By DAN KARELL
From the first minute of the game, Bayern Munich decided to take the fight to Barcelona. After the first 90 minutes of the two-legged affair, it looks like their semifinal fight may already be over.
Midfielder Thomas Müller scored two goals and recorded an assist to lead Bayern as they throttled Barcelona 4-0 on Tuesday in the first-leg of the Champions League semifinals. Arjen Robben had one of his best games all season in European competition, scoring a goal and assisting on another, while Mario Gomez collected his seventh goal in the club’s last four matches in all competitions.
Lionel Messi started but never looked comfortable on the field for Barcelona, while the hosts used their aerial and physical dominance to control the match. Müller scored the opener in the 25th minute, heading home from close range after his teammate Dante won a header in the box over Barcelona’s Gerard Pique.
On the other side of halftime, the story only got worse for the visitors. Müller won a header in the box in the 49th minute, giving Gomez a chance to finish just in front of goal. Video replay showed that he may have been offside, but the officials ruled the play a legal goal.
Arjen Robben, who provided the ball that Dante headed towards Müller in the first half, got himself on the board in the 73rd, storming through the right side of the box before finishing from a tight angle with his left foot. Müller would complete the demolition, scoring in the 82nd minute, again from close range, to make it a 4-0 scoreline.
In addition to Messi, the entire defensive unit of Mark Bartra, Dani Alves, Jordi Alba, and Pique all had night’s they’d rather forget.
What did you think of the match? Impressed by Bayern’s dominance? See either Real Madrid or Borussia Dortmund beating them in the final? Think Barcelona can rebound next year and challenge for the title?
Share your thoughts below.
Tiki-taka was refreshing at first (5 years ago). No team ever did it as well as Barca. However, Barca started to use it negatively; by denying the other side the ball, without putting the opposing goalmouth under sustained pressure. This resulted in boring games. They kept the ball but chances to score were at a minimum for both teams. While possession is the gist of the Sunday kick-about amongst friends in the street or in the local park, the outdoor 11 on 11 version of football also requires the physical combative elements that give the game its drama. You violate the unwritten laws of the game (you need 2 centerbacks and 1 striker who can head the ball) and eventually you pay the price; like Barca did yesterday.
Pep Guardiola cannot be a happy man after that horrible Barca bashing by FC Bayern. If Bayern goes on to win the CL Final combined with winning the the Bundesliga and winning the DFB Pokal Cup = The Treble, then the only direction for Pep to go is down. And he also is going to be in control of about about 8-10 stars of the German national team, whose big goal is to dethrone Spain next year in the WC 2014. And there is already friction between Jogi Low and FC Bayern, especially new Bayern sporting director Sammer.
There are a lot of things that could go wrong for Pep next season and I personally think it is going to be very difficult for Pep to fit in at FC Bayern and with the German mentality that is so strong at Bayern.
Speaking as non-Barca fan who likes FC Bayern even less, the humiliating loss yesterday has no doubt sent shock waves through Barca and will trigger some big changes, such as Barca this summer buying at least a couple of beefy Germans or Dutch or other non-Spanish/South American players for defense and midfield. Madrid already has their two German midfielders, plus upcoming superstar French defender Varane. News reports in recent weeks say that Barca is interested in Mats Hummels and that he would be inclined to go should they swoop in for him. And after the Gotze news yesterday I think this is going to happen.
As for Tito Vilanova, do not see how Barca can keep him as head coach after that ugly loss. Might not be likely, but I think it is in the small realm of possibility that Barca might go for a German coach, possibly Jupp Heynckes, who led Madrid to a CL title in the late 1990s. Would that not be ironic? Pep to Bayern and Jupp to Barcelona. Despite my antipathy for Bayern, Jupp is not only a great coach but a classy guy. If not Jupp to Barca, then maybe Jurgen Klopp.
Yes, the Gomez and Roebben goals could have been called back but there were at least two obvious hand balls that should have been called down at the other end of the field. Everyone is talking about Messi being only at 80%. Just as important was Barcelona’s CB Puyol missing, Don’t forget that Bayern was also missing national team player, 23 year old Toni Kroos. Bayern will be around for a long time as it has hardly any noteworthy players 31 or older.
all the talk is about should they buy Neymar, Bale or Falcao.. Barca really needs at least 1 top notch CB and GK more than they need another forward.
Pique is no longer going to cut it at this level..
Pique isn’t the problem, it is his CB partner and outside backs that think attack before they think defend
i thought Pique was the only barca player that actually played well.
Never have I been more happy to wake up at 5am. Sure, the third goal should have been disallowed, but one of the three handballs in the box by Barca probably should have been called too. There is always the return leg, but Bayern is something special this year.
This was THE worst performance I’ve seen from Barcelona what joke this game was they need to add somebody to help pique because they completely abused us. That third goal was bill but still wouldn’t matter. Hopefully next leg barca can put a fight and at least make this interesting
No one cares except me and a few other GHooners, but Arsenal’s near comeback against Bayern Munich is looking more impressive in retrospect…
This game shows that still even with great tactics and skill if you can be more physical and stronger on the ball you can win. As said in some post already Barca has to get stronger in the back and even the mid field. Teams like Chelsea Man U Bayern and even Madrid (Although Madrid tries to play like Barca against Barca and loses most of the time.) are more physical and unless Barca gets a foul friendly ref then they are up against it.
You are reading too much into one game.
