Barcelona produced a stunning display of attacking football to overwhelm Bayern Munich 4-0 in their Champions League quarter-final first leg at the Nou Camp on Wednesday. All the goals came in a thrilling first half, Lionel Messi netting twice and Samuel Eto'o and Thierry Henry once each as the Primera Liga leaders took firm control of the tie ahead of the second leg on Tuesday. GALLERY: Barcelona 4-0 Bayern Munich photos Bayern had no answer to Barca's pace and slick passing and the Catalans took the lead in the ninth minute when Eto'o slipped the ball through to Messi and he clipped a precise, low shot past Hans Joerg Butt. Messi returned the favour soon after, releasing the Cameroon international on the right of the area to fire between Butt's legs into the far corner. Henry created the third in the 38th minute with a burst of pace that took him past Massimo Oddo and Messi, who also had a shot tipped on to the bar in the second half, turned his low cross high into the net. Messi and Eto'o were again involved in the build-up to the fourth goal and when the ball fell to Henry on the left of the penalty area it was a simple task for the French international to sidefoot the ball past a stranded Butt two minutes before halftime. Barca coach Pep Guardiola said the key to his side's emphatic win had been their ability to shut out Bayern playmaker Franck Ribery and striker Luca Toni and maintain control of the ball so effectively. "I was pleased with every aspect of our play and I get goose bumps when I see how hard my players are working," he said at a news conference. "But it's just the first leg of the quarter-finals and we need to keep our feet on the ground and try to score one or two goals in the return leg." RARELY THREATENED Bayern were missing central defenders Lucio and Daniel van Buyten, left back Philipp Lahm and striker Miroslav Klose and the Bavarians rarely threatened Victor Valdes in the Barca goal. Bastian Schweinsteiger had their first shot in the 39th minute and Valdes easily saved his long-range effort. Ze Roberto broke through the Barca defence midway through the second half but a superb challenge from captain Carles Puyol deflected his shot away for a corner. Bayern coach Juergen Klinsmann conceded that the club would have to put their Champions League ambitions on ice for another year and focus now on their domestic league. "We clearly showed our limitations tonight in the face of a superb performance from Barca," he told a news conference. "It shows we have a lot of work to do to get up to the same level as the top four in Europe and our limit appears to be the quarter-finals of this competition." There was a moment of controversy shortly after the second goal when Messi and Christian Lell clashed in the penalty area and television replays suggested the Argentina international was brought down by the Bayern defender. However, referee Howard Webb showed Messi a yellow card for diving and then ordered Barca coach Pep Guardiola into the stands for his furious protests. Guardiola said Messi was now one card away from a suspension and the club planned to appeal the decision. "Of course I am not very happy with the way I reacted and a Barca coach should not behave in that way," he said. "But the penalty was so unbelievably clear and should have been given." The winners of the tie will face Liverpool or Chelsea in the last four. BARCELONA FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews section for more stuff to read: Q&A Samuel Eto'o, Cesc Fabregas Web Exclusives Cesc Fabregas, Gary Lineker One on One Mark Hughes, Thierry Henry, Ronaldo Perfect XI Gheorghe Hagi, Hristo Stoichkov, Ronald Koeman Plus! Rate Barca players (and others) on Talentspotter
8 April 2009
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