UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
* Local time based on your geographic location.
4 - 0
Thank you for your company. That was a thoroughly enjoyable game to cover. Stick with ESPN FC for reaction and the like. I've been James Dall. Cheerio.
Robben was my Man of the Match. Not only did he score a cracking solo goal (albeit it controversial) he was tireless, even making slide tackles back in his own half.
Goodness. Superb performance from Bayern Munich jarred with a flat display by Barcelona. The home side fully deserve such an eye-opening result. Even for the might of Barca at the Camp Nou in the second leg, this looks a long, long way back.
FULL-TIME: Bayern Munich 4-0 Barcelona.
Robben curls an effort goalwards and his effort clips Bartra, threatening to drop home only to loop over the bar.
Super atmosphere as the home fans stand in anticipation of the final whistle.
Iniesta the latest to be carded, as he clips the heels for Martinez.
Alba will miss the next game after picking up that booking.
Three minutes of added time will be played.
Cheers as Pique hoofs the ball into the stands under pressure from Robben.
Jordi Alba is booked for tossing the ball gently into the face of Robben.
Shaqiri comes on for Ribery.
Robben makes another fine tackle, much to the delight of the home fans.
Schweinsteiger the next to be booked. I will be honest: I am not sure why.
Sanchez is carded for hauling back Robben, who was in full flow.
This is an incredible scoreline, and entirely deserved too. Bayern have been organised and deadly when springing forward. Barcelona have been off colour, by virtue of under performing but also due to their opponents' nous.
Muller is replaced by Pizarro while Barca make their first change by taking off Pedro for Villa.
That boy Muller again. Ribery has it on the left and rolls in Alaba, who crosses low. Valdes is stranded and Muller pounces to strike home. 4-0. Blimey.
GOAL!!! It is 4-0!
Still no change forthcoming from Vilanova.
Barca all over the place, as Bayern almost make it 4-0. Muller is in after beating Pique and stretches to nick it beyond Valdes, but the goalkeeper does very well to make a stop. Alves and Schweinsteiger then collide and the play is stopped.
Messi again receives the ball in the centre circle. Barca want him doing that in-between the lines, not back there.
Barca continue to pop the ball about, but they aren't getting far with it. Messi, meanwhile, puffs his cheeks.
Bartra misses Barca's best chance. Xavi clips in a free-kick and the defender is unmarked. He swivels but ends up launching it into the night sky.
Just prior to the goal, Pedro had hit the byline and cut in a cross. Pique was up for his side and came within a whisker of thundering in a header.
It is a fine goal, but also controversial. The goal itself came via Robben trotting into the box. He beats his man on the outside, rather than coming in, and then curls low into the far corner. But during his drop of the shoulder Alba was blocked off by Muller, who rather cynically chested him to the floor. Nothing doing from the officials and that's 3-0.
GOAL!!! Robben makes it 3-0!
Gomez is replaced by Gustavo, who will offer further bite in midfield.
Half chance for Sanchez as a corner falls to his feet. He has to react quickly and can only poke it into the arms of Neuer.
Messi finally worries the Bayern defence as he twinkle-toes his way into the box before being dispossessed.
Credit to both Robben and Ribery who have chased back well this evening.
But it looks like it will be Bayern who will make the first change with Gustavo currently shirtless as ahead of coming on.
Sanchez has been particularly ineffective. Wouldn't be surprised to see him replaced soon.
Bayern's shape for once looks unorganised but they soon swarm back to plug the gaps.
Alves sends in a cross from the right but Boateng is there to firmly head away from danger.
Xavi's heels continue to be gnawed (not like that) at as Schweinsteiger commits a foul.
Dante reads the game well to cut out Alba's bobbling cross. Messi was lurking, and Barca are picking up their game.
Alvez, who has been Barca's best player, cuts the ball back from near the corner flag but Neuer is there to pick up the delivery.
Bayern have had 69& pass completion. Stats: they mean little.
Robben skips forward and plays a very difficult pass into the Ribery. But Valdes is quick off his line to smother.
