By DAN KARELL
Two of the world’s soccer heavyweights collide today in the Allianz Arena, as Bayern Munich play host to FC Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals (2:45pm, Fox Soccer Channel).
Barcelona will be led by Lionel Messi, who has recovered from his hamstring injury and will start today. Messi will be called up on to try and help Barca enjoy better first-leg success than in the previous two rounds of the knockout stages. The Spanish club has fallen, 2-0, to AC Milan and tied Paris Saint-Germain, 2-2, in their first-leg matches.
Bayern won’t be nervous though, having won 11 of their last 13 Champions League matches at home, and having lost at home just once this season in the Bundesliga. With a fully fit squad, there are more than enough options for manager Jupp Heynckes to choose from.
If you will be watching today’s match (and let’s face it, most of you will) please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.
Enjoy the action (You can see a closer look at today’s match-up after the jump):
BAYERN MUNICH vs. BARCELONA
2:45pm, Fox Soccer Channel
Players to Watch: BAYERN MUNICH – Franck Ribery, Thomas Müller, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Arjen Robben; BARCELONA – Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, David Villa.
Quick Kicks: Bayern Munich have a nearly full roster, and even so, will have a good selection headache to deal with for Tuesday’s match. Mario Mandzukic is suspended, so the starting forward will either be Claudio Pizarro or Mario Gomez. Toni Kroos is still injured with a torn muscle in his hip. Barcelona will be without Javier Mascherano and Carles Pujol, but were boosted by Eric Abidal’s first start since his liver transplant last Saturday.
If you will be watching today’s Champions League action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.
Enjoy the action.
No doubt, Bayern ruled the match, but first 3 goals should have all been disallowed. Too bad timid refereeing ruined a potentially great series.
Why should have Bayern’s first been ruled? It was completely clean.
I’ll say this….HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!
Did that crow taste good, followed by some humble pie Barca?!?!?!?!
Hahaha we’re you at chitown? Bayern just ripped barca a new one. Can’t wait to watch Dortmund do the same to Madrid. Like I said Bundesliga > La liga
Trying to decide which was better….the lashing that Bayern gave Barca or the lashing that Herc just gave Don Garber on Twitter.
Didn’t see that one coming. WOW
if Barca can come back from this to reach the final and certaintly possible that they can, they truly are 1 of the best teams of all time
Now 4… That may be enough.
It’s safe to say Bayern are the favorites to go all the way in the UCL.
Believable, I kept saying this, Barce is done, thank God for this day, everything is great today, HALA MADRID
Really stupid yellow by Alba, and now he can’t play in the next.
Is it his fault the Bayern player couldn’t catch?
Jordi Alba seems to be a bigger and bigger idiot every time I see him play…
That was true a while ago….
One of the knocks on Messi has been that he couldn’t function outside the Barcelona system, that the system made him better. I think his injury has given evidence for the opposite, that he makes everyone around him better by simply being an exemplar on how to play at the highest level ever. He’s an exemplar when fully healthy, and Barcelona is not the same team when he is not fully healthy.
A person or thing serving as a typical example or excellent model.
look at that! Robben pressures Pique and he bungles it out of bounds. wow
I know Barca is good, but can even they be able to pull something off at the nou camp??
they need a goal before the end today imo
They can do it or it can’t be done. Personally I’d play 7 defenders 2 attacking midd in cam nou.
But Bayern have the talent to get 2 there.
good for bayern
Villa instead of Messi today is hindsight I know but…….
this game could see more goals
Dayyyyyyum. Barca getting a beat down. Gotta invest in some quality D in the off season.
need some muscle that can play with some height maybe?
Absolutely. Probably just a little more depth and variety in all defensive positions would be best.
What a beautiful pick!
Looked like it would have been a foul in the NBA. Moving pick…Still Bayern deserve this lead. Or at least a two-nil.
wow pick and roll.. wait can you do that… should have been a foul on Bayern, but regardless, they are taking to to Barcelona.
Big 10 basketball at its finest.
Muller does everything for the team. Even set a pick.
And a beautiful one it was!
Nice pick…ref missed that one. 3-0.
Is it just me or is Robben’s work rate insane this game. I always knew him to be selfish and an okay defender. He’s all over this pitch. Wow. He must really not want to lose the starting spot again.
Ribery needs a goal now just to make this perfect. Robben deserved that goal all over the pitch.
Don’t recall seeing Barca this flat footed to this extent. Bayern taking it to ’em…
Sky is saying offsides…on a corner?
ball was headed back across goal, second goal for Bayern like that today
2-0! Again Bayern’s height comes into play. Gomez was maybe offside.
The replay shows it wasn’t close. Clearly onside.
Actually my bad. That was close and possibly slightly offside.
on the replay it looks he was just off but so close
hahaha. I’m still not sure.
Messi not one burst yet, perhaps better on the bench this week? he’ll probably do something amazing now
but not before Gomez scores 2-0 Bayern, again the aerial game. was he offsides?
suprised to see Gomez starting
Ribery putting on a close control clinic. Twice he was sorrounded and found away out. Beautiful touch always.
He should have scored that one. A man is down you keep him down. Need to put 4 on baca before you’re safe.
Bayern looking very, very good.
But 1 is not nearly enough…
Busquets is easily one of the players I dislike the most. He tries act like a hard man, plays dirty, then flops after he commits a foul. What a *itch
between barca and real there are a lot of those types
THAT is a handball. Didn’t think the other one was. Sanchez got lucky.
Bayer is getting the benefit of doubt by the Refs too.
I must have missed the PK on Pique’s handball in the box.
Oh, but that wouldn’t hand been favorable to Bayern, just correct.
Yeah, even the commentators here in Spain thought it was a handball.
Bayern’s height come in handy, 1-0. Muller
2 handballs from Pique..no calls. Typical.
Abidal is not starting…
Valdez, Alves, Bartra, Pique, Alba, Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta, Pedro, Messi, Alexis
Neuer, Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Alaba, Javi Martinez, Schweinsteiger, Robben, Muller, Ribery, Gomez
Bayern 3-0 Barca
Kroos hat-trick from crutches
Wow, did Gandalf loan you his crystal ball?
The team that usually eliminates my team versus the team that did this year. Hmmmm. Go Bayern!
Barcelona 😀 they won the competition in 09 and 2011. Bayern reached the final in 2010 and 2012, so next year they will reach the final only to lose to PSG,
I’d love to see Bradley move to La Liga in a year or 2 or stay and become a ROMA legend
Where did Bradley come into play with the content of this post?
Liver transplant last Saturday… Lol
Just need a goal. Messi can get a goal.
Just apparently not today…