22 Apr 2015

Barca, Bayern advance to semi-finals

9:23 am on 22 April 2015

The Brazilian striker Neymar scored twice as Barcelona reached the Champions League football semi-finals for the seventh time in the last eight seasons with a 2-nil home win over Paris St Germain that completed a 5-1 aggregate victory.

The Barcelona striker Neymar celebrates scoring a goal.

The Barcelona striker Neymar celebrates scoring a goal. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The Nou Camp crowd were brought to their feet for Neymar's first goal as midfielder Andres Iniesta ran from his own half, skipping past three challenges, before delivering a perfect pass for the Brazilian, who rounded keeper Salvatore Sirigu and slid the ball home after 14 minutes.

PSG offered little resistance as Barca swept the ball around midfield and the Catalan side went further in front when Neymar headed home a curling cross from fullback Dani Alves after 34 minutes.

Barca eased off in the second half and were happy to hold on for a victory that keeps them on course to repeat their treble success of 2009.

"We did the same that we did in Paris, we came out and played our game and scored the goals we needed," Neymar said after the match.

"I think we are on good form, in the Champions League, in La Liga, everything and hopefully we can continue the same way."

PSG were without injured duo Thiago Motta and Thiago Silva but they did have former Barca striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marco Verratti back from suspension.

Their Brazilian defender David Luiz, who had a torrid time against Luis Suarez in the first leg, was booked after just three minutes for a reckless challenge on Ivan Rakitic.

Barca had no intention of sitting on their 3-1 advantage from the first leg and conjured up a magical first goal with Iniesta the architect and Neymar the executioner.

Meanwhile in Portugal German side Bayern Munich crushed Porto 6-1 to advance to the final four 7-4 on aggregate and stay on track for a treble in Pep Guardiola's 100th competitive game in charge.

The five-time European champions, who lost 3-1 in the first leg last week, showed no sign of nerves as they dismantled the hapless Portuguese with an impressive attacking display to book a fourth straight last four spot.

Reminiscent of Germany's 7-1 World Cup semi-final demolition of Brazil last year, Bayern scored three times in 13 minutes through Thiago Alcantara, Jerome Boateng and Robert Lewandowski, to wipe out their quarter-final, first leg deficit.

Two more goals before the break from Lewandowski and Thomas Mueller, who became Germany's record scorer in the competition with 27, and a late Xabi Alonso free-kick finished off Porto, who had Ivan Marcano sent off in the 87th for a second booking.

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