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Bayern book all-German final

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01 May 2013 22:17:32

Bayern book all-German final

Brilliant Bayern Munich completed a stunning Champions League semi-final mauling of Barcelona, beating them 3-0 on the night to progress 7-0 on aggregate, to set up a mouthwatering Wembley final against Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund.

Leading 4-0 from the first leg, Bayern were similarly clinical at the Nou Camp with second-half goals from Arjen Robben, Gerard Pique - who put through his own net - and Thomas Muller sealing a one-sided win over a sorry Barca side for whom Lionel Messi was an unused substitute.

The victory sees Bayern through to their third final in four years and they will hope to improve on their runner-up finishes against Inter Milan in 2010 and Chelsea last year when they face Real Madrid's conquerors Dortmund - in the competition's first all-German final - on May 25.

Barca barely troubled Bayern during the first leg, and it was the German champions who dominated the early exchanges in Barcelona as well. Robben and Philipp Lahm both looked poised to give Bayern what would almost certainly have been a tie-ending away goal in the opening 20 minutes but Pique produced brilliant last-ditch tackles to deny both.

Barca's first serious threat on goal came in the 24th minute when Pedro Rodriguez saw his 30-yard drive tipped over by Manuel Neuer as it arrowed towards the top corner. Two minutes later Xavi volleyed a decent opening over from seven yards out while Adriano drew a relatively comfortable save from Neuer in the 40th minute.

Barca remained unchanged at the start of the second half with Messi continuing on the bench, but any hopes the world's best player might later inspire an unlikely fightback disappeared three minutes after the restart as Bayern took the lead.

Robben picked up a long cross-field pass from David Alaba near the right touchline before racing into the area where he cut inside Adriano onto his favoured left foot and curled an unstoppable shot past Victor Valdes inside the far post.

With the tie gone, Barca coach Tito Vilanova opted to keep Messi under wraps and his first two changes saw him send on Alexis Sanchez and Thiago for Spain duo Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

Despite those changes Bayern continued to look comfortable and they doubled their lead 18 minutes from time. Franck Ribery got in behind Dani Alves down the left and his cross was sliced into his own net by Pique with Mario Mandzukic lurking behind.

Ribery was also involved four minutes later as Bayern heaped more misery on Barca with a third goal. The home side had actually come close moments earlier when Villa's glancing header hit the post, but it was game, set and match for the Germans when Ribery burst past Alex Song before dinking a cross to the far post where Muller headed home.


PA

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