Dani Alves was just completely unmarked on the edge of the box but Inietsa, unusually, failed to find him.
Messi again loses it. Bayern don't look afraid of him.
Robben of all people meets a whipped in free-kick with his head. The Dutchman gets to the ball above Sanchez but can only glance his header a yard or so wide.
Barca must be weighing up a change. Villa could the man to call upon.
Almost 3-0. Robben speeds forward. He, as usual, cuts in on his stronger left foot but Barcelona squeeze him out. But the Dutchman manages to poke it out to Ribery, who drops a shoulder before toeing it wide of the goal.
Messi looks off the pace. He appears to be missing that extra zip that makes him so hard to tackle.
Ooo. Muller dribbles along the penalty area and hits across the ball in a bid to wrong foot Valdes, but he drags the effort wide.
Very tasty tie with have on our hands now. Barca need to up the ante. In Messi news, he looks to be holding his face. Not sure if he picked up a knock.
Offside? Maybe. Muller climbs at the back post to nod across goal. Gomez is unmarked inside the six-yard box to twist and divert home. It looked, though, upon viewing the replay that Gomez has strayed half a yard into an offside position. Anyway, 2-0 it is.
GOAL!!! Gomez makes it 2-0!
A flick round the corner almost sends Martinez in but Barcelona shepherd it away from danger. Well played Bartra - better from the youngster.
Better from Barcelona. Iniesta sprints past Muller and plays a one-two with Sanchez, but the flag is up for offside.
Javi Martinez is booked. Persistent fouling from the Spaniard.
SECOND HALF: Barcelona get us back under way.
Thoroughly enjoyable half of high quality football. Bayern deserve their lead, having restricted Barca to very little while also looking dangerous when they spring forward. Javi Martinez has done a fine job in the heart of midfield while Dante has been composed in defence. As for Barca, Messi has been very quiet while Bartra looks nervy.
HALF-TIME: Bayern Munich 1-0 Barcelona.
Well played Ribery as he intercepts a Messi pass.
Alba bombs down the left flank but the pass to him is too hard and skips off the surface out of play.
Muller is a brilliant player but one of those that I bet is a right sod to play against. Boy, does he want to win.
Ribery tracking back once more but iffy in his decision making as he dribbles into his own penalty area before gifting the ball to Barca.
Bayern continue to force Barca to play a slow and ponderous game. Messi again comes very deep and is duly fouled before getting into his stride.
Bartra is carded for a challenge on Muller. He went into the German's back.
Xavi pings a ball into the path of Alves. Ribery tracks back but bizarrely opts to try and head it back to Neuer with the goalmouth congested. Fortunately, Dante is there to pick up the ball.
Barca's passing has not been of its usual standard. Another piece of disjointed play.
Gomez is booked for a clumsy challenge on Messi. Practically sat on him.
Good tackle from Bartra on Ribery, with the defender having looked shaky thus far.
Boateng fizzes a great ball out from the back. He finds the feet of Muller, who seems reluctant to shoot and instead dinks it harmlessly into the arms of Valdes.
Javi Martinez is having a splendid game. He just hustled Iniesta expertly, never giving it up until he won a free-kick with the Barca man frustrated.
...Dante's header hits Sanchez's arm before mayhem ensues with Barca hoofing away unconvincingly. Not sure that one was a penalty as Sanchez had his eyes closed, therefore it wasn't intentional.
Handball appeals, but the referee gives a corner...
Bayern feed a ball into Muller but Pique gallops across to slide and knock the ball out of play.
Gorgeous first touch by Dani Alves, taking it first time to lose his man entirely by flicking it high.
Pedro curls in a lovely cross. Messi is arriving at the back post to toe home but Dante gets his boot to the delivery to divert it away.
Ooof. Barca go very close...
Bayern spring clear again but Pique is swift across the turf to ensure Robben doesn't get on the end of a through ball.
The crowd went berserk.
Robben chips in a cross. Dante rises and cleverly heads it back across goal to the back post where Muller lurks to stoop and head low past Valdes, who got a touch but not enough to keep it out.
GOAL!!! Muller scores for Bayern!
