Live Commentary: Bayern Munich 4-0 Barcelona - as it happened

Franck Ribery celebrates his goal with teammates on November 24, 2012
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of the first leg of the Champions League semi-final at the Allianz Arena as Bayern Munich record a 4-0 win over Barcelona.

Bayern Munich welcomed Barcelona to the Allianz Arena on Tuesday in the first leg of their semi-final clash in the Champions League.

The first period brought just the one goal with Thomas Muller heading Bayern into the lead after 25 minutes. It was 2-0 in the early stages of the second half, however, when Mario Gomez tapped home from another set piece.

Barcelona responded with a host of half-chances, but they were stung on the counter when Arjen Robben made it three after 73 minutes.

The scoring was not finished, however, as Muller added his second late on to secure a comprehensive win.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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6.46pmEvening all! Well, it doesn’t get much bigger than this in European competition. Bayern have been in simply stunning form in all competitions this season, but tonight they come up against arguably the best team of all time. Something has to give somewhere, but both of these sides will be confident of advancing to the final at Wembley next month.

6.49pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS: Mario Gomez returns to the Bayern team this evening in place of the suspended Mario Mandzukic. Meanwhile, Jerome Boateng is named in central defence alongside Dante. Lionel Messi returns to the Barcelona team as expected, while Marc Bartra comes into the defence alongside Gerard Pique. Full teams to follow.

6.52pmTEAMS:

BAYERN: Neuer; Lahm, Dante, Boateng, Alaba; Martinez, Schweinsteiger; Robben, Muller, Ribery; Gomez

BARCELONA: Valdes; Alves, Bartra, Pique, Alba; Iniesta, Xavi, Busquets; Pedro, Messi, Sanchez


6.55pmAs mentioned, this is the third time in the last four seasons that Bayern have reached the semi-final stage of the Champions League. They will be keen to make up for last season’s disappointment, meanwhile, where they were beaten by Chelsea in the final. In truth, they had enough chances that night to win five games of football.

6.58pmMeanwhile, Barcelona have reached this stage of the competition for the last six seasons, which is a Champions League record. However, the Catalan outfit have won just one of their last six competitive matches against Bayern, while they have never won at the Allianz Arena. That said, Barcelona will not be phased by this type of occasion.

7.01pmBarcelona were 2-0 winners the last time the two sides met, but that was in a friendly match at the beginning of the 2011-2012 season. However, the Spanish outfit did knock Bayern out of the competition at this stage in April 2009, when they won 4-0 at the Camp Nou before drawing the second leg 1-1 one week later.

7.04pmBayern enter this match in simply stunning form. They have won 18 of their last 19 matches in all competitions, with the only reverse coming against Arsenal in the second leg of their last-16 clash. The Bavarian outfit have also lost just one of their previous 20 home encounters against Spanish opposition, winning 14 times in the process.

7.07pmDespite that impressive record against Spanish opposition, the Germans have not kept a clean sheet in their last 12 Champions League matches against teams from La Liga. You just get the feeling that away goals could play a part between two sides that are so well-matched. It would be fair to say that neither enters the match as clear favourites.

7.10pmDespite Barcelona’s success this season, they have only won two of their last eight away games across all competitions. Meanwhile, they have only won one of their last five matches in this competition (three draws, one defeat). To take that a step further, surprisingly they have won just three of their last 15 away games in the knockout stages of the Champions League.

7.13pmHowever, the Spanish outfit are currently on an eight-match unbeaten run on German soil, a record that stretches back until 2001. Overall, they have won nine of their 24 European games against Bundesliga opposition, losing just five times in the process. But arguably this is the strongest Bayern team in their decorated history.

7.16pmOne player who Bayern will need to keep a close eye on this evening is Messi. The Argentine, who has been suffering with a thigh injury in recent weeks, spectacularly saved his team in the previous round when he inspired Barca to victory over PSG despite being half-fit. He has scored eight goals in the Champions League this season, but has not featured for the Spanish outfit in their last two league matches.

7.19pmRight, let’s take a look at how each side has fared in the competition thus far. Bayern topped Group F ahead of Valencia having registered 13 points from their six matches, they finished level on points with the Spanish outfit, but their superior goal difference of plus eight saw them advance as group winners. They then overcome Arsenal in the last-16 stage despite losing the second leg at home.

