Thomas Muller scored twice as Bayern Munich embarrassed Barcelona in a 4-0 UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg victory at the Allianz Arena.
In a battle of the best teams in Germany and Spain, Muller headed the home side in front after 25 minutes before Mario Gomez tapped home a second four minutes after half-time.
Arjen Robben added a third after 73 minutes and Muller got his second with eight minutes to go to put the finishing touch on a result that sends a message to the rest of European football.
The German side could have been in front after just two minutes. Javi Martinez’s clever backheel confused the Barcelona defence, but Robben’s poked shot from ten yards was well saved by Victor Valdes. The Bavarians were also upset by the referee failing to award on a penalty on two different occasions, with the first coming when Philip Lahm’s shot hit Gerard Pique’s outstretched arm.
Despite not being awarded a penalty, Bayern did take the lead in the 25th minute. Robben’s chipped cross was headed down by Dante to the back post, and the top scorer at the 2010 FIFA World Cup nodded home from two yards to give Jupp Heynckes’ side the lead. It could have been 2-0 before half-time, but the referee denied Bayern another penalty after 32 minutes.
Franck Ribery’s corner hit Alexis Sanchez on the hand when he was under pressure from Dante, but despite it being a stonewall penalty, Bayern were denied wrongfully for the second time in the game.
After half-time, it got better for the Bundesliga winners as Gomez doubled their lead. Robben’s deep corner was headed back across goal by Muller, and Gomez was waiting to tap in from four yards. The German striker was in an offside position when Muller headed it down, but the linesman missed it and Bayern had a comfortable lead.
Ribery should have got his name on the scoresheet when he raced into the penalty area ten minutes into the second half, but the Frenchman’s left-footed shot was dragged wide from ten yards. It got worse for the Catalan giants when they conceded a third goal and effectively put the tie out of their reach.
There was a touch of fortune about this goal too, as Barcelona could have been given a free-kick in the build-up. However, the referee failed to see when Gomez blocked off Jordi Alba, and Robben happily raced through to slot past Valdes from ten yards.
Tito Villanova’s La Liga side did create one golden opportunity to pull a goal back, but unfortunately for them, it fell to inexperienced centre-back Marc Bartra. Xavi’s free-kick was superbly chested down by the 23-year-old, but his rash finish flew high and wide from ten yards.
In the end, Bayern’s fourth goal killed of the match and possible the tie despite a second leg at the Nou Camp next week. Ribery released David Alaba on the left wing and the Austrian’s low cross was turned in by Muller to put a bit of shine on a shocking result.
Match Report by Kyle Dixon (@kyledixon95)