Barcelona look all but eliminated. But, as Real Madrid showed last night, a quick couple of goals can turn the seemingly impossible into the possible and jarringly plausible. The Catalans trail 4-0, which is bad. Their failure to get an away goal in Munich means, if Bayern score, Barcelona must score at least six to advance.
A 4-0 win for Barcelona is not unthinkable at home. They have scored four or more 84 times the past four seasons, 59 times at home and 14 times in the Champions league. They did precisely that after falling behind against AC Milan in the Round of 16. Even that margin would only get them to penalties, though, and Bayern Munich is better than the Italian club. Much better, especially away from home.
Domestically, Bayern is 14-0-1 on the road this season, outscoring opponents 37-3. They clobbered Arsenal 3-1 at the Emirates and earned a solid 2-0 win over Juventus in the quarterfinals. The German club has won 10-straight in all competitions. In eight matches since April 1, they have outscored opponents 26-2. Their 2-0 brain-fart against Arsenal in the Round of 16 was the one time they have been held scoreless in all competitions this season. This is probably over.
Yellow Cards: Six Bayern Munich players could miss the final with Dortmund should they pick up another yellow card. That list includes Philipp Lahm, Bastien Schweinsteiger, Javi Martinez, Luiz Gustavo, Dante and Mario Gomez.
Credit Where It is Due: Bayern Munich’s outgoing manager made sure to attribute the club’s 4-0 win in the first leg to the deserving party, himself.
So, so fitting: English media members adore the “state of English football” discussion. Just when the EPL has become a debt-laden plaything for foreign billionaires, Wembley hosts a Champions League Final, featuring two collectively owned, sustainable business model clubs. Bonus points: they are both benefiting from a concerted investment in youth soccer England has been unable to implement. Extra bonus points: they are both German.