By DAN KARELL
From the first minute of the game, Bayern Munich decided to take the fight to Barcelona. After the first 90 minutes of the two-legged affair, it looks like their semifinal fight may already be over.
Midfielder Thomas Müller scored two goals and recorded an assist to lead Bayern as they throttled Barcelona 4-0 on Tuesday in the first-leg of the Champions League semifinals. Arjen Robben had one of his best games all season in European competition, scoring a goal and assisting on another, while Mario Gomez collected his seventh goal in the club’s last four matches in all competitions.
Lionel Messi started but never looked comfortable on the field for Barcelona, while the hosts used their aerial and physical dominance to control the match. Müller scored the opener in the 25th minute, heading home from close range after his teammate Dante won a header in the box over Barcelona’s Gerard Pique.
On the other side of halftime, the story only got worse for the visitors. Müller won a header in the box in the 49th minute, giving Gomez a chance to finish just in front of goal. Video replay showed that he may have been offside, but the officials ruled the play a legal goal.
Arjen Robben, who provided the ball that Dante headed towards Müller in the first half, got himself on the board in the 73rd, storming through the right side of the box before finishing from a tight angle with his left foot. Müller would complete the demolition, scoring in the 82nd minute, again from close range, to make it a 4-0 scoreline.
In addition to Messi, the entire defensive unit of Mark Bartra, Dani Alves, Jordi Alba, and Pique all had night’s they’d rather forget.
What did you think of the match? Impressed by Bayern’s dominance? See either Real Madrid or Borussia Dortmund beating them in the final? Think Barcelona can rebound next year and challenge for the title?
Share your thoughts below.