Bayern Munich cruise past Barcelona into Champions League final

BayernMunichWin (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

After Wednesday’s performance, it would be hard to say that Bayern Munich isn’t currently the best team in the world.

The German side defeated Barcelona, 3-0 (7-0 on aggregate), at the Camp Nou in the second-leg of the Champions League semifinals to make their second successive European final, where they will face rivals Borussia Dortmund at Wembley Stadium in London on May 25.

Barcelona star Lionel Messi was named as a substitute for the match but never made an appearance as the Spanish club was outplayed by a strong Bayern side. Veteran defender Daniel Van Buyten started in place of Dante and had himself a strong performance in defense alongside Jerome Boateng.

After a scoreless half where Bayern were the more comfortable side, winger Arjen Robben put the tie away int he 49th minute with a pretty left footed shot into the far netting from inside the box.

As Barcelona’s energy levels began to wane, Bayern struck again in the 72nd minute, when a Frank Ribery cross from the left was sent into the home side’s goal by defender Gerard Pique, rubbing salt into the wounds of his teammates and the club’s fans.

Four minutes later the German squad ended any chance of a comeback, with midfielder Thomas Müller adding his team’s third goal of the night on a header in the six-yard box off a left footed cross from Ribery. Once again, Bayern was given plenty of time and space around the box to attack, and it’s no surprise that Müller found the back of the net after scoring twice in the first-leg.

Tito Vilanova’s charges now can only focus on wrapping up the La Liga title, as for the first time since 2008 Barcelona will only win one trophy in a season. Bayern, who have already won the Bundesliga title, are contending for two more trophies in the next two months, the Champions League and the German Cup.

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25 Responses to Bayern Munich cruise past Barcelona into Champions League final

  1. seaoctopus says:

    Bundesliga ueber alles!

  2. ChiTown says:

    Where to start?

    Played Messi in meaningless weekend league match. Didn’t play Messi in Champions League match.

    Played Cesc far out of position.

    Played David Villa in the middle with Cesc, Iniesta, Xavi and Pedro.

    Didn’t sub off Villa after he demonstrated that he had no interest in working with the team. Selfish, lazy play.

    Subbed off Xavi and Iniesta. Conceded the match.

    Tiki Taka needs strong wide play to stretch defenses for probing passes on the inside. That’s seriously the cornerstone of the final third aspect of the system.

    And you couldn’t even tell your winger/forward — Villa — to do that. Alexis Sanchez comes in and voila the attack comes to life.

  3. MiamiAl says:

    Bundesliga is simply the best! And Bayern will be dominating for many year to come!!! Without Guardiola, Barca is just another team…3-0 at home? Barca totally embarrassed themselves. What a thorough whipping!!!

    • ChiTown says:

      Well, and without the best player in the world, Puyol, Busquets, Alba, Abidal… Outside of missing their most important players yeah–they’re nothing.

      You do know they could still set the record for most points ever in La Liga? Right?

      • Mike says:

        Most points in la Liga..not much of a silver linning.

      • Ceez says:

        Most points ever in La Liga? Lol. That means nothing.

      • HoboMike says:

        When you’re most important players include a 35 year old center back and a 33 year old left back who had a tumor in his liver, that’s saying something.

        Fact is, Barcelona has the talent to beat the sorry teams in La Liga (which, outside of Real, is shockingly thin). Strong teams, such as those in England and Germany, have unveiled the blueprint for victory against them, starting with Chelsea last year.

        Barcelona has no plan B – they have tiki-taka passing which builds up their gaudy (and meaningless) possession stats. They refuse to shoot from distance, preferring to try to pass their way into the net. They employ no tall players, meaning they are susceptible to set pieces (Muller outjumped 2 for the third goal, and it wasn’t even close). The lack of a tall center forward also means they have no answer when teams pack the box and force them out wide. Busquets is a great defensive mid, but the lack of strength of their other players mean they can easily be pushed around. And for all the world-class players they have, they remain amazingly dependent on Messi.

        I, for one, cannot stand how they play, as I’m not seduced by 85% possession stats. I’m quite happy Bayern made them look foolish.

        • GW says:

          “Fact is, Barcelona has the talent to beat the sorry teams in La Liga (which, outside of Real, is shockingly thin). Strong teams, such as those in England and Germany, have unveiled the blueprint for victory against them, starting with Chelsea last year.”

          Most European leagues have only one or two teams really capable of winning their League in a given year.

          No one seriously challenged Man U and Man City this year.

          To be fair, the blueprint for beating Barca has been around for ages but I would say the first team, in recent memory to demonstrate it is, yes you guessed it, the USMNT when they beat Spain 2-0 in the 2009 Confederations Cup. I realize we’re talking Spain not Barca here but the basic blueprint is there.

          Switzerland picked up on that and beat Spain 1-0 in the 2010 World Cup.

          In between those two the Special One and Inter beat them in the semis of the Champion’s League, which Inter won that year.

          Bayern would have won anyway but it helps to have a worn down Messi, with a supporting cast that is also worn down.
          Bayern has just the right mix of skill and power, veterans and youth and a great manager who is highly motivated to prove everyone wrong.

          Bayern is always good to great but it remains to be seen whether this blend will survive the managerial change next year.

          Likewise Barca will be good to great next year. They have been down this road many times before. Neymar could make a difference next year, but it is worth noting that the 2009-10 edition of Barca had Zlatan and a still very good Thierry Henry.

