In the event, with much of the same personnel, Barça have successfully reinvented their playing style and returned to the top again.
Luis Enrique may not have the suave sophistication of former teammate Pep Guardiola and the press were on his back earlier this season, but the Asturian could end up with a clean sweep of league, cup and European Cup in his first season in charge despite a transfer ban, which surely puts him on a par with Pep.
The prodigal son’s relished return to the Camp Nou seemed to be headed for a 0-0 finish. Bayern’s wide spacing – they began with a 3-3-2-2 shape, led to a very open game but the Germans denied Barça any goals and looked headed for a point.
Suarez fluffed a one-on-one in the 12th minute and Robert Lewandowksi five minutes later but neither side looked likely to score until Leo Messi cast some magic spells thirteen minutes from time.
The warning signs had been there when Messi and Neymar combined on the edge of the Situs Judi Online box in the 56th and the Argentinian fired into Manuel Neuer’s arms.
In the 77th Dani Alves found the Argentinian again in that danger area around the D. A quick sidestep of a defender and a rifled shot inside the post finally billowed the net.
With the pressure released, Messi then scored a fabulous second, putting Jerome Boateng on his back before chipping the advancing Neuer delicately. Neymar’s breakaway third seems to have clinched the tie, a three-goal shower from nowhere, which left Guardiola grimacing.
Bayern finished up with more possession than Barça but without their clinical strikes. Barça had seven shots on target to none, a clear illustation of the gap between the two teams.
Ominously, before the match, Guardiola had said of Messi, “He is too good. There is no way to stop him.” Quite.
Spain met Italy again in the Europa League on Thursday but Iberia emerged triumphant as Sevilla won decisively 3-0 in their semi-final first leg.
Aleix Vidal scored a brace and Kevin Gameiro added a third to send the Andalucians to Florence confident of yet another Europa League final.
* With Real losing in Europe this week and effectively blowing their title chances, talk of replacing Carlo Ancelotti has surfaced once again.
Should Real president Florentino Perez choose to give the Italian the heave-ho, the Spanish bookies have installed the following in order as favourites to replace him:
1. Zinedine Zidane
2. Juergen Klopp
3. Jogi Low
4. Fernando Hierro
5. Arsene Wenger
* Spain remained tenth in FIFA’s World Rankings for May. La Roja play Costa Rica on the 11th of June in a friendly in Madrid before travelling to Belarus for a European qualifier on the 14th.
*In this week’s transfer rumours, Pep Guardiola was claimed to have inked a deal to join Manchester City this summer, but the club quickly denied it.
AC Milan were also claimed to be recruiting the Bayern boss.
Manchester City could pip Arsenal to Karim Benzema with a £40 million carrot for Real Madrid, but Arsenal, Liverpool and Man Utd are also interested.
Chelsea are said to have opened talks with Atletico over Diego Godin and Koke moving to London in the summer.
Blues full-back Cesar Azpilicueta has denied he wishes to return to Spain, with the big two reputed suitors.
Barcelona could recruit German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan from Borussia Dortmund in time for next January’s transfer window.
England’s Daily Mail is convinced Luis Enrique will leave Barcelona in the summer, as pigs fly past their windows.
Sevilla’s ride in the Europa League has not gone unnoticed in Italy, where Milan could make coach Unai Emery an offer.
Atletico Madrid are hoping to pip Liverpool to Villareal’s Argentine striker Luciano Vietto.
Chelsea were also linked with a £40 million deal for Atletico’s Spanish international midfielder Koke.
Deportivo goalie Fabricio Agosto is attracting the attentions of Aston Villa and Everton.
Real Madrid assistant coach, Englishman Paul Clement could be offered the manager’s job at QPR.
Chelsea and Liverpool were once more said to be on the trail of Barcelona’s Pedro.
Liverpool are following Real Sociedad defender Inigo Martinez and Barcelona right-back Martin Montoya.
Atletico’s Toby Alderweireld, on loan at Southampton, could be heading to Tottenham.
Man Utd could offer Angel Di Maria back to Real Madrid in the summer, taking Gareth Bale in the opposite direction.