Bayern Munich and Barcelona 2013 UEFA Clashes
The first leg of the big Bayern Munich v Barcelona UEFA Champions League semi final will kick off in Munich on April 23rd, with the return on May 1st. For once it may be viable to be slapping the underdog tag on the mighty Catalans as they try and stand up to the power and pace of the newly crowned Bundesliga champions. This is a mammoth clash which is good enough to fit as the final itself. But Barcelona will be hoping that they don’t suffer the same semi final against Bayern Munich that their rivals Real Madrid did at this stage last season.
How good of a team do you have to be to go into a match as favourites against Barcelona? That is what Bayern Munich are bringing to the table this season and they may well make good value for that favoritism. They are the second highest scoring team in the competition this season, just one short of Real Madrid. They are also the team left in the final four who have recorded the most wins this season on their way to the semis, winning seven of their previous ten matches played. In the knockout section of this year’s competition Bayern have posted three wins from their four matches, their only slip up coming against Premier League side Arsenal, but managed to get past the English side on the away goal. The power that they have pouring forward has already won them recognition of playing the best football in this season’s Champions League so far. Can they make up for the disappointment of losing last year’s final on their home soil? They have fought back so far with a very strong determinism and flair.
No-one has won more Champions League titles than Barcelona. They are the European powerhouses and have driven forward to reclaim their La Liga title back from Real Madrid. However, this season in the Champions League, Barcelona have shown some vulnerabilities. They lost the first leg of their quarter final match against AC Milan 2-0, but managed to show their class back on home soil by beating the Italians 4-0 back at the San Siro. It was a real battle for Barcelona in the semi finals as well, as they took on the rising power of Paris St Germain. After blowing a lead twice in the match, they had to settle for a draw, and then PSG battled so well for a 1-1 draw back in Spain, meaning that Barcelona managed to just get through with an away goal thanks to an equaliser in the second leg from Pedro. Barcelona were also defeated in Scotland during the group stage, losing to Glasgow Celtic. So there are defensively vulnerabilities there, especially when they play against sides with pace. The 2006, 2009 and 2011 winners will have a real fight on their hands in this one, and it could be crucial for them to get an away goal on the board in the first leg.
Bayern Munich v Barcelona Head To Head
14/04/2009, quarter-finals: Bayern 1-1 Barcelona
08/04/2009, quarter-finals: Barcelona 4-0 Bayern
04/11/1998, group stage: Barcelona 1-2 Bayern
21/10/1998, group stage: Bayern 1-0 Barcelona
16/04/1996, UEFA Cup semi-finals: Barcelona 1-2 Bayern
02/04/1996, UEFA Cup semi-finals: Bayern 2-2 Barcelona