Three reasons why Bayern′s Champions League dream is over | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 06.05.2015
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Three reasons why Bayern's Champions League dream is over

They put up a more than respectable fight, but in the end Bayern dug themselves a 3-0 hole in the Champions League. There will be no title this year. DW's Jefferson Chase analyzes why Bayern came up short.

Too many injuries to overcome

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola has refused to use Bayern's voluminous injury list as an excuse for not getting results. But he has every right to. Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, David Alaba, Holger Badstuber, and add to that Robert Lewandowski having to play in a mask after having his nose and jaw broken only last week. Gianluca Gaudino and Mitchell Weiser were on the bench for Bayern's semifinal in Barcelona. That speaks volumes.

One key to beating a top side like Barcelona is putting them under pressure with attacks of one's own. But with so many injuries to attacking players like Robben and Ribery, Guardiola had to improvise. To his credit, Bayern managed to keep Barca quiet for three-quarters of an hour.

In the end, though, Bayern no longer had enough quality to keep Barcelona honest at the back. And there's next-to-no-chance they'll be able to overturn a 3-0 deficit in the return leg next Tuesday.

Neuer's attacking instincts

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was Bayern's best player, coming up with two huge saves and a classic keeper-sweeper clearance against Neymar. But he and Bayern were undone by his nature as a player in what proved to be the turning point of the match.

In the 76th minutes, as it appeared the Bavarians might be able to escape the Nou Camp with a scoreless draw, Neuer chose to put the ball back into play quickly after a shot went wide. Juan Bernat lost it under pressure, and that led to the ice-breaker for Barcelona.

With hindsight, Neuer would have been better advised to slow down the match at that point, but he - and perhaps Bayern - were betrayed by the desire for an away goal.

Lionel Messi

Barcelona would not have picked up such a convincing victory without the extraordinary talents of their starlet, Lionel Messi. By the 76th minute, it was clear that Wednesday wasn't Luis Suarez's day, and Neymar was so frustrated he almost picked up a red card.

Enter Lionel Messi. The Argentine had space to get off his shot because defences have to respect his pace and dribbling. And he had the skill to squeeze the ball in just past the outstretched hand of the best keeper in the world, Manuel Neuer.

It may not come as much consolation to Bayern Munich. But there's not much you can do against a player like Messi. To quote former England international Gary Lineker, sometimes football's a simple game.

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