          It’s still all about Leo.

  4. dude says:

    Three things Barca needs:

    1) a coach who will be on the sidelines from beginning to end. You can’t expect a team like Barcelona to maintain excellence without a manager. Villanova sounds like a good coach and a great guy, but he might be better served with some time to rest and recover properly.

    2) Buy center backs. Pique needs a partner for the future, and Mascherano and Song shouldn’t be played there.

    3) Now’s the time to bring in Neymar. He’s said that there is an agreement, but if not now, when? Without Messi, this team still had a passing hub, but could not weaponize that possession.

    This team still has world cup players, but this offseason is important.

  5. jim in Atlanta says:

    A reloaded Barcelona next year. Will prove that no true power shift has occurred. Bayer are the best team in the world this year but Barcelona has had these weakness for some time now, and with an out of form messi. Those weakness more exposed and more glaring. A good athletic cb, two solid scoring cowards with size ala eto and Henry to go along with messi and barca will be back on top. Bayern is pretty much 09 barca minus messi. Different style of play, not tiki taka, but same concept.

    • Increase says:

      That is a lot of players to buy and a lot of money. They will have to sell to get them and then they might end up lacking depth in other locations. They are gunna have some hard choices years of luxury buys. They can’t get a defense and Neymar.

    • Old School says:

      “Bayern is pretty much 09 barca minus messi. Different style of play, not tiki taka, but same concept.”

      …other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?

      Aside from comparing them as the current best team in the World in a given year, none of that made sense. They’re two entirely different teams.

      Also, Barcelona, previous to this year, may go down as one of the best teams the game has ever seen. It’s far too early to say that about Bayern and it’s incredibly premature to compare the sides.

      The way Bayern are built, I’m sure their reign has only begun but I don’t believe a “reloaded” Barca will capture the magic they once had.

      They’re simply not the same team. They do not strike fear in the hearts of bigger clubs. Without Messi, they’re a shell of anything great. The players are older/aging. Even Neymar and a top defensive signing aren’t going to have them reach the pinnacle of what we saw in years past.

      Previous to this year, this Barca side will go down as one of the greats of all time. However, I think we’ve seen the height of their dominance and like every dominant force, there is a descent from greatness.

      We’re watching that descent unfold.

  6. DC Josh says:

    Pretty sure the Germans have finally taken over the Spanish for world (and eventual universal) domination of the soccer ball.

    Ever since their collapse in the summer of 2006, they have been teetering on overtaking Spanish football. You cannot take anything away from the brilliance of Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Spain from 2008-2012, but it is now Germany’s time to shine.

    Bayern will only get stronger next year, and the German youth (a severe understatement-maybe infants?) only have improvement in their future.

    • Eurosnob says:

      Let’s not confuse Germany and Bayern. Robben, Ribery, Javi Martinez, Dante, Mandzukich, Alaba, Gustavo, Van Buyten, etc will not be dressing up for Germany. Spain are still the World and European champions and until Germany dethrones them, it is premature to talk about the changing of the guard.

      • GW says:

        Well, from the four semifinalists in terms of regular players that Germany can cap they have, at least:

        • Real Madrid: Ozil, Khedira
        • Bayern Munich: Neuer. Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Muller, Gomez, Kroos, Badstuber, Boateng
        • Dortmund: Gundogan, Reus, Gotze, Hummels, Bender, Schmelzer
        • Barca: Nadie

        I’ll bet they would do well at the Gold Cup don’t you think?.

        • Eurosnob says:

          It is a very solid squad and they definitely would be one of the contenders, but they also had solid squads at the WC in South Africa and at Euro and have nothing to show for it.

  7. SydneySounder says:

    I just rewatched the match. I think Barcelona should just put Pique up top. Dude squared up perfectly, stayed onsides, and put a difficult cross in the back of the net. Can’t ask much more than that.

  8. Shane says:

    heh heh. Tiki taka- not so much.

  9. Matt DCU says:

    So many Bundesliga and Bayern fans crawling out of the woodwork right now…

    Personally, if you like Bayern because they’re good, you’re just about as bad as Barcelona fans who like them because they’re so good. The bandwagon’s leaving so you better jump on it quickly. People just like the best and it’s kind of annoying.

    • SydneySounder says:

      This is a selection issue. The only time Bayern get any posts/press in the States (or in Australia) is when they’re far along in the Champions League. “Coming out of the woodwork” just means Bayern fans have space to talk about Bayern, we’re not going to talk about Bayern in a random MLS thread.

  10. gift says:

    bayern munich are to play their third final in four years. They have been the best team in terms of consistence. Barcelona are have been one overrated team. lets look at the teams that have beaten barcelona. Its a disgrace that a team of celtic’s calibre have beaten a full streng barca side. Arsenal, chelsea, inter ac milian have beaten barcelona. And the goal margin ( 7-0) againST BAYERN PROVES HOW GOOD BAYERN ARE. BAYERN HAVE BEATEN TITTLE HOPEFULS WHICH INCLUDE MAN U , JUVENTUS, MADRID , AND BARCELONA ON THEIR WAY TO THE FINALS. Take out messi from barcelona then all the teams i have mentioned can beat barcelona but the same story cannot be said of bayern. They have proved over the years they dont depend on any player. Thats why you can not choose the world ‘s best player from them. They are a team.