Bayern Munich vs. Barcelona: Halftime score 1-0, Total domination at the Allianz

Christof Koepsel

Bayern Munich have completely taken Barcelona off their game and deservedly lead 1-0 at halftime. The only complaint Jupp Heynckes is likely to have is that his team didn't score more.

Update: Bayern Munich 4-0 Barcelona, final score - Match report.

It was a masterful opening 45 minutes from Bayern Munich as they dominated play and lead 1-0 at halftime. The Bavarians completely took Barcelona out of the game, preventing the Spanish side having any meaningful possession and taking Lionel Messi completely out of the game.

It doesn't even matter if Messi is at full fitness or not, he was virtually invisible as Barca rarely were able to move to the ball far enough forward for him to even get a touch, let alone do anything with it.

Bayern wanted a penalty called in the 16th minute after Philipp Lahm's drive from 20-yards out was blocked, unintentionally, by Gerard Pique's arm. The play certainly didn't look like an deliberate move by the defender but you certainly could have understood if the referee awarded a penalty. Fortunately for Barca, it was just a corner that they were able to deal with.

All the pressure paid off in the 25th minute when Bayern completely exploited their height advantage over Barcelona to near perfection. Arjen Robben's cross from the right started the danger as Dante skied over his marker and headed the ball back towards the post where Thomas Müller was waiting to head the ball down and over the line, giving the home side a much deserved 1-0 lead.

The goal was both a reward and a reminder for Bayern that they were completely bossing the game and making one of soccer's most lethal attacks look like an over-40 pub team...alright, not that bad, but you get the idea.

Bayern had another penalty shout in the 33rd minute after headed ball by Dani Alves hit off the arm of Alexis Sanchez as Barcelona defended a corner. Just like Piqué's handball from earlier, it look unintentional and would have been a harsh decision from the referee.

Handball2_medium

Barcelona now have the halftime break to try and regroup and figure out some way to take some of the pressure off their defense. Going back to Spain down 1-0 wouldn't be the worst result but you can be certain Bayern want more.

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