Millennium Post

Barca aim amazing comeback

Lionel Messi and his Barcelona teammates will get another chance at Bayern Munich on Wednesday, and they’ll have to play better than ever to reach the Champions League final.

Bayern routed Barcelona 4-0 last week in the first leg of the semifinals, leaving Messi and his mates with a job that has never before been accomplished in the competition. But that doesn’t mean they won’t try.

“We need to go for a comeback,” Messi said Saturday after Barcelona’s 2-2 draw with Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish league.

Messi, nursing a hamstring injury, failed to make much of an impact last week. Instead, he watched as Bayern tore through Barcelona’s defense a day before Borussia Dortmund beat Real Madrid 4-1 in the other semifinal series. “People are talking a lot about a German final at Wembley, but first there is Barcelona,” Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said. “We have to play with the same passion, the same concentration and the same tactical plan.”

Bayern has won 17 straight away matches in all competitions, but Barcelona is good at home. Besides overturning a 2-0 deficit against AC Milan in the second round, the Catalan team has only lost once in 26 home games this season - a 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey in February.

On Wednesday, Barcelona will likely be without the injured Javier Mascherano and Carles Puyol, and the suspended Jordi Alba. And that should be good news for the visitors, who are the top scorers in this season’s Champions League with 26 goals.

The last time Bayern played at the Camp Nou, Barca won 4-0 in the first leg of the 2009 quarters.
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