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BREAKING: Bayern massacre Barca 8-2 to reach UCL semis

Bayern Munich massacred Barcelona  8-2 to send Lionel Messi’s men out of the Champions League on Friday night.

The encounter in Lisbon saw Bayern Munich raced out to a 4-1 lead over Barcelona after the first 31 minutes and never looked back, doubling it after halftime and winning, astoundingly, 8-2 in their Champions League quarterfinal in Lisbon, Portugal.

 

Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski headlined a matchup teeming with star power, but was the other big names stepping up for Bayern Munich. Thomas Muller scored two goals, while Serge Gnabry and Ivan Perisic had a goal apiece before halftime for the German champions, who are aiming to win a first treble since 2013.

Barcelona’s first goal came via Bayern defender David Alaba, who clipped Jordi Alba’s cross into his own net to make it 1-1 in the seventh minute. Luis Suarez made it 4-2 in the 57th minute, only for Joshua Kimmich to answer six minutes later to restore the three-goal edge. Lewandowski only added onto the humiliation in the 84th minute with one of his own before Philippe Coutinho–on loan to Bayern from Barcelona–made it 8-2 soon after with a late double.

Barcelona, which left Antoine Griezmann on the bench in a shift to a 4-4-2 formation, nearly broke through in the third minute on the counterattack. Messi sprung Sergi Roberto free down the left-hand side, where he got in behind Canadian rising star Alphonso Davies. Roberto’s curling cross nearly found its way to Suarez, but it was just out of his reach, and Manuel Neuer came off his line to clear it away.

Bayern then struck for the opener on its next time down into Barcelona’s end. Muller and Lewandowski worked a wonderful combination at the top of the box, with Muller firing home the opener from the edge of the area just into the fourth minute.

That lead didn’t last long. Alba’s cross trying to pick out Suarez was inadvertently lobbed by Alaba into his own net, gifting Barcelona an equalizer and making it 1-1 after seven minutes.

Barcelona nearly went ahead on two occasions in the next three minutes. First, Suarez had a run in behind met by the on-rushing Neuer, who saved his close-range chance, before Sergio Busquets hit the post on another opportunity.

Messi then had a chance saved in the 20th minute, with Neuer smothering his chance from in close after he’d been played in behind the Bayern defense.

Bayern then pounced on its next chance in a game whose pace couldn’t possibly be sustained. After some pressure forced a Barcelona turnover, Gnabry found Perisic on the overlapping run on his left, and the Croatian beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen from a tight angle, powering his chance inside the far post for a 2-1 lead in the 21st minute.

Bayern should’ve made it 3-1 in the 27th minute, when Lewandowski had a rebound fall to him at the goal mouth, only for Ter Stegen to make the point-blank save. It became 3-1 soon enough, though.

Leon Goretzka lobbed a pass over the top for Gnabry, who got in behind Clement Lenglet and finished with poise to extend the lead to two.

Ter Stegen nearly had a self-inflicted error immediately after, when he turned it over trying to play it out of the back. He gifted Lewandowski a chance to strike, only to make the desperation save.

Not that it really mattered. Bayern made it 4-1 in the 31st minute through Muller’s second of the game, with his redirect off Kimmich’s pass extending the lead.

The second half began much like the first ended. Barcelona was sloppy and disjointed in its own end, while Bayern Munich maintained the pressure. Its first chance came through a direct ball down the middle from Neuer, which picked out Muller streaking behind the Barcelona back line. Muller turned and fed Perisic, who hit his chance right into Ter Stegen’s chest in the 49th minute.

Another chance came through Goretzka, who sliced through Barcelona’s defense to meet Kimmich’s ball over the top, settled with his chest but fired high a minute later.

Barcelona needed a lifeline, and it got one in the 57th minute. Messi found Alba on the left, who cut it back for Suarez. The Uruguayan then did well to cut back on Jerome Boateng–who surely had shades of his infamous lowlight vs. Barcelona and Messi in 2015–and beat Neuer with a shot from inside the box to make it 4-2.

That lifeline didn’t last long. Davies absolutely abused Nelson Semedo down the left-hand side, getting to the end line and cutting a cross back through the center of the box, where Kimmich raced onto it to fire home the goal that gave Bayern its three-goal lead back.

The only thing that hadn’t happened for Bayern Munich was Lewandowski scoring, but that inevitability happened in the 84th minute. Cruelly for Barcelona, it came off a feed from Philippe Coutinho–on loan to Bayern from Barcelona–and was upheld after a VAR review confirmed his header was onside. The goal was Lewandowski’s 54th in all competitions this season, 14th in the Champions League.

Read Also: PSG unsure over Navas’ fitness for UCL semi-final

The cruelty continued moments later, with Coutinho getting two of his own to, sensationally, make it 8-2.

Bayern Munich will advance to face either Manchester City or Lyon in the semifinals on Wednesday, with the victor of that match reaching the Aug. 23 final against either PSG or RB Leipzig.

Forty-four years had passed since the last time Barcelona had conceded five in a single European clash, when they went down 5-4 to Levski Sofia in March 1976 in the UEFA Cup.

Bayern Munich has become the first team to score eight goals in a Champions League knockout match.

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