Thursday, May 2, 2013

Barcelona 0 - Bayern Munich 3: Arjen Robben leads rout for Bayern

ARJEN ROBBEN’s mercurial left foot
helped book Bayern their Wembley
date with German rivals Borussia
Dortmund, while Lionel Messi rested
his on the Barcelona bench.
The Spanish club’s all-time record
goal-scorer had netted in his side’s
La Liga draw with Athletic Bilbao at
the weekend, but was left back among
the substitutes as Barca set about
trying to wipe out a 4-0 deficit from
the first leg.
However, the hosts struggled to make
much of an impact on a hard-working
Bayern outfit as the scoreline
remained blank during the first half.
The second period was barely three
minutes old when Robben silenced the
Nou Camp.
There might well have been some
debate as to the legality of his strike in
the Allianz Arena a week ago, when a
timely body check by team-mate
Thomas Mueller on Barca defender
Jordi Alba went unpunished by the
officials and helped pave the way to
goal. But there was no doubting his
strike here.
Victor Valdes claimed an inswinging
free-kick from Robben and launched a
quick clearance downfield. But the
ball was sent back by David Alaba to
Robben, in plenty of space on the right,
and he cut inside to bend a sublime
left-footed drive into the far top
corner.
Barca had not lost both legs of a
knockout tie in Europe since 1987,
when Dundee United beat them in the
UEFA Cup quarter-finals.
But Bayern made sure of matching the
feat of Jim McLean’s men in the 72nd
minute when Franck Ribery found
space on the left and his cross was
turned into his own net by Gerard
Pique.
And they rubbed salt into the Barca
wounds soon after, as Ribery beat Alex
Song for pace and centred again for
Mueller to head home a third at the far
post.