Barcelona enter final

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Barcelona enter final

Bayern win at home, but Luis’ side make Champions League showpiece on aggregate.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Fri 15 May 2015, 12:51 AM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 8:09 PM

Madrid — Messi to Suarez to Neymar, goal. Messi to Suarez to Neymar, goal. That devastating and increasingly familiar combination served up by Barcelona’s attacking trident of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar fired the Catalan giants past Bayern Munich into the Champions League final on Tuesday.

 - Photo: AFP

Although Barca lost the semifinal, second leg at the Allianz Arena 3-2, last week’s 3-0 victory in the first leg at the Nou Camp, with two goals from Messi and one from Neymar, meant they progressed comfortably through to the June 6 showpiece in Berlin 5-3 on aggregate.

Tuesday’s match was the latest masterclass from the South American trio, known in Spain as ‘MSN’, whose goals have put Barca on the brink of repeating 2009’s treble of Champions League and Spanish league and Cup triumphs, the only time a La Liga club have achieved the feat.

After Bayern took an early lead, MSN, who are playing together for the first time this season following the arrival of Suarez from Liverpool, made their decisive contribution in the space of less than 15 minutes. Argentina captain Messi sent a pinpoint pass behind the defence for Uruguay striker Suarez, who glanced up to his left and laid the ball across for Neymar of Brazil to sidefoot past stranded goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

Barca went 2-1 ahead when Messi flicked the ball into space for Suarez with his head, who again picked out Neymar to his left, before the Brazilian controlled with his chest and clipped a shot just inside the post. It took Neymar’s Champions League tally for the season to nine, one behind top scorer Messi, while Suarez has six.

They have a club-record 114 goals between them in all competitions, while Messi has also provided a jaw-dropping 27 assists, with Suarez making 16 and Neymar six. Barca have surely assembled one of the most fearsome forward lines in history and with Suarez the oldest at 28, Messi aged 27 and Neymar 23 they could be rattling in more than 100 goals a season for several years to come.

Barca coach Luis Enrique, whose side will play Real Madrid or Juventus in the final, told a news conference, “They have a solidarity and it is extremely difficult to control them,” added the former Barca and Spain midfielder, in his first season in charge at the club. — Reuters



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