Baku, May 7, AZERTAC
FC Barcelona are on the brink of reaching their eighth European Cup showpiece after finally breaking FC Bayern München's resistance in the last 13 minutes of this UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg, Lionel Messi scoring two goals before creating a late third for Neymar.
In a pulsating first half, Barcelona largely held the upper hand and Bayern had cause to be grateful to goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who saved one-on-ones with Luis Suárez and Daniel Alves to keep the score blank at the break. Robert Lewandowski had spurned an equally presentable opening for the visitors, yet just when it was starting to look like they would escape unscathed, Messi – making his 100th European appearance – eventually found a way through 13 minutes from time. Three minutes later his sublime control and delicate chip made it 2-0 before the No10's added-time pass released Neymar to roll in a third.
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