Photos: Barcelona celebrate thrilling passage to Champions League final

Champions league cup

Bayern Munich pushed Barcelona to the limits at the Allianz Arena, but the Catalan giants sealed their place in the Berlin final.

It was already a tall order for Bayern Munich, heading into the semi-final second-leg, but the Bavarians couldn't have asked for a better start, in their efforts to make a remarkable comeback.

Often seen as a defensive weakness for Barcelona, a perfectly flighted corner from Xabi Alonso was their undoing, as Bayern defender arrived at the far post to give his side a lifeline, in the 7th minute.

The din of noise from the home crowd soon became muffled, however, when Barcelona's 'MSN' trio and in that order, combined to perfection in the 15th minute.

Like a hot knife through butter, Messi threaded a pass through the Bayern defence, Suarez took control, before a slide-rule ball across to Neymar, for a simple finish.

What began as an uphill struggle for Bayern, then became a mountain to climb in the 29th minute, as Barcelona grabbed a second on the night. Pep Guardiola had warned of the Barça counter-attack, which again caused the damage.

'MSN' trio once more combining, Messi with a flick-on, Suarez grabbing control, then spotted Neymar inside the area. The Brazilian controlled wonderfully on his chest, then gleefully smashed the finish past Neuer.

Amidst the exploits of the unstoppable 'MSN' trio, there were also heroics from the Barcelona goalkeeper.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen producing an exceptional save in the 39th minute, when a great chance for Lewandowski seemed headed over the line. The German keeper producing a big hand to stop that happening.

Beginning the second-half needing a miracle, 1-5 behind on aggregate, Bayern faced an impossible task of scoring five goals, or at least trying to restore some of their pride. 

Feeling the job was now practically done, Barcelona sent on Pedro Rodriguez for Luis Suarez, breaking up the magnificent 'MSN' trio, but with his two assists, the Uruguayan had made an excellent contribution.

Just shy of the hour mark in the 59th minute, some pride was restored for Bayern Munich, as they levelled proceedings on the night.

Schweinsteiger picking out the mask-wearing Lewandowski, who wouldn't be denied this time, whipping in a lovely finish beyond the reach of the Barcelona 'keeper, into the bottom corner.

After a reshuffle amongst the Barcelona ranks, with Mathieu on for yellow-carded Rakitic, Bayern continued to press for a third goal.

In the 74th minute, it deservedly came. A superb second assist from Schweinsteiger, followed by a classy finish from Müller. The Bavarian side 'just' the three goals behind, 3-5 on aggregate.

The 70,000 full house at the Allianz Arena kept urging Bayern on to more goals, with even Lionel Messi back to lend the Barcelona defence a hand, inside the final ten minutes.

A wonderful encounter between two true giants of European football, was eventually brought to an end with the final whistle. Bayern Munich had proudly fought to the bitter end, deserving of their victory on the night, but Barcelona had done enough to reach the final over two legs.

Out on the pitch, Luis Enrique's men began their celebrations... Barcelona are in the Berlin final.

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