Barcelona Fall To Bayern Munich At Home, Thrashed 7-0 On Aggregate

Barcelona have fallen to a staggering 7-0 aggregate loss in their Champions League semi-final with Bayern Munich.

The Catalan giants already faced a thankless task going into Wednesday’s second leg at the Nou Camp. They were humbled 4-0 by Bayern in Germany two weeks ago, a result that seemed certain to send an excellent Bayern side through to its third final in four years.

Despite being 4-0 down in the tie, Barça – publicly, at least – remained defiantly optimistic as Wednesday’s game approached. Defender Gerard Piqué referred to the match as “a chance to be a boy again, to dream about what might happen and to see if it can come true”.

It’s doubtful Piqué will be feeling too nostalgic come Thursday morning. On Wednesday night, Bayern were again superior in all areas of the pitch, and fully deserved their commanding 3-0 victory.

They were helped by the absence of Lionel Messi, with Barcelona’s Argentinian star confined to the bench by a hamstring injury.

On the pitch, early chances fell to Bayern’s Arjen Robben and Philipp Lahm, but Barcelona rarely threatened – indeed, the home side took 23 minutes to test Manuel Neuer in the Bayern goal. Barça hogged possession, with a calm Munich happy to sit back and collect slack passes to launch counter-attacks.

The game was goalless at half-time, but it took the German champions just three minutes of the second half to open the scoring, Robben cutting in from the right and finding the top corner with characteristic accuracy.

The tie began to feel increasingly like an exhibition match, and on 72 minutes Piqué turned Franck Ribery’s cross into his own net to give Bayern a 6-0 aggregate lead. Four minutes later, as the Nou Camp continued to empty, Thomas Mueller nodded in at the far post to complete an astonishing rout.

The result was the biggest semi-final thrashing in Europe’s main competition since Eintracht Frankfurt beat Rangers 12-4 on aggregate in the 1959-60 competition. In the era of the Champions League, it comfortably surpassed Manchester United’s 6-1 aggregate victory over Schalke in 2011.

Bayern will now meet fellow German side Borussia Dortmund in the Wembley final on May 25. They will start as heavy favorites, having strolled to the Bundesliga title with Dortmund a distant second.

There was talk before Wednesday night about there being a swing of power in the European game. Such claims only look more convincing now.

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