Barcelona hit three times in the last 13 minutes of the match, as a Lionel Messi’s three-minute salvo and Neymar’s goal in the 90th minute completed a convincing rout in their Champions League first leg tie at home.

The Germans’ boss Pep Guardiola, who returned to the Nou Camp for the first time since leaving Barca in 2012, demanded his side to play strongly in defence; the Los Cules’ star attacking trio of Luis Suarez, Messi and Neymar were man-marked in the opening fifteen minutes and their threat was neutralised; the tactic left the hosts goalless in the first – half.

But Barca managed to get a foothold in the game, in a match that burst into life at the end; with 13 minutes left to play, Messi, rated by some in the sport as the greatest of all time, fired in a shot at the floundering World Cup winning keeper Manuel Neuer’s near post.  Three minutes later, the Argentine clipped the ball over the German keeper again, for his second - a record-breaking 77th goal in the competition; he turned the German international defender Jerome Boateng inside out in the box and left him on the floor, after a swift counter-attack.

Guardiola pushed his team forward in search of an away goal but they were punished deep into stoppage time, as Neymar broke away at the death and calmly slotted home to effectively end the tie; a cruel conclusion for the Germans, who were tactically excellent, until the last stages of the match.

Bayern were depleted, missing long-term injury absentees Frank Ribery and Arjen Robben’s attacking threat on the flanks.  If they are to win in the second leg at the Allianz Arena in Berlin next Wednesday, then they will need the same fighting spirit that they showed when they overturned their 3-1 deficit against Porto, to win 7-4 on aggregate in the quarter-finals. The Germans boss, who played for Barca from 1990 till 2001, and was their manager from 2008 till 2012, will surely come up with a tactic which would target the ultra - dynamic Catalans’ attacking line.

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