05.06.2015 13:15 - in: UCL S

      Barcelona’s route to the final: knockout stages

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      Luis Enrique’s men overcome Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich en route to the 2014/15 Champions League final

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      Manchester City 1-2 Barcelona, Tuesday 24 February 2015, Etihad Stadium  

      A Luis Suarez double in the north west of England set Barcelona on course for a place in the Champions League quarter-final.

      On 16 minutes the Uruguayan frontman found the ball fall at his feet in fortuitous circumstances following a deflection off Vincent Kompany, but there was little luck involved with the finish, a crisp strike that gave Joe Hart no chance.

      He doubled his tally on the half-hour mark when Lionel Messi provided Jordi Alba with an opportunity to deliver into the box, leaving Suarez to do the rest at the back post.

      Manchester City rallied in the second half and clawed their way back into the tie when Sergio Aguero gathered David Silva’s pass and lifted the ball home. A late Messi penalty threatened to restore Barcelona’s two-goal cushion, but Hart pulled off a fine penalty save to keep the Citizens’ qualification aspirations alive.

      Barcelona 1-0 Manchester City, 18 March 2015, Nou Camp

      A first-half Ivan Ratikic effort was enough to send Barcelona through to the quarter-final stages for a record eighth consecutive season, with Manchester City dispatched by a 3-1 aggregate score.  

      The visitors had an inspired Hart to thank for keeping the scoreline to a minimum as Luis Enrique’s men turned on the style in front of their home fans. They could have even come away with a draw, only for Sergio Aguero to see his late penalty denied.


      Paris Saint-Germain 1-3 Barcelona, 15 April 2015, Parc des Princes

      Another Suarez brace put Barcelona firmly on the road to their seventh Champions League semi-final appearance in eight years with a 3-1 away win over Paris Saint-Germain in France.

      Having extinguished Manchester City in the first leg at the Etihad Stadium, the Uruguayan was once again in irresistible form, adding to Neymar’s early strike with two second-half efforts of his own.  Jeremy Mathieu's own goal clawed one back for the hosts, but the night belonged to Barcelona and Suarez.  

      Barcelona 2-0 Paris Saint-Germain, 21 April 2015, Nou Camp

      Picking up where they left off in Paris, Barcelona rolled on to the semi-final stages courtesy of Neymar’s first-half double.

      The Brazilian’s first, a real cracker, came after just 14 minutes of play, and he put the final outcome beyond any doubt when he bagged his second, heading Daniel Alves’ cross  home before the break.


      Barcelona 3-0 Bayern, 6 May 2015, Nou Camp

      Strong Bayern resistance was firmly shattered 13 minutes from time as a sensational Messi performance put the Catalans on course for an eighth European Cup final appearance.

      After dominating the first half and finding themselves denied by a Manuel Neuer goalkeeping masterclass, Barcelona found a way through in the closing stages when Messi fired home in the 77th minute. Three minutes later his delightful chip doubled the lead before Neymar gathered the Argentine’s through ball to roll in a third late on.

      Bayern 3-2 Barcelona, Tuesday 12 May, Allianz Arena

      Barcelona completed their mission in Munich, holding off a spirited Bayern to progress through to the Champions League final.

      The hosts enjoyed a perfect start, going a goal to the good through Medhi Benatia’s header on seven minutes, but Neymar’s swift reply and second on 29 minutes ultimately made it a bridge too far for Pep Guardiola’s men.

      Robert Lewandowski pulled one back and Thomas Müller put brave Bayern ahead on the night with 74 minutes played, but it was too little, too late for the hosts, who saw the Blaugrana earn a spot in the competition’s last act.

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