Bloomberg News

Bayern Routs Barca to Set Up All-German Champions League Final

May 01, 2013

Bayern Munich routed Barcelona 7-0 over two matches to set up the first all-German Champions League soccer final.

Second-half goals by Arjen Robben and Thomas Mueller, plus an own goal from Gerard Pique, gave Bayern a 3-0 win to wrap up the semifinal last night at the Nou Camp Stadium in Spain.

Bayern will face German Bundesliga foe Borussia Dortmund in the title match of Europe’s elite club competition May 25 at Wembley Stadium in London. It will be the fourth time that teams from the same country meet in the final.

“We’ll celebrate with a few beers tonight,” Bayern captain Philipp Lahm said on the website of tournament organizer UEFA. “It’s not taken for granted to beat Barcelona on their home ground 3-0 but I’ve always said we have special characters in our squad and that we’re capable of great things.”

Dortmund, which beat Real Madrid by a 4-3 total in the other semifinal, won its only Champions League final appearance in 1997. It claimed the German Bundesliga title the past two years before losing out to Bayern this season.

“It’s going to be a big one,” Robben said in an interview with Sky Sports. “Borussia Dortmund has proven over the last two, three years that they are a very good team. It will be decided on very small details.”

Bayern will be making its third appearance in the final in four seasons, having lost to Inter Milan in 2010 and Chelsea last year. The last of its four European Cup titles came in 2001.

Chasing Sweep

Bayern is chasing an unprecedented sweep of three major trophies this season. In addition to its 23rd German league championship, the Bavarian club has advanced to the final of the domestic cup competition. No team from Germany has won its league and cup and the Champions League in the same season.

“When I came to Bayern one of my objectives was to win trophies,” midfielder Javi Martinez said on UEFA’s website. “We have won one and now are in two finals.”

Barcelona played without striker Lionel Messi, who’s been bothered by a hamstring injury. The four-time world player of the year played all 90 minutes of the opening 4-0 loss in Germany last week, before coming on a substitute in a 2-2 draw with Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish league last weekend.

“The fact that Lionel Messi, the best player in the world, did not play was a factor, but I do not think his participation tonight would have changed things all that much,” Pique said on UEFA’s website.

Run Ends

Barcelona was seeking its fifth title, and fourth in eight seasons. The Spanish league leader lost for the first time in 22 Champions League home games, dating back to a 2-1 defeat to Rubin Kazan in October 2009.

Neither team could muster a clear scoring chance in the first half. Robben was sent free on a counter attack in the 12th minute before being stopped by backtracking defender Gerard Pique.

Pedro Rodriguez’s long shot in the 25th minute was deflected out for a corner kick and Xavi Hernandez sent a volley over goal moments later. Another long shot from Adriano was gathered in by Manuel Neuer, who also caught Dani Alves’s high cross as Bayern continued to thwart the home side.

Barcelona’s frustration grew further four minutes into the second half as Robben took David Alaba’s cross-field pass on the right side, cut to the middle of the area and curled a left- footed shot past Victor Valdes for the first goal of the game.

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova then made two substitutions, bringing on striker Alexis Sanchez for Xavi in the 55th minute and Thiago Alcantara for Andres Iniesta 10 minutes later, sacrificing his two midfielder leaders with his club now needing six goals to advance.

Bayern doubled its lead on the night in the 72nd minute when Franck Ribery’s cross from the left was directed into the net by Pique. Mueller closed the scoring four minutes later by heading in another cross from Ribery.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.


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