Barcelona march on the Champions League final despite losing 3-2 on the night, seeing their 2 away goals take them through. They now wait to see if they will face Juventus or Real Madrid, who are in action tonight with their bitter rivals trailing 2-1 after the 1st leg.
It was a spirited performance from Guardiola’s side, but ultimately it was a task too big for any team as his side crashed out the competition with dignity after sending the visitors to their first defeat since February. Despite this, there will be plenty of frustration in Munich now as they have now been knocked out at the same stage of the competition under Guardiola the last 2 years running.
There was a sense of belief at the Allianz Arena as the game got underway as the crowd were in full voice, and due to Munich’s prolific goalscoring record in the competition you could see why. Bayern got off to a perfect start after finding the back of the net after just 7 minutes, when Benatia was able to send home an accurate header into the bottom corner from 15 yards.
The jubilant scenes were replaced with despair only 8 minutes later however, when the 3 pronged attack of Messi, Suarez and Neymar combined for a well worked goal to add to their astonishing tally. Messi found Suarez with an incisive pass, where the Uruguayan then unselfishly rolled the ball into the path of Neymar who could sweep into an empty net after Neur closed down Suarez.
Muller then went close with a header as Bayern continued to battle largely thanks to the belief of their fans, but once again they were cruelly punished for pushing forwards with another goal from Neymar that was the final nail in the coffin. Suarez was able to break free and once again found his Brazilian strike partner, who controlled on his chest before firing into the near corner. The goal was Neymar’s 37th of the season, and the 114th for Barca’s formidable 3 pronged attack.
Barcelona seemed content to shut up shop in the second half and were happy to soak up pressure from a Munich side now playing for pride. They certainly achieved this, with Lewandoski levelling the score around the hour mark with a fine finish after some neat footwork opened up a shot for the Polish striker.
The home side then found the winning goal with 16 minutes left to play, seeing Thomas Muller score with a first time finish. This saw the tie finish a respectable 5-3, and despite a spirited fight back it was Barcelona who impressed with their breathtaking attacks and patience over the 2 legs.
The aggregate victory now sees Barcelona return to the Champions League final for the first time since 2011, and with their current run of form and displays in the competition so far they will be confident that they will lift the trophy once again. They are also just 3 wins away from a famous treble in Luis Enriquez’s first season in charge in what has been a stunning campaign for the Catalan giants.