Barcelona progressed to the Champions League Final last night after a 5-3 aggregate win over Bayern Munich. Although it wasn’t total domination for the Catalan side as Pep Guardiola managed to exact some revenge as his Bayern side won 3-2 last night albeit it was not enough to overturn their 1st leg deficit.
Bayern simply had to go for it and they started the quicker out of the blocks with Mehdi Benatia’s header putting them in front after only 7 minutes and they could have quite easily made it 2-0 soon after if it wasn’t for the handy work of Andre ter Stergen in the Barcelona goal.
But for all of Bayern’s early attacking prowess they were simply let down at the back as Barcelona didn’t just manage to find wide open space but they seemed to be gifted the freedom of the Bayern half as 2 surging counter attacks led to 2 well taken finishes from Neymar to put Barcelona ahead at half time.
Again ter Stergen managed to thwart Bayern with a fantastic recovery save from Robert Lewandowski as he managed to hook the ball off the line when it looked like his original saved effort was going to agonisingly squirm past him and into the net, thankfully lady luck was smiling and whole ball didn’t manage to cross the line.
Barcelona who were all but in the Final at this point, eased the tempo slightly in the second half and their wonderful attacking triumvirate was split up at half time with Pedro replacing Suarez and although they had chances to kill the tie of completely if it wasn’t already dead it was Bayern who came out the stronger after the break. I think Pep Guardiola would have told his men to go and restore a bit of pride in front of their home fans and that they did with goals from Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller. But even though they were ahead on the night the task in front of them was always going to be insurmountable
Barcelona although losers on the night will now look forward to a first Champions League Final since 2011 and a real chance of winning their first treble since 2009. The fact that Messi, Neymar and Suarez are really hitting the stride as a trio at the business end of the season is a massive boost for Luis Enrique as frankly they look pretty much unstoppable. If they can manage to beat Atletico Madrid this weekend (providing the strike in Spain doesn’t go ahead) then Luis Enrique can afford to rest his main men for their last game of the season at home to Deportivo and have them well rested before the Champions League Final takes place in June
As for Bayern in a season where they have seen so dominant in the Bundesliga in what has been all but a one horse race, they will have to now regroup and plan their next assault on the Champions League next season. With Pep Guardiola committing himself to at least one more season at The Allianz Arena he will certainly want to add another Champions League title before a possible departure to an already illustrious trophy haul and join the list of names of managers who have won the competition with two different clubs.