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Barca is the team to beat
by Paul Kennedy, April 9th, 2009 7AM



Barcelona very much looks like the favorite to win the 2009 UEFA Champions League after putting on a superb show against Bayern Munich on Wednesday. The German champion looked helpless in face of the Barca onslaught and fell, 4-0, with all four goals coming in the first half.

"Obviously, 4-0 in the first leg of a Champions League quarter-final match is incredible," said Barca coach Pep Guardiola. "We did almost everything right. Bayern have great players so it is difficult to beat them. The talent made the difference tonight."

That talent included Barca's big three, which combined to create all four goals.

Argentine Lionel Messi scored the first goal in the ninth minute after being set up by Cameroonian Samuel Eto'o.

Messi then sprung Eto'o for the second goal three minutes later.

Frenchman Thierry Henry blew past Massimo Oddo and led Messi to make it 3-0 in the 38th minute.

Messi and Eto'o were also involved on the fourth goal, which Henry out away.

April 8 in Barcelona
Barcelona 4 Bayern Munich 0. Goals: Messi 9, 38, Eto'o 12, Henry 43.
Barcelona -- Valdes, Daniel Alves, Marquez, Pique, Puyol, Xavi, Toure (Busquets 81), Iniesta, Messi, Eto'o (Krkic 89), Henry (Keita 74).
Bayern Munich -- Butt, Oddo, Demichelis, Breno, Lell, Altintop (Ottl 46), Schweinsteiger, van Bommel, Ze Roberto (Sosa 77), Ribery, Toni.

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