Lionel Messi has done it again. He scored twice as Barcelona overcame Bayern Munich 3-0 in the first leg of their semi-final clash of the Uefa Champions League at the Camp Nou on Wednesday. In the opening half both teams cancelled each other out as they didn’t use much force going forward. Barca relied heavily on the creativity of their attacking trio, while Bayern relied on their front two holding the ball up in attack allowing their wingers to play off the possession.
Luis Suarez missed a one-on-one in the 12th minute after Manuel Neuer used his foot to clear the danger. Three minutes later Neymar’s effort towards goal was blocked by a defender. In the 18th minute Robert Lewandowski arrived late to connect with Thomas Mueller’s low cross at the other end.
In the 39th minute Neuer again produced a one-on-one save when he stretched out his foot to block a Dani Alves contact with the ball. The score went into half-time still at 0-0. In the opening minutes of the second stanza the game’s intensity dropped as neither team showed much space.
In the 57th minute Messi shot straight at Neuer after he received a lay off from the edge of the box from Neymar. Four minutes later Neuer left his posts to sweep the ball from the Brazilian’s feet just as the striker was trying to control the ball. Then Messi showed his worth in the 77th minute.
The Argentine pounced on a pass at the edge of the box. This was after Pep Guardiola’s men lost the ball in their own half. With the ball on his favourite foot he found the back of the net at the near post.
Three minutes later the maestro did it again as he turned Jerome Boateng inside out and flicked the ball over the advancing keeper. In referee’s additional time Neymar collected a pass from Messi and with Neuer to beat he made no mistake to give Luis Enrique’s team will a commanding 3-0 lead going to Munich for the second leg. The race for being the greatest footballer of this generation, as well as the highest scoring individual in the Champions League competition continues as Messi surpasses Cristiano Ronaldo with this brace.
The 27-year old has scored 77 goals while the Portuguese stands at 76.