Bayern Munich came close – but not close enough – to beating Barcelona to a place in the Champions League final with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar proving too hot to over both legs.
The Barca defence was poor all night, but their devastating attacking trio were on hand to banish any fears that Pep Guardiola’s side could pull off a stunning comeback.
The Spanish giants have reached the final of the elite European competition for the first time in four years, and their place is certainly deserved.
Pep Guardiola and his team got off to the perfect start at the Allianz Arena; giving the home-crowd hope that they could pull off a spectacular comeback.
An early corner from the Bavarians was met by the unmarked Medhi Benatia who comfortably headed the ball into the back of the net with seven minutes on the clock.
However, their lead lasted just eight minutes, as the devastating attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar all combined to score Barca’s equaliser – and the dreaded away goal.
Suarez was played in with a perfect through ball by Messi, and the Uruguayan sent the ball across a hapless Manuel Neuer to an unmarked Neymar who finished the effortless move off.
The threesome then struck again to ensure Barca strutted into the dressing room with the lead.
In the exact same order as the equaliser, Messi sent a ball forward to Suarez, and the former Liverpool star striker lofted a ball to Neymar at the back post. The Brazilian took his time to lash home a composed finish on the half-volley.
The Bavarians again started the half brightly, and it was Robert Lewandowski to next get on the scoresheet, as Barca looked to have switched off believing that the tie had already been won.
The forward netted arguably the goal of the night, as he easily dodged the challenge of Barca’s Mascherano, and calmly and accurately curled the ball into the far corner. Ter Stegen, who has enjoyed an excellent game in keeping Bayern at bay, could only watch on as the strike nestled into the back of the net.
It seemed that there could have been some late drama, as Thomas Muller, with just over fifteen minutes to play, gave Bayern Munich the lead, which meant that they needed three goals to upset Luis Enrique’s side.
However, despite testing the nerves of Barcelona in winning the second-leg tie, the task proved too much for Bayern who crash out of the Champions League. Now it’s simply matter of who will be joining Luis Enrique’s side in the final at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.