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Bayern swept aside by awesome Barca

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Bayern swept aside by awesome Barca

Postby FCBayernNews » Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:30 pm

A weakened Bayern side proved no match at all for Barcelona's awe-inspiring attacking power in the Champions League quarter-final first leg, the Spanish league leaders netting four times in a scintillating first half display to leave Munich requiring a footballing miracle in next week's return.

The 96,000 capacity crowd at Camp Nou saw the visitors suffer the nightmare start they desperately hoped to avoid, the Catalan outfit racing into a two-goal lead through Lionel Messi and Samuel Eto'o before the quarter-hour was up.

The German champions survived relentless Barca pressure for a spell but Messi and Thierry Henry both struck in the run-up to the break, crowning the home side's utter domination of the first 45 minutes.

Bayern set out to limit the damage in the second period, and with Barcelona aiding and abetting the Bavarians by shifting down a gear or two, the match drifted to its conclusion to leave the Spaniards more than comfortably in control of the tie.

Makeshift Bayern line-up

With Champions League joint top scorer Miroslav Klose (foot), centre-halves Lucio (groin) and Daniel van Buyten (compassionate leave), and late withdrawal Philipp Lahm (calf) all sidelined, FCB coach Jürgen Klinsmann fielded a makeshift line-up in an unfamiliar 4-2-3-1 formation.

The visitors showed four changes to the side beaten by Wolfsburg last weekend. Hans Jörg Butt's experience earned him a start in goal ahead of Michael Rensing, Martin Demichelis lined up alongside 19-year-old Breno at centre-back, Massimo Oddo stood in for Lahm, and Hamit Altintop returned from a lay-off in place of Lukas Podolski.

In the crucial midfield area, Mark van Bommel and Ze Roberto filled the defensive positions with Franck Ribery and Bastian Schweinsteiger out wide, looking to supply lone striker Luca Toni

Barca boss Pep Guardiola made four changes to the side which beat Valladolid in La Liga, restoring Dani Alves, fit-again Yaya Toure, Messi and Thierry Henry. The return of Carles Puyol aside, the Catalans fielded the same line-up which cruised past Olympique Lyon 5-2 in the first knockout round second leg.

Horror start

Once English referee Howard Webb had whistled play underway on a drizzly evening in the Catalan capital, Barca wasted no time stamping their phenomenal attacking quality on the game. Henry rounded Butt from Xavi's pass, but Demichelis was on hand to hack clear the striker's angled effort.

There was no such respite on nine minutes when Bayern were criminally guilty of missing their tackles as Andrea Iniesta and Eto'o combined to release Messi, the Argentine coolly sliding the ball left-footed beyond Butt and in at the far post.

Worse was to come after 13 minutes, Messi wrong-footing Breno with a sublime reverse pass for Eto'o to slip the ball nonchalantly through Butt's legs for the second.

Márquez blasted a free-kick into the wall, Xavi smacked a drive over the bar, and Christian Lell survived a huge shout for a penalty when Messi went down under the full-back's challenge, Webb electing to book the striker for diving and then consigning coach Guardiola to the stands for his vehement protests.

Dominant Barca

Iniesta ensured the pressure remained relentless midway though the half with yet another monstrous reverse ball which Henry directed just wide. Butt took the former Arsenal man's boot full in the face as he raced to attempt a block, but the keeper was cleared to continue after treatment.

The pace dropped for a spell as the home side paused for breath, but Barca initiated another surge before half-time when Eto'o blasted over after Messi somehow retained possession in the box despite the attentions of three defenders.

The Argentine added his second and his side's third on 38 minutes, turning the ball in from close range after Henry skinned Oddo on the left, and Henry himself made it four two minutes from the interval, firing across Butt from the left-side channel after referee Webb played a good advantage following Van Bommel's check on Messi.

Schweinsteiger finally prompted home keeper Víctor Valdés into action between the third and fourth Barca goals, and Ribery drove across goal in first-half stoppage time, but Iniesta could easily have made it five as the unnerved visitors somehow prevented further damage before the break.

Uneventful second period

Andi Ottl replaced the struggling Altintop for the second half, Breno and Lell both making important interventions as the Barcelona machine continued to rumble ominously forward, but Butt required the assistance of the crossbar to keep out Messi's snap shot on the hour.

Barca eased off considerably after that, Puyol blocking Ze Roberto's attempt to slot home from Ribery's 71st-minute through ball, before the Brazilian gave way to José Sosa for the last quarter of an hour.

The outstanding Iniesta curled a shot wide after a fine solo run, and although the Spaniards created little for a while after that, Butt still had to be alert to deny the same player at the near post, Márquez curled a shot wide, and sub Busquets deflected wide of the upright as the home team cruised imperiously to the finish.

Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley
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