Champions League

Bayern demolishes Barca, books final

Champions League: Highlights of Bayern Munich's 3-0 victory over Bayern Munich.
Champions League: Highlights of Bayern Munich's 3-0 victory over Bayern Munich.
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Champions League

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE RESULTS

Bayern Munich beat a Barcelona side missing Lionel Messi 3-0 on Wednesday to seal a crushing 7-0 victory on aggregate and line up an all-German Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund.

Arjen Robben, Thomas Muller and a comical Gerard Pique own goal completed a miserable night for the Catalan giants, who left Lionel Messi on the bench and never threatened to rewrite history as they were second best again to the outstanding Bundesliga champions.

Bayern's comprehensive triumph means that it will be an all-German final at Wembley on May 25, with Borussia Dortmund having seen off the challenge of Real Madrid on Tuesday night.

Tito Vilanova's men, who clearly felt Messi was not fit enough after his recent hamstring injury, were nearly caught out in the 12th minute when Bastian Schwinsteiger's ball over the top sent Robben racing clear, only for Pique to slide in with a perfectly-timed challenge.

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And the defender was called into action once again soon after as Robben and Schweinsteiger combined to set up captain Philipp Lahm, with another sliding tackle taking ball and man as the fullback prepared to shoot.

Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was called into action in the 24th minute as he had to be alert to tip over his crossbar after Pedro's lightning turn and shot from long range.

Xavi had a glorious chance to reduce the significant deficit as Cesc Fabregas diverted Daniel Alves' curling cross back to his teammate just outside the six-yard box, but the Spain international could only hook his volley over the top.

Bayern were following the mantra that attack is the best form of defense, with another Robben burst creating a three-on-three attack but his decision to shoot with team-mates well placed allowed Alex Song to block.

The tie was effectively settled early in the second period as Robben was found in space on the right flank and he was allowed to cut inside by Adriano onto his favored left foot before curling a delightful finish beyond Victor Valdes' despairing dive.

David Villa attempted an immediate response for Barca, who now faced impossible mission of scoring six, but his shot was off target, before Franck Ribery played in Robben only for his attempted shot to drift wide with Mario Mandzukic unmarked to his right.

Pique inadvertently added to Barcelona's humiliation as he could only connect with Ribery's dangerous with his knee to divert it beyond Valdes and into the back of the net.

And their misery was completed soon after as Ribery burst away from Song to lift a teasing cross to the far post where Thomas Muller arrived to head home 14 minutes from time.

Bayern will be seeking its fifth title, its first since 2001, while Dortmund won its only championship in 1997. Bayern, which already has clinched the Bundesliga title, travels to Dortmund for a league match Saturday night.

While Barcelona has an 11-point lead in the Spanish league with five games left, its first season since Tito Vilanova replaced Pep Guardiola as coach will be considered a disappointment because it failed to win the Champions League following titles in 2006, 2009 and 2011.

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Guardiola was hired by Bayern in January to replace Jupp Heynckes as coach at the end of the season.

Robben added of Bayern Munich's victory over Barcelona: "I think it's a terrific performance - a little bit of history maybe.

"You're playing against a team who have dominated Europe over the last five years and there's so much quality in their squad, and to win 4-0 at home and 3-0 away, especially this one away in their own stadium, it's amazing."

"At this moment we're playing some great football. We have to enjoy this moment, just stay calm, play our football and try to improve over and over again."

The Associated Press was used in this report.

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