7.22pmJuventus awaited in the quarter-finals, with many selecting the Italian outfit as the dark horses for the competition. However, in truth, the Old Lady provided little competition for a Bayern side that powered their way into the semi-finals. They have been unstoppable in both Europe and in Germany this season.

7.25pmBarcelona, meanwhile, topped a section that included Celtic, Benfica and Spartak Moscow. They won four of their six matches, drawing once and losing the other. They scored 11 goals in those six matches, while they conceded five times. The surprise defeat came against Celtic in Scotland, where they were beaten despite having around 80% of the possession.

7.28pmAC Milan waited in the last-16 stage of the tournament, and it did appear that they would exit the competition having lost the first leg 2-0 in Italy. However, the Spanish outfit responded in style to win the second leg 4-0 and therefore advance 4-2 on aggregate. PSG came next, but a 1-1 draw in the Camp Nou ensured their progress.

7.31pmWhat about domestic form? Bayern have already secured the Bundesliga title this season having taken a stunning 81 points from their 30 matches. They sit 20 points clear of second-placed Borussia Dortmund, while they have scored 16 goals in their last three league games. Yes, 16 in their last three. Over to you then Barcelona.

7.34pmThe Spanish outfit currently sit top of La Liga with 84 points, 13 clear of Real Madrid with six matches remaining. They have won five of their last six matches, but enter the match off the back of an uninspiring 1-0 win over Levante at the weekend. That said, they did rest a number of their key players, who all return this evening.

7.37pmSUSPENSION WATCH: A number of players are just one booking away from missing the return leg in Spain. Bayern have Philipp Lahm, Dante and Luiz Gustavo walking the tightrope, while Barcelona have Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Alex Song just one card away from missing the next leg.

7.40pmLittle over five minutes from kickoff on this wonderful night of Champions League football. Just about time for my pre-match prediction. Normally entering a Champions League tie, you always have a slight favourite, that is not the case this evening. I think Bayern will secure a narrow win in the first leg before sneaking through to the final next week. One thing is for certain, it will be so tight.

7.43pmHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch ahead of kickoff. The pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. Is there any better feeling as a player than walking out to that Champions League tune? This is what football is all about. Let's hope that the match lives up to the expectations.

0 minJust a reminder of the main team news this evening. Gomez comes into the Bayern side in place of the suspended Mandzukic, while Jerome Boateng also returns to the defence. Messi indeed returns for Barcelona as expected, but there is no place for David Villa. Right, the home side get the action underway in Germany. Be sure to remain with us for the entirety of the action.

2 minNot too much to report in the opening couple of minutes with Barcelona taking control of the possession. It must be said that there is a sensational atmosphere inside the stadium this evening. Bayern are so impressive on the counter, which could be Barcelona's undoing. Early run from Robben down the right, but Alba is across to clear.

4 minCHANCE! Early chance for the home side as Robben drives into the box before striking an effort from close range, but Valdes is across to make the save. All very frantic from Barcelona with Bartra and Pique both out of position. Stunning tempo in the opening four minutes of this glamour European tie.

6 minPique attempts to find the run of Pedro down the right, but the Spaniard's pass is just too long for the winger. Barcelona do gain possession moments later, but once more it comes to nothing down the Bayern left. Gomez wins the aerial battle with Bartra down the other end, but Valdes is on hand to collect.

8 minThe home side want a penalty as Martinez hits the deck in the box, but the referee is not interested despite contact from Bartra. Not too much to report in terms of chances in the last couple of moments, but Bayern have started to take control of the ball. You just get the feeling that the first goal could be everything in a match of this ilk.

10 minWe have not seen too much from Messi in the opening 10 minutes with Dante and Boateng both marshalling the Argentine striker. Barcelona attempt to build once more with Xavi and Iniesta seeing plenty of the ball, but they just cannot find a way through this stern German defence. You attack, we attack, you attack, we attack. Stunning.

12 minHalf-chance for the away side as Pique meets a corner from Xavi, but his header is just wide of the post. It will be an interesting battle between the Spaniard and the likes of Dante. Both sets of players are just struggling to stay on their feet with the surface heavily-watered before kickoff.

