FC Bayern München continue to rewrite the records this season. Not content with creating new high-water marks in the Bundesliga, they are now setting new highs in the UEFA Champions League.
Last night's 4-0 triumph over FC Barcelona was a record semi-final win and equalled their opponents' heaviest ever defeat in UEFA club competition – in their 420th game. We take a look at the company the victory keeps in the unwanted annals of the Catalan side's history.
05/11/1980: FC Barcelona 0-4 1. FC Köln
This was not a great Barcelona team but they went into the match thinking a place in the UEFA Cup third round was all but theirs after a 1-0 first-leg win – they misjudged the size of the Billy Goats attempting to secure their own passage. It was going well enough until four minutes before half-time when an injury forced off defender Dieter Prestin; on came the flighty Pierre Littbarski and it changed the game. Gerd Strack immediately bent in a lovely shot and then it was the Littbarski show as the 20-year-old scored one and set up two as Rinus Michels' Köln team marched on, reaching the semis.
18/05/1994: AC Milan 4-0 FC Barcelona
For the first time in living memory Milan approached a European Cup final as underdogs, their suspension-hit back line expected to buckle under the weight of Barcelona's attacking talent in Athens. Yet Fabio Capello had not read the script, his decision to fight forward fire with fire catching everyone unawares. Two Daniele Massaro goals earned the initiative and when Dejan Savićević made it 3-0 with an exquisite lob soon after half-time, the game was up. Marcel Desailly set seal on a memorable triumph. "This," announced the famously hard to please Capello, "is perfection."
05/11/1997: FC Barcelona 0-4 FC Dynamo Kyiv
Not many come to the Camp Nou, hammer the hosts and get applauded off at the end, but Dynamo warranted special treatment after this UEFA Champions League group stage meeting. Barcelona went into the match on a high after underlining their domestic supremacy (they would win the title at a canter) with victory over Real Madrid CF; yet they were soon plumbing new depths. Andriy Shevchenko did the damage with a first-half hat-trick, and when Sergi was sent off at the start of the second period Barcelona feared the worst. Sergei Rebrov completed the rout.
"We knew Dynamo were stronger and so it proved," said Shevchenko. "We beat them tactically more than anything: they didn't expect us to be so agressive going forward and had no answer to it."
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