Son nets twice as Tottenham ease past Red Star

Barca reach final despite defeat

12/05/2015

Barcelona booked their place in the Champions League final with a 5-3 aggregate win over Bayern Munich despite losing the second leg 3-2 at the Allianz Arena.

Barca had won the first leg 3-0 at the Camp Nou after an inspired performance from Lionel Messi, and Pep Guardiola said before the return game that Bayern could only beat his former club if they adopted a patient approach.

Despite his comments, the game started at a blistering pace and, after good chances at either end, Bayern took the lead on seven minutes when Medhi Benatia was left unmarked to head home a Xabi Alonso corner.

With a quarter of an hour played, though, Bayern hopes were deflated when Messi played a perfectly weighted pass to Luis Suarez, who set up Neymar for a simple finish. That away goal left Bayern needing to score another four to have any prospect of progress, and their plight soon worsened.

After seeing Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski fail to convert good chances, they were caught on the counter with just under half an hour played, and Suarez set up Neymar for his second of the night.

Bayern came close when Lewandowski's shot looked to have defeated Marc-Andre ter Stegen, but the Barca keeper was able to get back to claw it off the line as the home side went in 2-1 down at the break.

Philipp Lahm almost cued up a fine chance for Schweinsteiger in the 49th minute, and 10 minutes later Lewandowski turned on the edge of the box and drilled a superb low shot past ter Stegen to draw level on the night.

Muller shot just wide as Bayern began to dominate, and they got the third goal their performance deserved in the 74th minute when Muller steered home after Schweinsteiger played a neat lay-off with his back to goal.

Lewandowski saw an effort deflected wide as Bayern looked to go out in style, but with time ticking by and the home side's slim hopes long extinguished, the last say was almost left for Barcelona.

Neymar was sent into space in the left side of the box and instead of going for his hat trick he unselfishly tried to find Messi, only for his attempted pass to evade the Argentine and roll harmlessly across the face of an empty goal.

That meant Bayern came away with a morale-boosting victory on the night as they ended a four-match losing run, but Barca never looked in danger as they recorded a comfortable aggregate win that saw them return to the Champions League final for the first time since Guardiola's side won the competition in 2011.

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