The clash in Turin was always going to be difficult for the Bayern men, and for the hosts too. While the visitors would be having problems of playing away from home, it was understood that the deficit faced by the hosts would be a mountain to climb.
Quite appropriately, the match started rather cagily, with both teams taking time to find their feet. While Mandzukic got unnecessarily booked and removed from the first leg of the semis, it was Juve who looked better. With Pogba alongside him, Pirlo found space and started dictating play. A brilliantly worked free-kick from Pirlo was saved by the magnificent Neuer. It took 26 minutes for Juventus to make their first decent chance. Pogba found space on the right and fizzed in a beautiful ball, but no one could touch it. Bayern looked unsure for most of the half. Alaba smashed in a strong shot which was saved by a well placed Buffon. Bayern ended the half strongly and in possession.
The most dangerous Juventus looked, was on free kicks. The second one could have snuck in with a deflection but Lahm’s timely touch saved them. Juventus started the second half brightly but a free kick by Schweinsteiger found Martinez who shot at goal and was saved by Buffon. Buffon though was helpless when Mandzukic tapped into an empty net. Juventus, it was obvious, just did not have enough quality apart from Pirlo and Pogba to trouble the German giants.
The game sort of died after that. Juventus knew they could not win and Bayern were satisfied with the status quo. But Juventus’ grief had not yet ended. Bayern, to highlight their absolute domination, got a final icing on the cake with Pizarro’s well taken goal supplied by Schweinsteiger. The best in Italy simply did not match up to the best in Germany; the gulf in class was too wide and an aggregate 4-0 scoreline showed that.
Man of the match – Schweinsteiger – The man is simply unstoppable; he supplied the cross that was scored off and put Pizarro through on goal. He was tireless all evening and even with the tie in the bag, his intensity did not drop. He linked up very well with Robben all through the night and as I had said earlier, he won them this leg too.Published 11 Apr 2013, 09:41 IST