How Bayern stopped Barca

Jupp HeynckesVictor Valdez cleared the ball with a long goal-kick. Bayern regained possession, and Austrian defender David Alba found Arjen Robben with plenty of space on the right-wing. The Dutch-winger cut-inside the Barcelona defence, and curled a magnificent short around Valdez into the back of the net. The goal gave Bayern a 1-0 score-line on the night, and a 5-0 aggregate, meaning Barca would need six goals to progress.

With an own-goal to Pique and a greater header from Muller, the Bavarians dominated the Catalonian’s 7-0 over the two legs, and will enter the Champions League grand-final as clear favourites. Then there is the awkward moment when Pep Guardiola realises Barcelona need him more than Bayern Munich.

After his ridiculously successful tenor as manager at Barcelona, the Spanish Manager took a one year sabbatical away from the game, and recently reported singing for the Bavarians for the 2013-14 season. With their third Champions League final appearance in four years, it seems Munich does not need Pep’s services.

Over the last few seasons only a number of teams have managed to shut-out Barcelona and progress past them in the Champions League. Under Jose Mourinho, Inter Milan managed to get past Barcelona during the 2010 semis by parking-the-bus and hitting the Spaniards on the counter. Chelsea progressed to last season’s Champions League final using similar tactics against Barca.

Although they ultimately failed to progress past Barcelona, AC Milan defeated the Catalonia’s 2-0 with excellent man-marking, particularly the use of the ‘cage’ to block-out Messi. With their impressive 7-0 thumping, Bayern dominated Barca like no team in recent seasons has been able to do.

Bayern dominated their first leg match against Barcelona with some excellent man-marking. Even striker Mario Gomez dropped deep to mark Barca’s central midfielder Busquets. By the second half Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova had worked out this system, and Busquets dropped into the defence with a centre back pushing forward. However, Barca still failed to create anything because Bayern dropped so many players back behind the ball.

Messi was clearly not at his absolute best during the first-leg meeting. Bayern’s two holding-midfielders and back four defenders blocked-off Messi from playing any penetrating passes. The forward players all got back to assist in the defence. Munich built a wall around Messi through which he could do nothing.

Messi was not played in the second leg, Barcelona feared the Argentine may get injured, and the team was very disappointing without him. recorded Barcelona with 15 attempts 9 on-target in the second-leg. Without Messi, however, they lacked the killer-touch and failed to capitalise on their chances and score any goals.

With 43% possession, Bayern were much deadlier with their finishing touch and scored three goals with eight shots, five on target. The Bavarians played an almost complete game of football, as they dominated the Spanish club in both attack and defence.

After such an impressive display against Barcelona, Munich will enter the Champions League final against fellow German club Borussia Dortmund as clear favourites. In the Bavarians’ favour is the statistic that the three teams that knocked out Barcelona in the last five seasons all went on the win the tournament.

The Author

Justin Cormick

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