Bayern routs Barcelona 4-0 in Champions League
For once, Barcelona was on the wrong end of the kind of rout it
so often inflicts on others.
And with Bayern Munich in such devastating form, even a fully
fit Lionel Messi might not have made much difference.
Thomas Mueller scored twice, Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben had
one goal each and Bayern Munich routed Barcelona 4-0 Tuesday night
in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal. Bayern
humbled the Spanish powerhouse by taking full advantage of Messi’s
”We knew we were able to give them a good competition,” winger
Arjen Robben said. ”This team (Barcelona) has dominated Europe
over the last five years and if you beat them like this, I think
you can be proud.”
In a game perhaps signaling a shift in power, Bayern Munich sent
Barcelona to its first four-goal defeat since a 4-0 loss at Getafe
in the Copa del Rey semifinals on May 10, 2007. Barcelona, which
has won three of the last seven titles, had lost by four goals only
once before in the Champions League, 4-0 at Dynamo Kiev in the
group stage on Nov. 6, 1997.
”We can be proud, we played a terrific game, everybody,”
Robben said. ”We fought for every meter and we didn’t give them
much space to play.”
Mueller scored on a close-range header in the 25th minute after
Franck Ribery’s corner kick went to the far post, where Robben
crossed to Dante for a header back across the goal.
Gomez doubled the lead in the 49th against a defense missing
injured center backs Carles Puyol and Javier Mascherano. Ribery’s
corner kick went to the far post, where Mueller rose over Daniel
Alves and headed across for Gomez, who may have been offside.
Robben made it 3-0 in the 73rd when he worked around a pick by
Mueller and slotted an angled shot past goalkeeper Victor Valdes.
Mueller got his second goal in the 82nd off a pass swung in by
”When it comes to big games, I just go wild,” Mueller
Barca is in a hole it might have no chance of climbing from.
”Wonders are difficult to achieve, 4-0 is an enormous result.
We want to play with pride and we’ll try (our) best,” assistant
coach Jordi Roura said.
Barcelona left back Jordi Alba received a yellow card in the
89th minute and is suspended for the second leg of the total-goals
series on May 1 in Barcelona.
Borussia Dortmund hosts Real Madrid on Wednesday in the start of
the other semifinal.
Four-time world player of the year Messi, slowed by a hamstring
injury, made his first start since April 2, but wasn’t a factor.
Barcelona had few chances, while Bayern used its size to outmuscle
the Spanish team on restarts.
Messi has been bothered by the hamstring injury for three weeks
and was only declared fit to play shortly before the match. But the
four-time FIFA player of the year was a pale shadow of himself.
”Leo tried really hard just to be here, he gave everything, but
he couldn’t do more,” Roura said.
With Messi struggling, none of his teammates was able to create
”You have to have a plan against Barcelona and the players
executed it very well,” said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes, who will
be replaced by former Barcelona counterpart Pep Guardiola after
this season. ”Barcelona has a certain philosophy, but my players
knew exactly what they had to do on the field. We defended as a
team, we really wanted not to concede a goal at home and we
”At the same time, we were creative in attack, and if we gain
space, we can beat any team in the world. But Barcelona is still
one of the best teams and there are still 90 minutes to play. We
haven’t qualified yet.”