Thursday 22 February 2018 / 12:00 PM

Brilliant Bayen The Destroyers

Brilliant Bayern Munich destroyed Barcelona for the second time in a week on Wednesday night to reach the Champions League final and set up an enticing all German showpiece clash with Borussia Dortmund who edged past Real Madrid on Tuesday evening.

Strikes from Arjen Robben and Thomas Muller either side of a calamitous own goal from Gerard Pique earned the Bundesliga champions a 0-3 victory inside the Nou Camp and an emphatic 0-7 aggregate success over the team which many people considered to be favourites to lift the title in May.

After being thoroughly outclassed and outfought during the first leg at the Allianz Arena, a fast start was anticipated from Barca as they sought to begin what would surely have been the greatest comeback in the tournaments history.

The Catalans went on the offensive from the first whistle but produced little by the way of clear goal scoring opportunities as Bayern’s defensive stalwarts soaked up the threat with a fair degree of ease.

Barca were really chasing the tie after the break having drawn a blank in the first period and they left themselves exposed to the vicious Bayern counter -attack on 48 minutes when Arjen Robben curled in a superb left foot shot past Victor Valdes.

The tie was more or less over by the time Gerard Pique hacked in a looping cross past his own keeper with twenty minutes remaining before the excellent Thomas Muller hit a third to wrap up a monumental triumph with a quarter of an hour to go.

Munich will head to Wembley Stadium well fancied to complete their stellar campaign and lift the trophy at the expense of compatriots Borussia Dortmund who bypassed Real Madrid following a nervy final few minutes in the Bernabeu.

Dortmund had set themselves well to progress after an outstanding 4-1 first leg win at Signal Iduna Park where Robert Lewandowski bagged all the goals and proved a major thorn in the side of Los Merengues.

It was no surprise to see Real target the giant pole this time around and Lewandowski was largely marked and fouled out of the game taking knock after knock from the likes of Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos who gave Madrid greater solidarity at the back than Pepe had six days previously.

Real were unfortunate not to take an early lead after carving a number of chances, most notably with Gonzalo Higuain who fired at Wiedenfeller before Mezut Ozil skewed wide when one-on-one with the Dortmund keeper.

The Black Yellows seemed to settle down after Kevin Grosskreutz was introduced for the injured Mario Gotze; the 24-year-old ball winner offered Dortmund enhanced structure in midfield at the loss of Gotze’s flair and creativity.

And the visitors held out rather comfortably until the last ten minutes when Real finally got off the mark.

Karim Benzema’s strike eight minutes from time gave the home fans slight hope however the Bernabeu was really bouncing on 88 minutes when Ramos belted in a second from close range.

The Germans were suddenly on the rack with Madrid needing just one more goal to progress, however Dortmund managed to hold themselves together to complete a fine 4-3 aggregate success and earn a place in the Champions League final for the first time since they last won the competition in 1997.

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Chris Kisby

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