Bayern looked more dangerous than their Spanish opponents, who despite the possession could not create any chances. Bayern’s first chance of the match came in the second minute when Javi Martinez’s cute back-flick to Arjen Robben gave him space to shoot, but the Dutch winger’s scuffed shot from the right side of the box was kicked away by Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes. Bayern were hard done by in in the sixteenth minute, when Philip Lahm’s shot from the edge of the box was blocked by the arm Gerard Pique and referee Viktor Kassai waved play on. Jurgen Klopp’s side did need some luck to give them the lead, when in the twenty-fifth minute the German side edged in front from the remains of a corner. The corner was worked to Robben on the right, who sent a cross to Dante at the far post. The center-back headed it back across goal to Tomas Muller, whose low header got past Valdes to give Bayern the lead. Bayern started to dominate, but it took some last-ditch defending from Dante to poke Dani Alves’ low cross out of the reach of Messi lurking at the far post. Neither side could score again before the end of the first half, which ended 1-0.
Bayern doubled their lead only two minutes into the second half when Robben’s in-swinging corner found Muller at the far post. Muller headed it back across goal to an offside Mario Gomez, but no call was given and Gomez coolly volleyed into the back of the open net from two yards out. Bayern took control of the game following their second, with the German side beginning to control more possession. Heynckes’s side almost put the match to bed five minutes later, but Franck Ribery pulled his shot from six yards out wide. In the fifty-eighth minute Robben rose above Pique to meet Bastian Schweinsteiger cross at the far post, and flicked his header just wide when he really should have hit the target.
The German’s deservedly put the game to bed in the seventieth minute, following Messi losing the ball. Bayern worked it up to Schweinsteiger, who fed it to Robben on the right. Robben almost got past Jordi Alba, before the Spaniard was blocked by Muller, freeing Robben on the right of the Barca box. The German took the ball up to Valdes, and from almost no angle curled a shot around the goalkeeper into the bottom corner of the net. Bayern looked for the fourth goal that would pretty much wrap up the tie, and they almost got it in the seventy-ninth minute when a long ball found Muller down the right. Muller out-muscled Alba, and ran towards goal with the ball before cutting it onto his left foot, sending Pique flying past him, but Valdes was out quick enough to stop his shot from the center of the box. Bayern were completely dominant, grabbed the fourth goal two minutes later when David Alaba got in down the left of the crumbling Barca defense, before hitting a low cross across the face of goal, which Muller tapped into the back of the open net. Although Barca enjoyed some late possession, they could not grab an away goal, and after three minutes of extra time the match ended 4-0, with Barca having a similarly improbable task ahead of them at the Camp Nou if they seek to enter the finals.
Man of the Match: Tomas Muller