Champions League: Bayern Munich humiliate Barcelona to reach Wembley final
By Rob Parrish - Follow me on Twitter @skysportsrobp. Last Updated: 01/05/13 10:49pm
Rampant Bayern Munich roared into the UEFA Champions League final as Barcelona were humiliated 3-0 at Camp Nou and 7-0 on aggregate in their semi-final showdown.
Arjen Robben, Thomas Muller and a comical Gerard Pique own goal completed a miserable night for the Catalan giants, who left Lionel Messi on the bench and never threatened to rewrite history as they were second best again to the outstanding Bundesliga champions.
Bayern's comprehensive triumph means that it will be an all-German final at Wembley on May 25, with Borussia Dortmund having seen off the challenge of Real Madrid on Tuesday night.
Tito Vilanova's men, who clearly felt Messi was not fit enough after his recent hamstring injury, were nearly caught out in the 12th minute when Bastian Schwinsteiger's ball over the top sent Robben racing clear, only for Pique to slide in with a perfectly-timed challenge.
And the centre-back was called into action once again soon after as Robben and Schweinsteiger combined to set up captain Philipp Lahm, with another sliding tackle taking ball and man as the full-back prepared to shoot.
Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was called into action in the 24th minute as he had to be alert to tip over his crossbar after Pedro's lightning turn and shot from long range.
Xavi had a glorious chance to reduce the significant deficit as Cesc Fabregas diverted Daniel Alves' curling cross back to his team-mate just outside the six-yard box, but the Spain international could only hook his volley over the top.
Bayern were following the mantra that attack is the best form of defence, with another Robben burst creating a three-on-three attack but his decision to shoot with team-mates well placed allowed Alex Song to block.
The tie was effectively settled early in the second period as Robben was found in space on the right flank and he was allowed to cut inside by Adriano onto his favoured left foot before curling a delightful finish beyond Victor Valdes' despairing dive.
David Villa attempted an immediate response for Barca, who now faced impossible mission of scoring six, but his shot was off target, before Franck Ribery played in Robben only for his attempted shot to drift wide with Mario Mandzukic unmarked to his right.
Pique inadvertently added to Barcelona's humiliation as he could only connect with Ribery's dangerous cross with his knee to divert it beyond Valdes and into the back of the net.
And their misery was completed soon after as Ribery burst away from Song to lift a teasing ball to the far post where Muller arrived to head home 14 minutes from time.
After the match, Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes saluted his side for their focus in the second leg and set his sights on Wembley glory against Borussia Dortmund.
He said: "My team understood our tactical approach very well and they executed it perfectly. Dortmund deserve to be in the final, as they are playing a great season as well."
Barcelona defender Pique, who put through his own net in the second half, admitted the two-legged rout was a dark day for the Catalan giants.
"This is one of our worst nights," he admitted. "The truth is that it isn't pleasant living through a situation like this. In the first half we really tried but when they scored the first we were left feeling down. We have to congratulate Bayern who were superior."