Bayern Munich 'destroyed' Barcelona 4-0 because they were superior in every position, says David O'Leary
Bayern Munich 'destroyed' Barcelona as they were superior in every position, says David O'Leary.
Last Updated: 24/04/13 9:35am
The runaway Bundesliga leaders are on course for their third Champions League final in four years after crushing the Catalans in the home leg of their semi-final.
Thomas Muller scored twice and Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben also found the net at the Allianz Arena to ensure that Barcelona will have to recover from their heaviest European defeat in 16 years to reach this year's final, at Wembley next month.
Former Leeds and Aston Villa manager O'Leary told Sky Sports News he just can't see that happening.
"Without a doubt [it's all over]," he said. "I don't see Bayern Munich going to the Nou Camp, being the team they are - and they are a really, really good side - and conceding five goals.
"I don't see Barcelona scoring five 'clear' goals either and even if they did, I definitely think Bayern will score against Barcelona. They know that.
"We know Barcelona are fantastic on the ball and going forward but their weakness is at the back.
"It gives me no pleasure to say it, but Bayern have destroyed Barcelona - they've absolutely destroyed them.
"In every position, the Bayern Munich players dominated the Barcelona players they've been playing against - all across the pitch. When you have that 11 times against 11, that team is going to win - and Bayern destroyed them. Bayern were absolutely superior - they won the battle in every position."
Barcelona had no answer to Bayern's superiority even though Argentinian Lionel Messi returned to the starting line-up after injury.
The World Player of the Year has spent time on the sidelines in the last fortnight due to a hamstring injury and O'Leary believes the game came too soon for him.
"Messi was definitely not fit," the former Arsenal defender reflected. "He might have been medically, but even the magic of the greatest player in the world [can't do it if he's not fit].
"if you have been out for three weeks, you can't come in and be the same player. I think he will benefit from this 90 minutes and be fitter for next week.
"With all of the magic he's displayed and the number of times he's dug Barcelona out of it, do I see him doing that next week? No.
"I think it is beyond Barcelona in that way because Bayern Munich are a really, really good side. They've dominated the league that they are in and they are an experienced side too.
"They are not a young side - they've been to the Champions League enough times and they know what it's about. They've really gone about it and shown plenty of energy and commitment.
"Yes, they've been aggressive but they played football fantastically well. I never thought I'd say it but they have destroyed Barcelona."
The result means Bayern remain on track for an historic treble in a season which will be Jupp Heynckes' last at the club before he is replaced by former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola.
O'Leary sympathises with the outgoing boss, but says the decision to appoint Guardiola was taken in the long-term interest of the club.
"He definitely feels that he should be given another year," said O'Leary. "I think what Bayern Munich have thought is 'Pep Guardiola is on the scene' - we want to have him because he might not be back on the scene to be employed for many more years. They've made a decision for the long term.
"I wonder if Pep wants Bayern to win three trophies because what a hard act that would be to follow!
"They will definitely win the German Cup, they will definitely be at Wembley and I think they've got a very good chance of lifting this trophy because they are a superb all-round team.
"They can defend well, they've got a good goalkeeper, are good in midfield and can break out and score goals - plus they are fit and they're strong.
"That's a lethal cocktail that has destroyed and dominated German football. They've gone out against the runaway leaders in Spain and totally destroyed them.
"Barcelona have got three great players in Messi, Xavi and Iniesta and teams have been trying to stop them for many years. But you could really ask 'were they playing?' because they just didn't feature in the game."
You can watch the second leg between Barcelona and Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp next Wednesday on Sky Sports 2 HD.