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Memorable Monday: History of FC Bayern vs FC Barcelona

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We delve into European history to find when these two majestic teams from Spain and Germany collided and whether those collisions led to fireworks.

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1995-1996 UEFA Cup Semifinals

FC Bayern 4-3 FC Barcelona on aggregate

The very first meeting in Europe between these two sides came in a competition which is definitely not on top of Uli Hoeness' priorities in the UEFA Cup. The first ever encounter took place in Munich's Olympiastadion. Barcelona gave a very good account of themselves. Oscar Garcia scored in the 15th minute to give Barcelona an away goal but Bayern, shortly after the second half began, turned it around through goals from Marcel Witeczek and Mehmet Scholl. A Barcelona side with Pep Guardiola was not done though. Gheorghe Hagi scored in the 77th minute. Barcelona left with two away goals at 2-2; Bayern had a tough task. They had to turn the tie around.

But under Otto Rehhagel, they knew how to do just that. Markus Babbel's goal in the first half in Catalonia gave Bayern the lead. Another goal was not to come till after the 80th minute when Witeczek scored Bayern's second. Ivan De la Pena's goal one minute before the end of the game for Barca set up a nervy finish but Bayern saw it through and went on to hammer Bordeaux in the two-legged final and lift the Cup. After the game, Rehhagel could not help but say "This is a historic win for Bayern and a historic day for me."

1998-1999 UEFA Champions League Group Stages

One of Bayern's historic teams played in the late 90's and early 2000's.  That golden generation topped a group including Manchester United, Barcelona and Brondby in the group stages of the 1998-99 UEFA Champions League. In the first meeting at the Olympiastadion, Bayern took care of business thanks to a Stefan Effenberg strike on the stroke of half time. In Camp Nou, Giovanni fired in from the spot about half an hour into the match.

Louis Van Gaal's Barcelona were going to be rather disappointed by the end though. This is because Alex Zickler scored a few minutes after play resumed in the second half. An 87th minute strike from Hasan Salihamidzic handed Bayern all three points. Bayern's future coach moaned a bit after the match about the nature of the goals:  "They scored two lucky goals, which were both deflections."

2008-09 UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals

Bayern 1-5 Barcelona on aggregate

The Bayern fans were not in the best of moods having experienced hammerings that season already, with a 5-2 drumming against Werder Bremen sticking out at this point. Injuries and an aging squad led by a rookie coach gave everyone very little to hope for and within the first forty-five minutes, the tie was over. Two goals by a magical Lionel Messi coupled with strikes from the wily Samuel Eto'o and the Arsenal legend Thierry Henry sent Bayern crashing out.

After the match, our captain Mark Van Bommel spoke what was on everyone's minds: "We were fortunate that the score was only 4-0 because we were made to look like amateurs." The gap between Bayern and European football's elites was painfully obvious that night and perhaps led to the changes in 2009-10. Meanwhile, Jürgen Klinsmann (whose star player was busy smiling and changing jerseys with Henry) stated the obvious. "It is quite possible we played against the future champions of Europe."

Franck Ribery helped Bayern get one back in the second half of the second leg at the Allianz Arena but Barcelona were simply playing out the tie. A Seydou Keita strike saw them level the match on the night and send Bayern crashing out in painful fashion. Four years later, Bayern would repay the favor.

2012-13 UEFA Champions League Semifinals

FC Bayern 7-0 Barcelona on aggregate

In what remains as one of Europe's biggest shocks as well as one of the most one sided semifinals in history, Bayern put their foot down to show the world what they can do under Jupp Heynckes. Nobody had expected such a finish considering that Bayern had had their close brushes, only getting through against Arsenal via away goals in the Round of 16 for example. A Thomas Müller goal in the first half started the party. Mario Gomez got a chance to play in place of the starter Mario Mandzukic and scored early in the second half from close range. Arjen Robben brushed past Jordi Alba and scored the third while Müller helped himself to his second of the night and Bayern's fourth.

In the second leg in the Camp Nou, Bayern did not give Barcelona much breathing room. Adjusting their tactics to counteract the opponents' as they had done all season long, they produced a scintillating display in the second half. Robben scored early in the second half. Gerard Pique put the ball into his own net and Müller added one for good measure to seal a 0-3 victory and a 7-0 victory on aggregate. That score remains the largest margin of victory in a UEFA Champions League semifinal in history. Pique added after the game "When another side is so much better than you, there isn't any option except to congratulate them".

On a side note, the match was the last in which Tito Vilanova stood on the sidelines in a European night.

We all know how the remainder of that story goes. Bayern went on to contest a closely fought dramatic final against Borussia Dortmund and win their fifth title.

When these two sides have met previously, the winner of the tie has gone on to win the UEFA Champions League. While, in light of the injury list and Barcelona's form, beating the Spanish giants is a tough ask for Bayern, they can certainly dream after looking back on the fixtures from two years ago. Also, Müller might hand them a few tips if they need them. FCB vs FCB should provide more fireworks. The first leg takes place in Spain on Wednesday.

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