14 minNot too much to report in terms of chances in the last few minutes with both sides guilty of poor passing in midfield. Not too much from Messi, meanwhile, with the Argentine well-marshalled by the Bayern defence. Alaba is down the left for Bayern moments later, but his cross is straight into the arms of Valdes.

16 minGood possession from the away side as they continue to pass and probe outside the Bayern box, but once more the attack breaks down at the final moment. We have not seen too much from Ribery as an attacking threat thus far with the Frenchman performing most of his work in his own half. Fascinating tactical battle between two contrasted styles.

18 minAnother penalty shout for the home side as Lahm strikes an effort from outside the box, it appears to strike Pique on the arm, but the referee is not interested. The resulting corner comes into the box by Robben, but Pique is on hand to make the clearance. Muller has a strike moments later, but Valdes is on hand to make the save.

20 minAgain it's really bright work from the home side as Robben combines with Lahm before the latter drives a low cross into the box, but Sanchez is on hand to make the challenge. All the pressure from Bayern is coming down their left at the moment with Lahm joining the attack at each opportunity. Still no goals with 20 minutes on the clock at the Allianz Arena.

22 minNot too much to get excited about in the last couple of moments with the two sides just cancelling each other out. Barcelona continue to enjoy decent possession of the ball, but they cannot find a way through this German defence. We have not seen too much from Gomez and Muller, meanwhile, with Pique sensational at the heart of the defence.

24 minIt's really sloppy from Bartra as the Barcelona defender hands possession straight to Schweinsteiger. Bayern win a corner, but Valdes is on hand to make the clearance. It could have been a costly mistake from the young Spanish defender. No real clear chances for either side since that Robben opening in the first few minutes.

25 minGOAL! Bayern 1-0 Barcelona (Muller)

26 minFirst blood to Bayern! It's a set play that causes the problem to Barcelona as they fail to clear the danger. Dante rises in the box, but it is Muller that arrives at the far post to thump his header into the back of the net. The place has just erupted. Bayern take charge of this match.

28 minHow many important goals does Muller score? Sometimes the German does not get the credit he deserves, but that is his 19th goal of the season. What a player. Suddenly it is all Bayern as they force another attack down the right, but Ribery's cross is straight into the arms of Valdes. All quite hectic with 28 minutes on the clock.

30 minIt just isn't quite happening for the away side at the moment as another passing sequence comes to an end. Not too much from Messi in the opening 30 minutes. In truth, he does not look fit. Another counter brings a chance for the home side, but Pique is across to clear from Robben. His team may be losing, but Pique has been sensational this evening.

32 minHalf-chance for Barcelona this time as Pedro delivers a low cross into the box, but Dante is across to challenge with Messi waiting at the far post. The resulting corner is delivered into the box, but the Spanish side are never going to win an aerial battle with Bayern. Quite sensational atmosphere inside the stadium as we approach the latter stages of the first period.

34 minAgain it's good work from Alves as the Brazilian drives down the right before delivering a low cross into the box, but Dante is on hand to make the clearance. It falls to Messi, but Alaba is across to make a fine challenge. The counter attack brings another attacking opportunity, but Pique is across to clear once more.

36 minBig penalty shout for the home side as Sanchez appears to handle in the box, but the referee is not interested. Another set piece causes problems in the Barcelona box, but this time the danger is cleared. Safe to say that the home side are not happy with that decision. Bayern could have had two penalties this evening.

38 minMartinez continues to perform his duty in the middle of the Bayern midfield as he quells Messi once more. Again Bayern counter with Ribery finding Muller, but this time his cross is straight into the arms of Valdes. Barcelona just cannot get into this match at the moment. Little over five minutes of the first period remaining.

40 minAgain it's wonderful work from Robben as he takes possession from Iniesta before finding Muller down the right, but Alba is across to clear for a corner, which is also cleared. Moments later Gomez picks up the first yellow card of the evening for a lunge on Messi. The momentum is all with the home side as we approach the latter stages of the first period.

42 minBartra becomes the first Barcelona player to have his name taken for a barge on Muller. It was a really sloppy one from the Spaniard. Nervy moment for Bayern down the other end as Ribery heads back into his own box, but Alaba is across to clear. Bayern continue to dominate the possession with little over three minutes of the first period remaining.

