Barcelona remain on course to win the treble after reaching the Champions League final by surviving a second-half, second-leg fight-back at Bayern Munich, to the delight of coach Luis Enrique.
Neymar struck twice as Barcelona reached the Berlin final by beating Bayern 5-3 on aggregate in their semi-final despite losing Tuesday’s second-leg 3-2 at the Allianz Arena having won 3-0 in Spain.
Barca are on the verge of the Spanish league title, face Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Cup final on May 30 and will now face either Juventus or bitter rivals Real Madrid in the Champions League final on June 6.
“I’m happy with the performance of the players. They should be congratulated,” beamed Enrique.
“It’s a great achievement to reach the final.
“We’re one win away from winning each of the three competitions.
“This is our mission.”
Bayern were facing what looked like an impossible task after going down 3-0 in last week’s first leg at the Camp Nou, but they were given an early glimmer of hope in the return when the unmarked Medhi Benatia headed home on seven minutes.
However, the final outcome of the tie was put beyond doubt when Luis Suarez twice set up Neymar to score for the visitors before half an hour had been played.
Bayern produced a rousing second-half performance and goals from Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Mueller allowed them to win the game on the night, but Barcelona advance to their eighth European Cup final.
“With such a good result from the first leg, we knew they had to give more,” said Enrique.
“The second-half was different, because they attacked us more, but we are now in the final and can win the title in each competition we are in.
“This is what it means to be part of Barca.”
Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta said Neymar’s early goals had calmed any early nerves, but it was disappointing not to beat Bayern for the first time in Munich.
“We knew they would push from the off and we got the two goals that calmed us down,” said Iniesta.
“In the second-half they pushed forward, but we need to celebrate being in another final. We need to finish what we have started.
“I think we are where we want to be every year, we are one step away from everything and we need to take this step.
“We can’t stop or settle for less. It would be incredible for all the fans and the players.
“Every year is different, this year we have to enjoy it, we have overcome very strong opponents. We are very close and we need to take the next step.” – Agence France-Presse