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Barcelona And Bayern Reach Champions League Semi-Finals

champions_leagueFor the second consecutive round, Barcelona opponents have left the Camp Nou wondering why they are out of the competition. In the round of 16 it was AC Milan who failed to take their chances in Spain and tonight it was Paris Saint-Germain.

This loss will stick with Paris Saint-Germain for a while as they went out of the Champions League after drawing 1-1 at the Camp Nou, and Barca progress 3-3 draw on aggregate.

Like the first leg, PSG carved Barcelona apart time and time again, but only managed one goal, with Ezequiel Lavezzi, Lucas Moura and Zlatan Ibrahimovic all spurning great opportunities in the first half.

Somehow Barcelona, who looked a shadow of themselves without Lionel Messi in the line-up, went into half-time with the game still scoreless thanks mainly to the heroics of goalkeeper Victor Valdes.

But 10 minutes into the second half, PSG got the breakthrough that they deserved when Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s through ball found Javier Pastore and he flicked the ball over the onrushing Valdes and into the far corner.

Barca’s response was to bring on superman, and Barcelona immediately started to play better, And just 10 minutes after coming on, Messi made an impact when he slipped the ball to David Villa and his lay-off was driven home by Pedro to make it 1-1 on the night.

The introduction of Messi seemed to give his Barcelona teammates confidence, but the win cannot hide how poor Barca were tonight. With all the defensive injuries they have, it should not be a surprise that PSG carved them open so easily. And those defensive injuries are not going to heal anytime soon, and that has to score Barcelona fans as Madrid, Bayern or Dortmund are not likely to be as wasteful in front of goal as PSG was over the two legs.

In Italy, Bayern Munich are in the Champions League semi-finals for the third time in four seasons
after they beat Juventus 2-0 for the second in eight days.

Being two goals down Juventus knew they needed an early goal to have any chance of winning the tie and Andrea Pirlo forced a fine save from Manuel Neuer, while Fabio Quagliarella hit the post as they went for broke.

But Bayern rode out the Juventus storm and in the 64th minute they hit Bayern on the counter when Mario Mandzukic headed home a rebound as Javi Martinez’s close range shot was saved by Gianluigi Buffon.

And Claudio Pizzaro made it 2-0 in added time to confirm the Bundesliga side’s progression when he turned the ball home after great work by Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Not being able to score over the two legs, just illustrates the hole in the Juventus side up-front. They have enough firepower to win back-to-back Serie A titles, but to challenge the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in Europe, Juventus need to sign a top quality striker.

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