Created on 23-04-2013 at 00:00 AM
Inspired Bayern sent out an ominous message of intent to the European footballing world on Tuesday night with a crushing victory over Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final first leg. A superbly executed game plan, neutralising the visitors’ attacking threat and striking at pace to deadly effect, earned Jupp Heynckes’ side a famous win which opens wide the door to the final at Wembley in May.
The 68,000 full house at the Allianz Arena saw Barça control the bulk of the first half possession, but Bayern created much the better of the chances and took a 25th-minute lead through the Thomas Müller’s close-range header.
The home side doubled the advantage four minutes after the restart when Mario Mandzukic stand-in Mario Gomez volleyed home from a couple of yards, Arjen Robben adding a third on 73 minutes and the outstanding Müller making it four eight minutes from time.
Bayern’s fourth victory in seven European meetings with Barça puts the Reds firmly in control for the return meeting with the Spanish champions-elect eight days from now. The Bavarians are next in action on Saturday when high-flying Freiburg visit Munich in the Bundesliga, before all eyes turn to Camp Nou next Wednesday for the decisive second leg.