Monday, May 11, 2015

Bayern Munich vs FC Barcelona 12-05-2015 Champions League Semi-Final

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Bayern Munchen vs FC Barcelona
Competition: UEFA Champions League
Match date: 12 May 2015
Kick Off Time: 19:45 BST
Stadium: Allianz-Arena, Munchen, Germany.
Bayern Munich football team fell to their 4th successive defeat on Saturday, losing just their 3rd Bundesliga home match in their last 45 at the Allianz Arena. Just a few weeks ago the Bavarians were staring at a possible treble this season, but a tense penalty-kick defeat in the DFB-Pokal to Dortmund saw them eliminated from the cup, and now faced with a 0:3 deficit against FC Barcelona, obtaining anything outside the Bundesliga title looks like a long shot at this stage.
Of course, Bayern certainly have the ability to overturn this hole they have made for themselves, as just last round they came back from 1:3 down and smashed Porto at home, 6:1. Robert Lewandowski and his attacking cohorts can score goals in bunches, and an early goal would send ripples of delight through the stadium and possibly see the Catalans flinch. However, pushing on and overturning this tie would be a monumental task, as Barcelona have been shut out just once in their last 30 matches in all competitions. Messi really looked in the mood in the 1st leg and almost single-handedly gave his side a 2:0 lead, and Bayern Munich being forced to play without some very important players in the mold of David Alaba, Arjen Robben, and Frank Ribery leaves plenty of reason for doubt here. Manager, Pep Guardiola, has the tactical nous to stifle the Catalans, but balancing that with needing to send players forward will likely leave them in trouble on an occasion or two, and in the end the Allianz Arena may resound with boos as the Bavarians crash out of the semifinals for the second season in a row.
Barcelona FC have opened up a critical 3:0 lead from the 1st leg and are well on their way to exacting revenge for their 2012/2013 elimination at the hands of Bayern. Messi was absolutely brilliant at the Camp Nou, scoring twice over the span of just a few minutes to see his side take a comfortable lead. But it was Neymar who arguably put the nail in the Bayern coffin last week, as the Brazilian stole a crucial 3rd goal to take a commanding lead to the Allianz Arena.
However, don’t expect Barcelona team to rest on their laurels here, as revenge is still on their minds from their 0:7 beatdown they received back in 2013 from the Bavarians. They also know that any goal here would just about put the game out of reach, as the away goals rule would then benefit the visitors and force the hosts into putting 5 past goalkeeper, Marc-Andre ter Stegen. The German phenom has done a wonderful job as their Champions League goalkeeper this season and has plenty of experience against the hosts coming from Monchengladbach just last summer. The 23-year-old has seen just 4 goals get by him over their last 9 UEFA outings. Coupled with the fact that the Catalans are simply shredding opposing defences with their South American strike force of Messi, Neymar, and Luis Suarez–having scored a remarkable 34 goals over their last 10 competitive fixtures–Barcelona FC very well could take all of the bragging rights here despite already holding a substantial lead. It’s just simply not in their nature to sit back and defend, and at the least they should be able to avoid defeat here in Germany.
Probable lineups:
Bayern Munich: Neuer – Rafinha, Benatia, J. Boateng, J. Bernat – Xabi Alonso – Lahm, Alcantara, T. Muller, M. Gotze – Lewandowski.
FC Barcelona: ter Stegen – Alves, Mascherano, Pique, Jordi Alba – Busquets, Iniesta, Rakitic – Lionel
Messi, Suarez, Neymar.

You can watch the match here: Link 1 , Link 2 [Live Scores]

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