44 minAgain another passing sequence comes to an end with Busquets losing possession in the final third. There is no question that Messi is not 100% fit here as he continues to labour in the final third. Sanchez attempts to win back possession in the Bayern box, but he fells Lahm in the process.

45 minIt's good work from Alba this time as the Spaniard combines with Messi before advancing down the left, but the return pass is just too long. Alves is down the other side moments later, but Ribery is on hand to clear once more. No added time indicated by the fourth official at the end of the half.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Bayern 1-0 Barcelona

8.31pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with Bayern leading 1-0 courtesy of a header from Muller with 25 minutes on the clock. Both sides have enjoyed decent passing sequences, but the Spanish outfit have thus far been unable to really exert their usual dominance.

8.36pmSTATISTICS: Perhaps not too surprisingly, Barcelona have had more of the ball with 63%, but they have managed just one shot off target in the opening 45 minutes. That is in contrast to the home side who have had five attempts. On the balance of play, Bayern are well worth their one-goal lead at this stage of proceedings.

8.41pmBENCH WATCH: Both teams have an embarrassment of riches on the sidelines this evening. Bayern could call upon the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, Claudio Pizarro and Luiz Gustavo in the second period. Meanwhile, Barcelona have Cesc Fabregas, David Villa, Thiago and Alex Song in reserve. I suspect a mix-matched team of the two benches this evening would go a long way in this competition. Incredible depth to each club.

46 minRight, both sides join us on the pitch for the second period. No changes for either side at the interval, which is perhaps not too surprising based on what we have seen thus far. Just a reminder that nothing will be decided this evening with the second leg to come next week. Here we go then, Barcelona get the second 45 minutes underway.

48 minExplosive start to the second half as Martinez is booked for diving into the back of Iniesta. The resulting free kick is played back towards Alba, but his long pass is cleared by Dante. Gomez has possession down the other end moments later, but he cannot evade the capture of the brilliant Gerard Pique.

49 minIt's better from the away side as Iniesta combines with Sanchez before driving into the box, but the former is ruled offside. Although replays have shown that the Spaniard was indeed level with the final defender. Much more purpose about the Spanish outfit in the second period, but Bayern continue to stand strong.

49 minGOAL! Bayern 2-0 Barcelona (Gomez)

50 minBayern have their second! Big moment in this match as Gomez taps home from close range following a Muller header. Early suggestions are that it may well have been offside, but the flag stayed down. Barcelona are in big trouble in Munich.

52 minAnother penalty shout from the home side as Martinez is fended off by Bartra, but the referee is not interested. Messi attempts to craft something down the other end moments later, but once more Martinez is across to clear. You just get the feeling that Barcelona need to score this evening.

54 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Muller collects possession outside the box before firing an effort towards the bottom corner, but it just moves wide of the post. Barcelona attempt to counter down the other end with Pedro, but the Spaniard just cannot evade the capture of Dante. What a start to the second period.

56 minIt just isn't happening for Barcelona at the moment as they continue to lose possession in the final third. Meanwhile, in attempting to win it back, they are giving away a host of free kicks. Ribery has a half-chance from the right moments later, but he can only fire wide of the post.

58 minYou always fancy Barcelona to score at some point in any match, but Bayern have restricted to Spanish outfit to very little this evening. Tito Vilanova has a decision to make here as Messi continues to lose possession. He has the likes of Villa and Fabregas on the bench. Little over 30 minutes of football remaining in Germany.

60 minAnother half-chance for the home side as Robben meets a free kick from Schweinsteiger, but his header just moves wide of the post. No sign of a response from Barcelona, but there is still a lot of football to be played this evening. Wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium. The next goal - if there indeed is one - would swing this tie.

62 minAgain Robben is involved for the home side as he darts past two defenders before finding the run of Ribery, but Valdes is out to clear at the vital moment. Pique attempts to carry the fight down the other end with a driving run into the box, but once more it breaks down. End-to-end football with 62 minutes on the clock.

64 minBetter from Barcelona as Alves finds Pedro down the right, the Spaniard fires a low cross into the box, but Neuer comes out to collect at the vital moment. Good spell for the away side as Alba fires another cross towards Messi, but Dante is across to clear. The pressure is building from the Spanish side.

