24 years ago today
Thu, 16/04/20, 13:39
Underdogs Bayern seal UEFA Cup final spot at Camp Nou
Barcelona were the opponents in the semi-finals of the 1995/96 UEFA Cup. The Spanish giants were seen by many as clear favourites going into both legs against Bayern, but coach Otto Rehhagel's men already showed that meant little to them in the first leg as they surprised the Spaniards – who had Pep Guardiola in defence – with a strong performance at the Olympiastadion. A 2-2 draw put them in a decent position for the second leg on 16 April, but Barcelona were still fancied in the eyes of many.
Not overawed by big crowd
Bayern had to hold their nerve in front of a sellout crowd of over 100,000 at Camp Nou – and they delivered a brilliant performance! Both sides created chances from the start, but it was the German record champions who made better use of them on the day. Five minutes before half-time, defender Markus Babbel was in the right place to open the scoring for Bayern after Barca goalkeeper Carlos Busquets failed to hold onto a shot from Mehmet Scholl.
Hero of the semi-final
The second half belonged to a man who'd already been on target in the first leg. WIth 84 minutes on the clock and the score still standing at 1-0 to the visitors from Munich, an equaliser would've seen Barcelona through. The ball was still in the Bayern area, and then suddenly it broke loose. Marcel Witeczek picked it up just inside his own half and drove forward at full speed. Arriving in the opposition penalty area, he went for goal – 2-0! His shot, which took a slight deflection of Miguel Nadal, arrowed into the near corner leaving Busquets with no chance. Just a few minutes later, however, Iván De La Peña made things interesting again as his strike got the Spaniards back in the game. Another goal would've meant extra time, but Bayern clung onto their narrow lead and progressed to the final thanks to a 4-3 win on aggregate. FCB went on to beat Bordeaux and end a long 20-year wait for a European trophy.
This features in our round-up of Bayern's best knockout matches of the 90s: