Another great spectacle awaits the viewers this Tuesday as the Bavarians take on the Catalans in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final in the Allianz Arena. It is going to be an uphill task for Bayern to overturn the huge deficit of 3 goals against the mighty Barcelona, but if any team can do it has got to be Bayern Munich. Here is the Bayern Munich vs Barcelona match preview.
Bayern Munich vs Barcelona Match Preview First Leg Match Summary
Luis Enrique surprised nobody with his starting eleven. Only Jeremy Mathieu was out with an Achilles injury. Ten of the eleven Barcelona players in the starting line-up were actually the same they were on against Cordoba in last Liga match before the semi-final first leg, with the only change coming in goal where Marc-Andre Ter Stegen resumed his duties.
On the other hand, Bayern manager Pep Guardiola had plenty of headaches regarding his starting eleven. Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, David Alaba, Holger Badstuber and Sebastian Rode all missed the game due to injury.
It was a high tempo game right from the very start. As expected Pep sent his team to play a high defensive line, which Barcelona were quick to exploit playing long balls, but the tactics worked well for Bayern as the Catalans were caught offside on more than one occasion.
Barca’s first opportunity came in the 12th minute when Suarez was sent all alone on goal with no player on sight but Neuer positioned himself brilliantly to deny the talented Uruguay predator. The Catalans had many a chances in the first half but the Bayern defense was impressive along with the ever dependable Manuel Neuer to deny them.
Bayern had that one odd chance against the run of play in the 18th minute with Muller making most of the work on the right side, he crossed the ball to Lewandowski, which threw both Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique out of play. But Lewandowski failed to make enough contact.
Check out our full match preview at here.
Bayern started the second half on a positive note creating pressure unlike the first half and held a strong back line denying the Barcelona attack for 77 minutes in this high voltage fixture. The game was scoreless for 77 minutes, but then Messi makes the difference. Almost single-handedly put the tie just about out of reach for Bayern. The Argentine ended up with scoring two goals and giving the assist on the third to send a disappointed Guardiola back to the visiting dressing room.
Lionel Messi (The X FACTOR)
Arguably the greatest player in the world at present this little Argentine turned the game on its head with his brilliance. He was pretty influential throughout the game making great runs and playing exquisite passes to his team mates but after the 77th minute he just took it to a different level altogether. Messi fired in the first goal after Dani Alves stole the ball from Xabi Alonso and tapped it to Messi.
In the 80th minute the Argentine genius displayed sheer class when he absolutely made a fool out of Jerome Boateng and then played an immaculate chip shot leaving Neuer ( who was quite outstanding throughout the game) stranded and shell shocked. Two goals down Bayern opened up their game in the search for an away goal only to concede yet again after MSN combined brilliantly and Messi assisted Neymar who showed nice composure to stretch Barca’s lead to 3 goals.
Current form of Bayern Munich
Bayern have had a poor run of form over the past few games. They have not scored in the last 361 minutes which makes clear of the fact that they are missing some of their highly influential players in Robben and Ribery. Despite getting their hands in this season’s Bundesliga title, the Bavarians have not managed to win in their last four games in all competitions.
Current form of Barcelona
Barcelona are four points clear at the top of the La Liga table with two games to go after second half goals from Neymar and Pedro against Real Sociedad maintained their push for yet another Spanish title. The Catalans are unbeaten in eight consecutive games in all competitions.
Can Bayern overturn the deficit?
It is going to be an uphill task for Bayern considering the fact that they are already 3-0 down and will be again without the likes of some of their star players in Robben, Ribery and Alaba. But they can surely take heart from the fact that they have done the impossible against Porto in the same venue.
Barca on the other hand will come to the Arena confident following their recent run of form and will be looking to play their usual tiki taka style to frustrate the Bavarians. Barca will again be pinning their hopes in their front three who have been quite sensational this season. Apart from that their shaky defense will have to be at their very best to make sure of the fact that they don’t allow the likes of Lewandowski and Thomas Muller to penetrate. The Bayern defense must also compose themselves because if they concede another goal then the tie would be more or less over.
Expected Starting Elevens of Bayern Munich vs Barcelona UCL Semifinal:
Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba, Busquets, Iniesta, Rakitic, Messi, Suarez, Neymar
Bayern Munich: Neuer; Bernat, Benatia, Boateng, Rafinha, Lahm, Schweinsteiger, Alonso, Thiago, Gotze, Muller
Match: Bayern Munich vs Barcelona
Date: May 12, 2015
Stadium: Allianz Arena
Kick Off Time: 20:45(CET/Local Time), 12.15AM(IST)
Bayern must come out all guns blazing in the Allianz Arena this Tuesday. Their star players will have to bring out their best game if there are to have any chance of qualifying for the Finals of the showpiece event. On the other hand Barcelona must look to consolidate of what they have achieved in the first leg by playing their usual possession football and creating chances involving their front three players. The second leg has got all the ingredients of being a mouth-watering clash between these two European Heavyweights. All eyes will be on this fixture and it will be intriguing to see who indeed has the last laugh between two ex barca team mates in Guardiola and Enrique.