Mario Mandžukić got the start for Bayern Munich Wednesday night in their Champions League second leg semifinal in Barcelona. After a scoreless first half and Bayern up 4-0 on aggregate already, the flood gates once again opened for the German champions, with three goals coming in the second half. Arjen Robben scored three minutes after the break, cutting back in the box and sending a left-footed shot inside the far post before Pique would fire in an own goal and Thomas Muller would head home a cross later to make it 3-0 Bayern.
Lionel Messi did not come off the bench for this match as he nurses an injury, but the question is: is Bayern this dominant this season or did Barcelona simply flop in the semifinals? We will find out on May 25th in London when Bayern faces Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League (All-German) Final. Mandžukić is sure to start up top for the Bavarian side.
This group has been here before in recent years. Is third time finally the charm?
You wanna hear a crazy stat.
For the last five years, whichever country has hosted the Champions League final has one of their teams winning the Champions League the next year. That trend is continuing this year as both finals teams are from Germany.
2008-2009 – Barcelona defeats Manchested United, game is played in Italy.
2009-2010 – Internazionale defeats Bayern Munich, game is played in Spain.
2010-2011 – Barcelona defeats Manchester United, game is played in England.
2011-2012 – Chelsea defeats Bayern Munich, game is played in Germany
2012-2013 – Bayern Munich will face Borussa Dortmund, game is played in England.
i watched it, Bogut had a great game. He dominated the game.
Some morning inspiration.
I hope ur watching this game Ziva, Bogut is killing it
Pocivaj u miru Bozjem.
Get some glasses and re-read my post, lol.
My dad would always joke that “sport and war is all we’re good at.” 🙂
@ marko thanks for the article
croatia’s sporting success as well as success of other countries such as serbia seem to be quite curious (and even montenegro with only 500000 people sitting at the top of its group as well as broken state bosnia), especially b/c this success is often in team sports that require many talented athletes rather than just one (a la blank vlasic in the high jump). my theory has always broken down into this
1) tallest people in the world allow us to pick from a pool of athletes that is larger than simply our population size would predict
2) a sporting culture, which is tied with national pride and emphasizes sports growing up
3) a climate that allows sports to be played much of the year (good luck playing soccer in 100 degree heat in india or 20 degree temperature in iceland)
4) some kind of natural sporting talent, which explains why croats show up on national teams in australia (bogut, soccer team), switzerland (rakitic, drmic, there other two national team players), sweden (ibrahimovic and others), and the list goes on.
I JA BIT CU SA TOBOM I U NEBO KAD UDEM
Pocivaj u miru Ivane, RIP
Only 33 years old, what a tragedy
R.I.P. Ivan Turina
@Ivica…….10 yrs ago you cheered for the serbs?????? 10 years ago we were only a few years removed from the end of the war. svasta!!!!!
Check out the BBC website’s article this morning on the secret of Croatia’s sporting success:
Good to see it’s getting more recognition here in the UK at long last…
Some terrible news :
Swedish football club AIK’s Croatian goalkeeper Ivan Turina has been found dead in his northern Stockholm apartment, according to local media reports on Thursday.
“I can confirm that Ivan Turina is dead but there are no suspicions of crime,” police spokesman Patrik Nuss was quoted as saying by the Aftonbladet newspaper. Police said they were called to Turina’s apartment early on Thursday morning.
The 32-year-old Croatian signed for AIK in 2010 and played 65 league games for the Solna club. He is survived by his wife and two one-year-old daughters.
well he would have scored if pique didnt beat him to it and score that own goal lol
i don’t know if anyone caught it, but the opening shot of today’s game was pretty sweet with mandzo’s foot on the ball and a croatian flag on his cleat right for the camera.
unfortunately no goal for mandzo, but he filled the rest of his role really well applying pressures, winning aerial battles, drawing defenders and holding the ball up. unfortunately not a single real service play to him! hopefully some more chances
Germany – Last 4 Events:
Semifinal @ WC 2006
Final @ Euro 2008
Semi Final @ WC 2010
Semifinal @ Euro 2012.
You want to talk about consistency. It is just a matter of time before they win another tourney.
Not that it matters but all semifinals were third place winners. And before someone tries to bite my ass off on that point just remember I said, “Not that it matters”, and please remember that Hrvati go nuts when we talk about our third place finish in WC 98 and the Germans have two recently. Their league teams have suffered in the Champions league as of late however they were in the final last year and have two teams in the final this year. The EPL is showing its overratedness.
Prior to Spain winning Euro 2008 the only tournament they won was Euro 1964. Now, for such a fantastic footballing nation to go from Euro 1964 to Euro 2008 to finally win something again? That is 44 years! Prior to the Euro 2008, Spain was considered great football choke artists. Now, the choke artist label is gone but I guarantee you, and you heard it here first, that they will not win WC 2014. People have figured them out and they have had some favorable calls go their way. Let them kick the ball around all day long in the midfield who gives a shit! For a while there I thought it was really great but now it is so boring and people have figured them out. It was funny watching them take corner kicks against us in Euro 2012! Barca is just lucky that they have a guy like Messi on their team because Spain in Euro 2012, other than the final game, could not buy a goal!
