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Apr 9, 2009

Yah, he is back. He is surely back. He is surely back to his best. After a series of not so great performance, Lionel Messi produced what he knows best, exciting football to maul a very talented Bayern Munich side. Two first half goals from Messi, and one each from Eto and Henry all in the first half was enough for Barca to see off the German challenge. FC Barcelona virtually has assured of a semi-final spot courtesy of a splendid Messi performance who set up one and scored two goals. Now it is all for Barca to lose in the second leg. As I wrote in the preveiew - Barca vs Bayern Preview, the midfield dominated the possession and with the forwards in such form, there was no stopping of the Catalan goal machines. The only negative point was the sending off of Guardiola after protest for Messi being booked for diving. Maybe you can point the inability to score in the second half as another but then can't blame anyone. FC barcelona had 65% of possession; seven shorts on target to Bayern's one; 19 shots to Bayern's five and had 12 corners to Bayern's one. Those statistics show off the superiority of this Barcelona side and 93,219 Camp Nou faithfuls were enthralled by a display which could force once again the best in Europe to take notice. Guardiola started with a line up as predicted in the preview. Alves, Pique, Marquez and Puyol formed the defense ahead of Valdes. Xavi and Iniesta formed the attacking midfielders along side Yaya Toure. Messi, Eto and Henry formed the usual attacking trio.

FC Barcelona took some time to get their attack moving. In the sixth minute Henry had Barca's first shot forcing Demichelis to clear the ball off the line. Then in the ninth minute Messi put Barca in the lead. Iniesta played the ball to Eto who held the ball off drawing defenders and leaving Messi completely unmarked; Eto then slid the ball to Messi who fired a precision low shot past Goal keeper to the far left corner. Then in the 12th minute Messi received the ball on the left and ran towards centre; he then provided a great ball putting Eto ahead who finished the move with great precision through Goal Keepers leg. Eto was marginally offside but the linesman didn't call so the goal stood. Then in the 17th minute Messi shold have won a penalty when he turned inside and was brought down by the trailing leg of Christian Lell; but instead the Referee Howard Webb from England booked him for diving. Guardiola protested heavily with the fourth official and linesman which resulted in he being send off. In the 22nd minute Iniesta send in a fantastic ball to henry but his shot went wide of the far post. Then in the 38th minute Messi made it three nil when he slid ahead of the defenders to slot past the cross from Henry. Then in the 43rd minute Messi ran in from the right exchanged the ball with Alves and then laid the ball to Eto; Van Bommel stabbed at the ball to take it from Eto but unfortunately for Bommel it fell to Henry who curled the ball low past the Goal Keeper.

In the second half Barca looked more interested in keeping the possession. In the 59th minute Messi saw his low shot well saved by the Goal Keeper. In the 74th minute Henry was replaced with Keita. In the 81st minute Busquets was brought in for Toure and Eto was replaced in the 89th minute by Krkic. The second half didn't see mouch of Barca's attacking powers but plenty of possession powers. They managed to keep a clean sheet and that will be an added advantage for Barca when they play the second leg at Bayern. Messi was excellent but every player was more than good in their respective position. In the other match chelsea surprisingly sprung to life and defeated Liverpool 1-3 away from home. Liverpool had been the in form team in England at this moment but their Anfield fort was wrecked by Chelsea's aerial power. If we don't do any drastic mistakes in Germany there is a high chance we will meet Chelsea rather than Liverpool in the semi-final.
Highlights : FC Barcelona vs Bayern Goals

All About FC Barcelona is a Blog dedicated to the Most prestigous Club in the world, FC Barcelona by an ardent fan. Here I discuss about the Latest happening surrounding our Club and present my Views about the same.

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