Barcelona into Champions League final despite 2nd-leg loss at Bayern
MUNICH (AP) — Bayern Munich saved some face by beating Barcelona 3-2 in the return leg of their Champions League semifinal but could not prevent Pep Guardiola's former team from advancing to the final 5-3 on aggregate on Tuesday.
Neymar scored two first-half goals to make sure Barcelona would go through following its 3-0 victory in the home leg last week.
Bayern needed to score while keeping Barcelona's high-powered attack in check. Bayern scored early through Medhi Benatia to gain some hope, but Neymar replied quickly and Barcelona booked a place in the June 6 final in Berlin despite second-half goals by Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller for the home side.
Barcelona will play either Juventus or Real Madrid. Juventus leads 2-1 going into the Madrid leg of the semifinal on Wednesday.
The two matches against his former team were a bitter experience for Guardiola, whose Bayern side was also eliminated in last season's Champions League semifinals by eventual winner Real Madrid.
Over four semifinal legs in his first two seasons in charge of Bayern, Guardiola's record is of three losses and only one win — the meaningless one on Tuesday.
Bayern won its second Bundesliga championship last month but lost in the semifinals of the German Cup and will end the season with only one trophy, while it sought to repeat the treble it completed in 2013 under previous coach Jupp Heynckes.
Bayern got off to the start it wanted, scoring seven minutes into the match when defender Benatia rose to head in Xabi Alonso's corner.
But Barcelona's reply came in the 15th, when Lionel Messi slid a through pass to Luis Suarez, who squared the ball to the unmarked Neymar, who had a simple job of tapping home.
The tie was decided in the 29th, with Neymar's second goal. Messi won a header, got the ball to Suarez and he found Neymar at the far post. Neymar controlled the ball with his chest and drilled it past goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
Lewandowski leveled in the 59th with a shot from just inside the penalty area after shaking off the tight marking of Javier Mascherano.
Muller secured the hollow victory in the 74th, driving home from just outside the box. Bastian Schweinsteiger provided the pass and Muller curled the ball into the bottom right corner.
Already assured of its eighth final in the competition, four-time winner Barcelona could have earned a draw in stoppage time. But Neymar's squared pass to Messi was slightly off target and the Argentine could not quite connect in time. Messi had a relatively quiet night after scoring twice in the first leg.