Barcelona to meet Juventus or Real Madrid in Champions League final
In the second leg of the semi-final last night Bayern Munich on home soil pulled back from last week’s first leg defeat with a 3-2 victory over Barcelona.
This was not enough for the hosts to progress to the final however – after conceding 3-0 in last weeks exciting match at Nou Camp – leaving the team 5-3 on aggregate.
Last night’s result at Allianz Arena would surely have been a kind of light redemption for Bayern’s manager Pep Guardiola’s after his team had a no-win streak in four games.
Few observers had given Bayern any chance of overturning Barca’s advantage after last Wednesday’s clinical victory.
The Spanish club’s win takes them into the 6 June final in Berlin against either Real Madrid or Juventus depending on tonight’s result.
There’s now the tantalising prospect that could see ‘El Clasico’ showpiece against Spanish rivals Real Madrid.
Guardiola’s team had made the perfect start through Benatia’s first Champions League goal 7 minutes into the game.
The defender was allowed a free header at 15 yards and nodded the ball into the bottom left corner.
But within 10 minutes proceeding Bayern’s raise optimism Barca leveled it with a Neymar goal.
Bayern produced some sloppy defending and their early lead started to amount to nothing.
Wonder Boy Lionel Messi produced a good ball for Suarez, who squared it for team-mate Neymar to score.
Bayern continued to push forward, but were often left vulnerable – and they conceded another goal at the 30-minute mark – another Neymar goal drilled into the corner after a set-up by Suarez.
That goal more or less sunk Bayern’s chances.
Barca took off Suarez after half-time as the striker complained of a tight hamstring, and was of little threat in the second half as Bayern continued to mount pressure.
Despite goals from Lewandowski and Muller’s, it was a classic ‘too little too late’ scenario, and Barcelona moved closer to final, where if they win it will be their fifth European title win.
Barca’s former coach Guardiola said of his old charge Messi: “He is back, he is there where I had the privilege to train him – he is definitely back at his best.”
He went on to say “He is the best player of all time, I compare him with Pele,” said Guardiola. “I hope Barca win their fifth Champions League final.”
It’s hard to disagree with this sentiment.
Tonight second semi-final – Juventus v Real Madrid should be an exciting match.
Real Madrid will have to overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit against the Italian champions tonight if they are to defend their European crown against Barca.
Paddy Power have Real Madrid 7/1 to make the final, while Sky Bet are offering Juventus at 9/2.
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