Manager Tito Vilanova must be trying to put a square peg in a round hole for fielding a Messi- less line- up against the best team in Europe at the moment Bayern Munich, in the much anticipated semifinal at the Nou Camp. Bayern started the match with a clear intention not to sit in their own half and watch Barca dictate the pace; they came out of their shell pressing for a goal earlier on in the game.
And just like last week went ahead in the 47th minute, a pass from David Alaba to Arjen Robben who was attacking from the right side of the area was curled into the top left corner of goal by the forward. It was his second goal against Barca in less than two weeks. The trade- mark left- footed shot curled into the top left corner of goal, having sped past Victor Valdes in a gust.
Barcelona’s attack looked too casual without the world footballer of the year and they wasted a couple of chances in front of goal. They could have gone 1-0 up in the 30th minute when a left- footed shot by Cesc Fabregas from the center of the penalty area was comfortably saved by goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
Arjen Robben had another opportunity in the 54th minute when his volleyed shot 12 yards from goal missed right after a Franck Ribery cross. In the 73rd minute, David Villa’s header from the center of the area missed right as Barca tried to level up at one goal apiece.
That was not to be as a Gerard Pique own- goal gifted the Germans their second goal. In the 74th minute a Franck Ribery’s cross from left side of the area was turned into the top- right corner of goal by Gerard pique, from his own half. The long awaited comeback soon turned into a nightmare for the Spaniard who looked demoralised for the rest of the game.
From this moment Bayern looked hungry for more and Barca for the first time in four years played dejectedly in front of the home crowd. The two goals were not enough for the Germans who increased the tally to 3-0 in less than two minutes.
Another Franck Ribery cross found Thomas Muller at the right side of the six yard box, the German leaped and headed into the top right corner of goal to leave Tito Vilanova’s side in a mess.
Marc Bartra would have scored a consolatory goal in the 80th minute when his header from the center of the penalty area missed left. Another right- footed effort from David Villa in the 85th minute, 18 yards from goal failed to make any impact on the score line as Neuer comfortable caught the ball to keep the score at 3-0.
Barca involuntarily searched for a consolatory goal as Marcio Rafinha drilled a right- footed shot from the right wing wide off target in the 87th minute. The game was poised to end at a 3-0 as both team failed to create clear- cut chances after the third goal.
At the end of added time, Bayern Munich emerged a 3-0 winner at the Camp Nou; their semi- final match yielded an aggregate of seven unreplied goals in a two- legged fixture. It was the third time Bayern will be wining outside the Allianz Arena, after victories against Arsenal and Juventus. Most of all it was Barcelona’s first loss in four years at the Camp Nou in the European Champions League.
The Road to Wembley for an all- German final on May 25 has been mapped out at the expense of two La Liga giants.
Gerard Pique, reacting after the match said: “Perhaps this was the worst moment of my career at Barcelona. With or without Lionel Messi, the result would have been the same.”