66 minStill no movement on either bench as we enter the remaining 25 minutes of football, but I suspect that will change in the next five minutes or so. You just get the feeling that Barcelona need to score an away goal this evening, because you would fancy Bayern to score in the Camp Nou next week. Best spell of the match for the Spanish outfit.

68 minAgain it's good work from Ribery down the left as he beats two defenders before whipping a cross into the box, but it moves out for a throw. Slightly scrappy period of the match in the last few minutes with neither side really threatening to add to the scoring. Little over 20 minutes of football remaining in Munich, with Bayern 2-0 ahead.

70 minBarcelona are certainly in control of the possession as things stand, but they just cannot find that elusive pass in the final third. However, we have seen it all before. Just when you think you are comfortable against Barcelona, they turn it on and find the back of the net. They need some inspiration from Messi here, who just has a shot deflected wide by Dante.

72 minCHANCE! Wonderful opportunity for the away side as it falls for Bartra in the box, but his effort is straight into the arms of the Bayern goalkeeper. What a chance for that elusive away goal. Bayern counter down the other end with Robben, but Pique is across to clear for a corner.

73 minBayern make their first change of the match as Gomez is replaced by Luiz Gustavo, who will just provide some legs in the middle of midfield. I expect Muller will move into the main forward role as a result of the change. Right, little over 15 minutes of football remaining in Munich.

73 minGOAL! Bayern 3-0 Barcelona (Robben)

74 minBayern have their third of the evening as Robben drives into the box before curling his effort into the bottom corner. Barcelona want a free kick for a foul on Alba, but the referee is not interested. The Spanish side are not happy, but the goal stands.

76 minAgain it is a controversial goal, but ask the Bayern supporters if they mind. Can Barcelona turn this one around in the second period? They will need an away goal to stand a chance. Ribery is again involved down the right, but this time his cross is straight into the arms of the goalkeeper.

78 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for the away side as Xavi finds Bartra in the box, but he can only blaze over the crossbar from close range. Good grief what a chance for the young Spaniard. Little over 10 minutes of football remaining this evening.

80 minDecent possession from Barcelona in the last couple of moments as they continue to pass and probe outside the box, but they just cannot find a way through the defence. A high cross comes into the box from Alba, but it moves out of play as Messi turns away in disgust.

82 minCHANCE! Another wonderful chance for the home side as Muller ghosts into the box, but his low effort is saved by Valdes. That would have been game, set and match. Robben picks up the rebound, but his effort is blocked by Pique. Little over 10 minutes of football remaining in Munich.

82 minGOAL! Bayern 4-0 Barcelona (Muller)

83 minOh my good grief. Bayern have their fourth of the evening as Muller is on hand to turn home an Alaba cross. Another stunning goal from the German outfit. They have one foot in the final that is for certain.

84 minBayern immediately make the change as Muller is replaced by Claudio Pizarro. Meanwhile, Barcelona bring on David Villa in place of Pedro. Can Barcelona salvage something in the final five minutes? It is difficult to see the Spanish side coming back from this.

86 minThe Bayern crowd are in full voice as we approach the final stages of this match. When was the last time that we saw Barcelona taken apart like this? The away side have had possession of the ball in the last few minutes, but they just cannot find a way through.

88 minSanchez becomes the latest Barcelona player to enter the book as Robben drives into the opposing half, but Sanchez pulls back the Dutchman. The resulting free kick is taken short to Alaba, who keeps possession in his own half. Little over two minutes of football remaining.

90 minBayern make another change as Ribery is replaced by Shaqiri. Not a bad player to have on the bench! It's poor from Alba, meanwhile, as the defender throws the ball in the face of Robben moments later. The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional three minutes of added time.

90 min+3Not too much to report in the final couple of minutes with Bayern keeping possession of the ball. It is just incredible what we have seen this evening. It is going to take something special for Barcelona to turn this one around. They have been outplayed by such a margin. Little under a minute of stoppage time remaining.

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Bayern 4-0 Barcelona

9.34pmSo there we have it. Bayern score four times without reply to thump Barcelona in Munich. They have one foot in the final of the competition. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to stick around the site for all the reaction. Good evening!

Bayern Munich's Jerome Boateng celebrates scoring against FC Nuremberg on April 13, 2013
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