The Germans have won 3 World Cups, while being a runners up 4 times. Spain has 1 World Cup. The Germans have 3 Euro trophies the same with Spain with two of the last tournaments under their belt. Italy has 4 World Cups, but two of those are fixed and 1 Euro Championship. Now, I am not saying that Spain are not a fantastic team. It is quite obvious that they are, but are people actually suggesting that they are a better footballing nation throwing everything into the equation over Germany?? A better history?? A better system?? No way! This Spain team that won the last three tournaments is one of the best national teams ever, there is no doubt and give credit where it is deserved. However, there is not a more consistently better team in the World from day one than the Germans. Albeit Germany has not won anything as of late and I understand that, but they are always knocking on the door and in my opinion they play a better system and are more successful because of it. If they would actually go out and get a coach that does not pick his nose all day long they might win WC 2014 because Spain will not win WC 2014. Mark it!
If you want to talk about quality you need not look any further than the Bundesliga. For as an entity it is the best league out there! Considering the top to bottom comparisons it is better than the EPL, better than La Liga and better than Serie A. Great football! It has been for a while.
Oh, and it looks like the Bundesliga is going to win a Champions League this year.
I am giving Piqué auto goal to Mandzukic.
He lead the line with power and presence.
Hope he gets some service in the Final.
Agree 100% with are boys playing in the Bundesliga.
I feel we play a unique style of international futbol that is Croatian in its own right.
We just need some WINGERS!
Ribery ran rough shot over Barca.
Where is the next Jarni ?
the spaniards had too many siestas on the german dime. time for pay back. i think mandzukic will score many mandzukic-type goals against dortmund.
I agree about Germany and the Bundesliga.
The German NT is consistently good, and they consistently develop their youth.
The Germans have figured out healthcare, immigration and football.
I agree about SMM’s work rate and pressing.
Spain and Barca were very successful, obviously. Maybe I’m just being prejudice but I just don’t like them.
I like the way Munich, Dortmund, and the German national team play. I could see us replicating that high tempo, pressure game which they do so well. I believe off the ball, the Germans are doing things similarly to Spain but not when they’re in possession. It’s nice to have something to look up to, and replicate, and with the Spanish team I could never really see us doing that however with the way the Germans are playing, I could see it being possible.
@Poglavnik…….and when was the last time a German team won a Champions League title and when was the last time Germany won a Euro or a WC. Both Italy and Spain have won it more recently than Germany. Same goes for Italian and Spanish clubs with the Champions League.
I do enjoy the way both Dortmund, Bayern and German repka play, but it hasn’t won any major silverware until the upcoming game in Wembley.
Regarding Mandza……the development in his level of play has been spectacular. I am so impressed with the way he applies pressure throughout the game and is the reason for numerous turnovers by the opponent.
Who cares what the Serbs think and who they are going for?
You’ve gotta stop paying attention to them. They’re not worthy of being our rivals anymore. In football, our nation has has developed some decent little rivalries with teams like England and Germany over the years and has been on the winning end of most of our head-to-head matchups against the world’s elite teams.
Winning records against teams like Germany, Italy, Netherlands and having respectable ones against Spain, England, Argentina, and Brazil (where we’ve always gained the respect of each team) is amazing and has definitely put us on the map.
We’re not like the Serbs who are regularly blown out by these teams to the point where it looks like a baseball score (Argentina, Netherlands) and even some no name countries (Estonia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan).
10 years ago, I used to cheer against the Serbs, but now I just feel sorry for them. There is nothing they can do to match our success, and judging by the junior squad prospects, this talent gap will last a very, very long time.
I have no affiliation with Bayern or any German team. I wish Mandzu the best, but my priority will be about making a few bucks on the finals.
Good riddance Barca!
I prefer a German style of football that Hrvati can relate too over a bunch of smurfs over-passing and possessing the ball all friggin game.
The Germans do it right, and the Spanish do it too similarly to the Italians for my liking.
We can do what the Germans do!!!
Bayern bc of mandzo all the was Serbs will be for Dorthmund who ever puts money on BVB nije pravi Hrvat!
No clue if this is now the beginning of the end of Barca’s dominance. If so, thank you for the greatest level of play in club football that I have seen in my lifetime.
Barca will still compete for titles, but their dominance appears to be over.
Nice prediction CousinBilo 🙂
I know i’ll be putting some $$$ on a Dortmund win.
The fact that they’ll be significant underdogs, and all the pressure being on Munich is enough incentive for me to wager.
Pep will ruin Bayern
I’m glad Mandzukic has integrated so well into Bayern’s team, but I miss seeing his fast, relatively tight ball control at speed. I hope he doesn’t lose his skills and morph into another Jelavic.
Remember Robben is a choke artist. he scored but 10 shots every game 1 has too go in?
@ SišmiššĆovjek It will be a midfield of Schwini Martinez Ribery Kroos Muller Gotze as false 9.
A Messi-style false 9, a replacement for Kroos: Where will Gotze fit in at Bayern?
Except when he scores.
Robben is so selfish that why team mates hate him.
Barca is gonna win…just a question of if it will be by enough.
WOW, an obvious back pass, that should be a penalty against Barcelona.
Messi isn’t on the field yet. I hope he’s ok, regardless of what people think of him, it would suck not to have him on the pitch.
Hopefully this post doesn’t jinx bayern
barcelona 6 0
“If Mandza does score, will it be an Ivica Olic-type of goal?”
If Mandza does score, will it be an Ivica Olic-type of goal?
Mandzukic has to slot one in early. I don’t trust hungry Barcelona.
anyone know about Messi’s fitness? not that a 100% Messi could overcome a 4-0 deficit