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Barcelona

Statistical breakdown of UCL semis

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Lionel Messi brilliance leads Barcelona to big first-leg win over Bayern Munich

Moments of brilliance from Lionel Messi and Neymar doomed Bayern Munich to a 3-0 loss in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal.
Moments of brilliance from Lionel Messi and Neymar doomed Bayern Munich to a 3-0 loss in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.
ESPN FC's Adrian Healey assesses Barcelona's 3-0 win over Bayern Munich, highlighting Messi's outstanding moments throughout the game.
Barcelona's Lionel Messi weaves his way through the Bayern Munich back line and scores a stunner for his second goal of the game.
Relive Lionel Messi's two extraordinary goals as Barcelona triumphed 3-0 against Bayern Munich in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinals.
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Lionel Messi (77') Barcelona 1-0 Bayern Munich
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Lionel Messi (80') Barcelona 2-0 Bayern Munich

BARCELONA, Spain -- Two superb goals from Lionel Messi in the final 20 minutes lifted Barcelona to a 3-0 win over Bayern Munich at the Camp Nou. Here are three quick observations from their Champions League semifinal first leg.

1. Great game settled by Messi magic

For 77 minutes on Wednesday night, this was one of the great emotional struggles and tactical battles in European football history as both sides pushed and probed and looked to find an advantage. But then, in just four minutes, Lionel...

Lionel Messi and Neymar put on show to lead Barcelona past Bayern Munich

Moments of brilliance from Lionel Messi and Neymar doomed Bayern Munich to a 3-0 loss in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal.
Moments of brilliance from Lionel Messi and Neymar doomed Bayern Munich to a 3-0 loss in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.
ESPN FC's Adrian Healey assesses Barcelona's 3-0 win over Bayern Munich, highlighting Messi's outstanding moments throughout the game.
Barcelona's Lionel Messi weaves his way through the Bayern Munich back line and scores a stunner for his second goal of the game.
Relive Lionel Messi's two extraordinary goals as Barcelona triumphed 3-0 against Bayern Munich in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinals.
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Lionel Messi (77') Barcelona 1-0 Bayern Munich
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Lionel Messi (80') Barcelona 2-0 Bayern Munich

Barcelona achieved a fantastic 3-0 victory against Bayern Munich at the Camp Nou in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals. Lionel Messi and Neymar scored the goals for the blaugrana, who enjoyed 51 percent of possession, created 15 goalscoring chances and attempted 13 shots, eight of them on target.

Although much of the pre-match talk had been focused on Pep Guardiola's return to the stadium that saw him grow from ball boy to legendary manager, the attention shifted towards the pitch...

History means nothing in the Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich duel

The ESPN FC team discuss Robert Lewandowski's mask he will be featuring in Bayern Munich's clash with Barcelona, where Raf Honigstein believes Lewandowski seems to be comfortable despite suffering a fractured nose and jaw at the end of April.

Beware the law of small numbers. Up until the semifinal in Belo Horizonte last summer -- you'll probably remember, it finished 7-1 -- Germany had never beaten Brazil at a World Cup before. They had not even managed a draw against the Selecao, only defeat -- specifically, in their one and only meeting up until then, in the 2002 final in Yokohoma. Brazil won that one 2-0.

When the sample size is so small, it's not a good idea to draw grandiose conclusions. Yes, FC Bayern's record against Barcelona...

Can Andres Iniesta beat Pep Guardiola, the man who made him great at Barca?

ESPN FC's Martin Ainstein previews the Champions League semifinal as Barcelona takes on former manager Josep Guardiola and his Bayern side.

Let's go back to the Camp Nou press room in March 2009.

FC Barcelona have just beaten Athletic Bilbao 2-0. In the distance is the treble. They'll win it, too, in Pep Guardiola's first season. Exactly a month away is the Champions League quarterfinal, home and then away to the other FCB: FC Bayern München.

Guardiola is commenting on the match his side have just won and suddenly goes into overdrive. He says about his No. 8 that day: "Andrés [Iniesta] stands alone. Beyond the fact that he's a terrific...

 By Michael Cox

The differences between Guardiola's Barcelona vs. Guardiola's Bayern

Take a By The Numbers look ahead of the Champions League semifinal first legs, as Real Madrid search for consecutive Champions League titles and Bayern Munich aim to continue their dominance at the Camp Nou.

The super club era, and the resulting repetition in the Champions League knockout stage, means it was inevitable that Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola would meet old club Barcelona at some point.

It's somewhat fitting that it comes in at the semifinal stage, because the 2013 semifinal between Bayern and Barca was effectively when Guardiola's reign at Bayern started. In reality, he wasn't literally involved in the tie, having departed Barca the previous summer. But Guardiola had already been announced...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Lionel Messi voted ESPN FC Player of the Month for April

Barcelona trio Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar have now combined for more than 100 goals in all competitions after their side's 6-0 thrashing of Getafe in La Liga.

Europe's top performers for April were whittled down to a three-man shortlist in consultation with WhoScored.com and ESPN FC's writers.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Stefan Kiessling were those in contention, and for the fourth time since December, Messi will pick up the award. April is the third straight month the Argentine has won, and with four on the season is now one better than Ronaldo's award tally.

Barcelona's No. 10 received nearly 70 percent of the vote, which isn't all that surprising....