Champions League Classics: Barcelona 0-3 Bayern

You can watch Bayern's memorable away win in full on UEFA.tv; here we provide the bigger picture.

Bayern beat Barcelona 4-0 in the home leg of their 2012/13 UEFA Champions League semi-final, but expected stern resistance as the focus switched to Camp Nou.

WATCH THE MATCH BACK IN FULL ON UEFA.TV.

Context

First leg highlights: Bayern 4-0 Barcelona
First leg highlights: Bayern 4-0 Barcelona

UEFA Champions League winners in three of the previous seven seasons, Barcelona were top of the Liga again as they met Bayern in the semi-finals. An out-of-sorts Lionel Messi lined up in the first leg in Munich, and was thoroughly upstaged by Jupp Heynckes' Bayern. The newly-crowned German champions were 2-0 up by half-time, Thomas Müller and Mario Gómez on target. Sensing their guests’ vulnerability, Bayern moved in for the kill after the interval, Arjen Robben and Müller again scoring to complete Barcelona's heaviest defeat since a 4-0 home loss to Dynamo Kyiv in November 1997. Could it get any worse?

Key players

Franck Ribéry: In a game where Bayern looked to pick Barcelona off on the break, the French winger was in his absolute element – even if he did not make it on to the scoresheet.

Arjen Robben: The Dutchman was on target in both legs of the biggest aggregate semi-final victory in UEFA Champions League history, including the opener at Camp Nou.

Gerard Piqué: With Messi starting on the bench as he nursed a hamstring injury, centre-back Piqué was perhaps the most prominent Barcelona player on the night.

What happened

Five trademark Arjen Robben strikes
Five trademark Arjen Robben strikes

Despite Messi's presence among the subs, Barcelona strove hard to restore pride. However, this left them vulnerable to Bayern's counterattacking ploy, and Piqué was required to make some key interventions to ensure a blank half-time scoreline.

The dam burst soon after the restart, though. Robben beat his man and lashed in the first goal, sending Barcelona into shock. Xavi Hernández and Andrés Iniesta were taken off, and Bayern scythed into their retreating opponents. A Ribéry shot deflected in off the luckless Piqué, then the Frenchman hung up a ball in the box for Müller to head Bayern's third of the evening. For the first time since 1987, Barcelona had lost both legs of a UEFA tie.

Reaction

Javi Martínez, Bayern midfielder: "We weren't expecting two results like these for the simple reason that Barcelona have been the best team in the world for years. I don't think it has been anything like as easy as it appears. We worked very hard, played very well and in the end I think we can say we managed to show we were better than them this time."

Jupp Heynckes, Bayern coach: "There's no denying Barcelona are a different team without Messi. Even so, I'm sure no one expected us to win 7-0 on aggregate. My team understood our tactical approach very well and they executed it perfectly. Our organisation was superb."

Bayern's 2012/13 road to glory
Bayern's 2012/13 road to glory

Gerard Piqué, Barcelona defender: "When another side is so much better than you, there isn't any option except to congratulate them."

Elsewhere that evening

KNOW YOUR HISTORY?


There were no other UEFA fixtures on 1 May (though Slovakia’s Slovan Bratislava and Liechtenstein’s Vaduz won their respective cup finals that night). The previous evening, Jürgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund had completed their passage to the Wembley UEFA Champions League final despite a 2-0 reverse at Real Madrid.

Aftermath

2013 final highlights: Bayern 2-1 Dortmund
2013 final highlights: Bayern 2-1 Dortmund

The first all-German UEFA Champions League final brought a 2-1 win for Bayern, Mario Mandžukić and Robben the scorers – with the latter named man of the match. Victory made the Munich team the first German club to complete a treble, since they had also landed the Bundesliga title and German Cup. In 2014, they began a new phase of success by signing Dortmund’s Polish ace Robert Lewandowski.

Barcelona clinched the 2012/13 Spanish title by a record 15-point margin, ending the campaign with 100 points, but coach Tito Vilanova quit in the summer, unable to continue working because of an ongoing battle with cancer. He died in April 2014, aged 45.

You can watch the match back in full on UEFA.tv.