Messi scores twice, leads Barcelona over Guardiola’s Bayern Munich 3-0 in Champions semis

BARCELONA, Spain — Lionel Messi had two goals and set up Neymar for another as Barcelona scored three late goals to overwhelm Bayern Munich and former coach Pep Guardiola 3-0 Wednesday night in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal.

Messi put Barcelona ahead in the 77th minute with a 19-yard left-footed shot that beat goalkeeper Manuel Neuer following a giveaway by Juan Bernat to Dani Alves.

Messi doubled the lead three minutes later when he took a pass from Ivan Rakitic at the 18-yard box, dribbled in, turned around the falling Boateng and chipped Neuer with his right foot from 6 yards.

Messi has 53 goals in 51 games this season, including 10 in 11 Champs League matches. With 77 career Champions League goals, he moved one ahead of Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo for the record.

“Guardiola knows Messi, and he knows that if he is inspired nobody can stop him,” Barcelona defender Gerard Pique said. “He scored two spectacular goals.”

Barcelona’s third goal developed when Luis Suarez was fouled by Bastian Schweinsteiger near midfield, the ball rebounded to Messi and Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli allowed play to continue because of Barcelona’s advantage.

Messi fed Neymar from midfield for a breakaway, and Neymar slotted past Neuer from 14 yards in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Barcelona outshot Bayern 17-8, including 8-0 on target.

The second leg of the total-goals series is Tuesday in Munich. The following night, Real Madrid tries to overturn a 2-1 deficit against visiting Juventus.

Two years ago, Bayern routed Barcelona by 7-0 aggregate in the semifinals en route to its first European title since 2001.

Joseph Wilson, The Associated Press





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