Another corner for Bayern Munich but Ribery's delivery is low and slashes clear.
Another error from Barcelona - this time it is Busquets who is sloppy in possession. Fortunately for him Bayern fail to make it pay.
Loose pass from Bartra allows Bayern to pounce but the very quick Alba saves his team-mate's blushes.
Crunching tackle by Schweinsteiger pinches the ball off Alves, who was buccaneering as always.
Just the one shot for Barca so far, indicating their lack of penetration thus far. Bayern have looked more dangerous than their opponents via their direct play.
Another corner to Bayern following some wriggling in the box by Lahm. It is played short but the flag goes up for offside.
Appeals for handball on that recent Lahm shot that hit Pique. Bayern maybe had a case.
Muller pings a volley first time but the angle is right and Valdes is there to gobble the ball up.
Corner to Bayern as Lahm's shot clips off Pique. Was an excellent surge forward from the defender.
Barca quicken the tempo and look for Dani Alves down the right, but Alaba makes a well-timed tackle to deny the right back.
Bayern very happy for Barcelona to have the ball around the halfway line. They are dropping off smartly, congesting the spaces.
Messi coming very deep for the ball, as he picks it up in Barca's half.
Pique misplaces his second searching ball of the match. It is in the centre of the pitch where the most water has been drenched.
Corner to Barca. It is whipped in and the shaven head of Pique wins it. But the effort spins wide of the target.
Key interception from Dante as Messi looks to pick out Sanchez.
Messi touches it! But is crowded out well. He received it very deep.
Has Messi had a touch yet? I can't recall one. (note: he will now score from his next touch).
The pitch is sodden. Perhaps part of Bayern's tactics, to over-water it so the passes don't skid as Barca would like.
Couple of loose long balls from Barcelona, much to the delight of the home fans.
Schweinsteiger is penalised for a trip on Xavi. Was a smart spin by the Spaniard.
Genuine chance. Down the right, Martinez backheels for Robben, whose low shot is block by Valdes. It was a bit one-footed from the Dutchman.
Bayern win the ball as Valdes kicks high. Robben bursts forward and a cross is headed clear.
Shockingly, Barcelona have the ball. And are keeping it well.
KICK-OFF: Bayern get us under way.
Teams are on the pitch. Here we go, people.
The two teams, with both sets of players sporting snazzy tracksuit tops, are walking down the vast Allianz Arena tunnel.
Actual real life information: if any of Dante, Lahm, Gustavo, Pique, Song or Alba get booked tonight they will miss the second leg.
Atmosphere in the Allianz Arena is 'rocking', all right. Pretzels and sausages will be being gnawed on by nervous fans.
Anyway, as for tonight's game, just how whetted is your appetite? As European football goes, this semi-final is about as good as it gets (same goes for tomorrow night's game). In summary: we're all excited.
Bayern Munich head into this game off the back today's announcement regarding the capture of Mario Gotze, who will join from Dortmund in the summer. Coupled with their devastating form this season, the addition of the Germany international will make them even more of a scary force next season.
Much high-fiving going on in Barcelona, you'd think, at the news their star man starts. As everyone knows: Messi's a game-changer. As for Bayern, Gomez up top instead of Pizarro is an interesting call. Perhaps his physicality will ruffle Pique/Bartra's feathers.
Yep, he starts.
Barcelona: Valdes; Alves, Bartra, Pique, Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi, Alexis.
Bayern Munich: Neuer; Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Alaba; Martinez, Schweinsteiger; Robben, Muller, Ribery; Gomez.
Barcelona have confirmed that Lionel Messi has been passed fit and is available for selection against Bayern Munich.
Early reports suggest Lionel Messi has been passed fit to play in this evening's match. We will bring you an official line as soon as we have it.
In the meanwhile, have a ganders at Susie Schaaf's preview of the tie and Francesc Tomas' own take to get you in the mood.
ESPN FC's James Dall will be providing LIVE minute-by-minute commentary of Bayern Munich's semi-final first leg against Barcelona, which kicks off at 19.45 BST. Team news to follow.