Bayern Munich beats Barcelona in Champions League

Bayern Munich made a brutally efficient case that it is the team to beat in the Champions League this season, humbling visiting Barcelona, 4:0, on Tuesday in the first leg of their semifinal at Allianz Arena. Thomas Muller scored two goals and set up two others for Bayern, which did not so much change places with Barcelona atop the pedestal as shove the visitors off it.
“They gave us a thrashing” – Barcelona defender Gerard Pique said.
The eagerly anticipated showdown between European heavyweights, both four-time winners of the competition, was a mismatch. Bayern dominated the midfield even as it surrendered much of the possession, frustrating Barcelona’s passing game before it could get close enough to create chances and then punishing the Catalans at the other end. Bayern used its size advantage to dominate in the air on set pieces, at times simply bullying Barcelona into submission.

Bayern Munich beats Barcelona in Champions League
Franck Ribery.

By the end it was a humiliation. Barcelona – the team that have made their reputation on merciless thrashings – know what it feels like to be on the wrong end of a good old-fashioned one themselves. They had been outfought, out-thought and, ultimately, outplayed and, from here, who can possibly see Bayern surrendering this position and not making it to Wembley on 25 May?
A team of Barcelona’s refinement are simply not accustomed to being humbled in this manner. They will consider it a deeply chastening experience and perhaps the most astonishing part is that the damage might have been even more grievous. Bayern played with such ambition and superiority it is no exaggeration to say the team 20 points clear at the summit of German football might have added more goals.
Barcelona left with legitimate complaints about the officiating, particularly when Mario Gomez and the outstanding Arjen Robben scored the second and third goals, but they would be kidding themselves if they want to attribute the blame elsewhere.

Thomas Mueller scored a brace as Bayern Munich demolished Barcelona 4:0 in their Champions League semi-final first leg tie Tuesday at the Allianz Arena.
Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben also got on the scoresheet as last year’s beaten finalists dominated throughout against a disappointing Barcelona side to all but assure themselves a place in next month’s final at Wembley.
Mueller deservedly put the home side in front on 25 minutes, heading home from close range to register his 19th goal of the season after Barcelona failed to clear a corner.
Bayern’s second also came from a set-piece four minutes after the restart when Gomez tapped in after Mueller had headed a Robben corner back across the area.
Robben made it 3:0 to the hosts 17 minutes from time with a fine breakaway effort to cap a superb performance and Mueller completed the rout on 82 minutes to complete a miserable night for Tito Vilanova’s side.
Borussia Dortmund entertain Real Madrid in the other semi-final Wednesday at the Westfalenstadion.

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