Bayern were sky high for this, were at home and were facing a Leo Messi who was clearly being tentative about his hamstring. And that spread to all the Barca players.
Bayern sensed this and they jumped on Barca from the first second and never let up.
It’s happened before but not very often. There is a reason for that starting withthe fact that there are not many teams in the world as talented and deep as Bayern.
If Leo is healthy I expect a better showing at the Nou camp but 4 goals is a lot to makeup
Thats what they get for starting Marc Batra over Abidal and Song, wouldve probably been a 2 or 3 goal game otrherwise
Hey Bob Bradley, might be a coaching job open soon for ya
Thinking about the upcoming World Cup and interested to know what it was like in South Africa. Read Vuvuzela Voyage, available at Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Vuvuzela-Voyage-Search-Soccer-ebook/dp/B00A7Z25LK
I was there…. good times.
66% possession and 0 shots on goal. Tiki-taki is anti-football
Never read a more ridiculous comment.
How else do you explain 66% possession, yet 0 goals, and 0 shots on goal? What a waste of possession if you can’t attack.
Sounds like the USMNT, except without all the possession.
anti-football is when you try to play without the ball. it is a physical style of game that is directed at not allowing the other team to play rather than playing with the ball yourself. Saying that Barca played anti-football because they had no shots is just dumb. You could say that they did not play effective football, but they still tried to play a romantic style of the game that represents the game at its HIGHEST level.
Though I would not call it anti football, I agree with the original posters sentiments. Tiki-taki is not a form of football I find enjoyable to watch. Personally, I find it frustrating and boring. There is a reason I prefer watching the Prem to Spain and prefer Bayern to Barca and that is because the pace of the game is faster and teams are more likely to counter attack and hit opposition on the break.
Additionally, I believe Barca’s tendency to attempt to play without a recognized striker is really hurting them and football in the long run. The false nine is not the future. Just look at how Barca has failed over the last two years in the Champs League with no recognized striker (healthy). In previous seasons, either David Villa was available or Barcelona had the likes of Zlatan, Henry, or Eto.
the original poster’s sentiments are that Barcelona played a negative style of football. that is idiotic. they are quite possibly the most romantic team ever. hate it if you must, and praise physical, direct football if you want, but to call anything Barca does anti-football makes you an idiot.
Barca and Spain often use possession as a form of defense. From an entertainment standpoint, that isn’t romantic at all. It is a soccer version of basketball’s Princeton Offense, which is really all about preventing the other team from shooting by never taking any shots yourself.
Tiki Taka with a striker who is playing on one leg and just makes short passes is anti-football…
Too bad David Villa wasn’t in his old form, Barca would have been in better shape to win, imho…
Interesting to see how physical and aggressive game Bayern played…. really got up in Barca’s face and never let them get into a rhythm.
used barca’s pressing tactic against them…
which they stole from Brrrrrrrraaaaaaaasil-il-il-il….
Pretty much what the Ravens and Giants have been able to do to the Patriots..I guess the same tactics and strategies can work in more than one sport
As a Giants fan, UGH at this comment…
had Dempsey played for Barcelona, they wouldn’t have lost 4-0
they would at least have registered a shot on goal
Dempsey + Donovan >>>>>>>>>>>>> Xavi + Iniesta + Messi
USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA USA
True. They would have lost 8-0.
End of an era?
I sure hope so.
But seriously, even with a healthy Messi, I think Bayern still would have won. Barca needs to address it’s defense and get a couple strikers. And a game-plan if Messi if less than 100%…
That’s what folks were saying after Madrid won La Liga last year. Barca still has Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, so they will need to bring a couple of quality CBs next year and they will be back in contention. Bayern physically overpowered Barcelona on the first two goals – this would not have happened if they brought someone like Thiago Silva last summer – they will address this issue next summer. Bayern has turned in a magnificent performance and hats off to them, but Barcelona will be back as one of the favorites to win it all next year.
can 5 years really be called “an era”
For a team? Yes
In this era of professional sports (and post Bosman), 5 years is a lifetime.
For clarification, I’m not proclaiming Barca will end being a really good team but they were truly “great” (and one for the ages). I haven’t seen that this year, despite Messi’s best efforts and I don’t see how adding Neymar will change that.
I think the decline from “greatness” has been fairly evident this Champions League campaign, dating back to Celtic, through PSG (who were the better team on the pitch imo) and now with Bayern taking their lunch money with ease.
The fear and aura that surrounded Barca doesn’t seem to be there anymore. Clubs simply don’t fear them the same way.
Do you have something against the number 5?
lol, don’t jump to conclusions based on a single match. Even if they drop out now they can come back stronger than ever next year. You forget that Barca’s youth squad is constantly churning world class talent.
This isn’t based on one game.
Also, I think it’s a stretch to assume Barca’s youth will produce more ‘once in a generation’ talent. Talented? Of course. Majestic (as Roy Hudson would say)? I doubt it.
The team has gotten older and hasn’t plugged obvious holes. Messi will go down as the greatest player ever but the team isn’t the same “great” team we saw the last couple years.
Their aura isn’t there anymore.
Didn’t see any of the game except for Bayern’s 3rd goal, which should not have stood as Muller completely blocked off the defender on Robben (with a decent body check).
I have not witnessed a performance as dominating as that since I saw Ives at an all-you-can-eat buffet . . . Like the spaghetti with meatballs, Barca never had a chance!!