A clinical Bayern Munich inflicted Barcelona their biggest loss in 16 years when the Bavarians swept the Catalans 4-0 in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals on Tuesday.
The newly-crowned German champions made a giant stride towards the final in Wembley as they crushed Barcelona at the sold-out Allianz Arena thanks to goals by Thomas Mueller, Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben. It could be Bayern’s third Champions League final in four years.
The hosts got their first chance of the game when Javi Martinez set up with his back heel for Arjen Robben, whose low shot on the target was blocked by Barcelona keeper Victor Valdes, Xinhua reports.
Barcelona tried to implement their infamous short passing game, but was unable to overcome Bayern’s well-positioned defence.
Nonetheless it was the hosts who broke the deadlock 25 minutes into the encounter, as Mueller made use of Dante’s header following a cross to nod home from very close range at the near post.
Four minutes later Barcelona nearly restored parity but Dante deflected the ball before onrushing Lionel Messi had the chance to tap in at the centre of the box.
The beginning of the second half saw the visitors quickening the tempo but Bayern continued unfazed to double the lead in the 49th minute when Mario Gomez capitalised on Mueller’s header into the centre to slot home following a corner.
Barcelona’s Marc Barata had the chance to score while he was unmarked inside the box, which he pulled wide.
Dutchmen Arjen Robben made it 3-0 in the 73rd minute when he danced through the visitors defence to beat Valdes with a curling shot into the far corner.
The Spanish giants were unable to free themselves from their own territory, as Mueller exploited by tapping a low cross from David Alabas into the box with eight minutes remaining.
Barcelona will host Bayern Munich on April 1 for the second leg.
“It’s great to win 4—0 against the best team in the world,” said Bayern CEO Karl Heinz Rummenigge.