Holding a commanding lead after a 3-0 win in the first leg, Barcelona was able to advance to the Champions League final today despite losing 3-2 to Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena. Barcelona advances 5-3 on aggregate.
The final will take place on June 6th in Berlin, where Messi & Co. will face either Real Madrid or Juventus, who face-off tomorrow in the second semifinal matchup.
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Bayern started to mount a comeback early, with Mehdi Benatia opening the scoring in the 7th minute. The Moroccan center-back found himself unmarked on a corner kick, sending a powerful header into the bottom corner to cut Barcelona’s aggregate lead to two. It was poor defending by Barca, as they chose to leave both posts unmarked yet still failed to pick up Benatia.
The lead was short-lived however, as Neymar found an equalizer less than ten minutes later. It was the deadly attacking trio combining yet again, as Lionel Messi played Luis Suarez in behind the Bayern defense, who then fed Neymar for an easy finish on an open goal. The goal continues Neymar’s streak, as the Brazilian has now scored in seven straight matches.
Before the half hour mark it was Suarez-to-Neymar again, putting Barcelona up 2-1. Bayern’s defense was stretched wide apart, as Suarez took the ball in from midfield without much opposition. Neymar raced down the left wing and took the cross from Suarez, settling with his chest before burying a shot past Manuel Neuer at the near post.
Robert Lewandowski nearly leveled for Bayern to give the Bavarians some sort of lifeline before the break, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen just got his fingertips to Lewandowski’s shot as the ball was crossing the goal line.
With Bayern Munich needing five unanswered goals in the second half to advance, it was just a waiting game for Barcelona before the Spanish giants were officially through to the Champions League final. But Bayern didn’t quit, as Robert Lewandowski added the game-tying goal with a great piece of individual skill, deking by Javier Mascherano before finishing past Ter Stegen. Thomas Muller got the game-winner in the 74th minute, but it was too little too late from Pep Guardiola’s men.
June 6th will be Barcelona’s fifth appearance in the Champions League final and first since 2011, when the Catalans defeated Manchester United 3-1 at Wembley.
Bayern Munich: Neuer, Rafinha, Benatia, Boateng, Bernat, Lahm (Rode, 68′), Alonso, Schweinsteiger (Martinez, 87′), Thiago, Muller (Gotze, 87′), Lewandowski
Goals: Benatia (7′), Lewandowski (59′), Muller (74′)
Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba, Busquets, Iniesta (Xavi, 75′), Rakitic (Mathieu, 72′), Suarez (Pedro, 46′), Messi, Neymar
Goals: Neymar (15′, 29′)