Spanish clubs in the 2011/2012 Champions League
Reigning European champions Barcelona started the campaign with a 2-2 draw with Italian side AC Milan, a team they would later meet in the Quarter finals. Pep Guardiola’s side went on to beat BATE Borisov 4-0 and 0-4, Viktoria Plzen 2-0 and 0-5, and beat Milan 3-2 at the San Siro to easily top Group H and qualify for the knockout stages.
Real Madrid also easily qualified after winning all six of their group D games against the likes of Ajax, Lyon and Dinamo Zagreb. Los Blancos only conceded two goals in the group stages and looked a real favourite to win the competition.
Valencia on the other hand failed to progress from Group E after failing to beat Chelsea on the final matchday, German club Bayer Leverkusen would move ahead of them with a draw against Belgian side Genk and Los Che would drop into the Europa League.
Villarreal were in the Group of Death along with Man City, Napoli and Bayern Munich but the Yellow Submarines failed to chalk up a single win and finished rock bottom of the group with six defeats in six.
German club Bayer Leverkusen were brushed aside by Barcelona, well Lionel Messi, who scored an amazing five goals as the Catalans won 10-2 on aggregate.
Real Madrid also progressed with a relatively easy encounter against Russian side CSKA Moscow, a draw in Russia saw Real come home and hammer CSKA 4-1 at the Bernabeu.
The fate of La Liga’s dominate pair Barcelona and Real Madrid was soon known when they were drawn against Milan and APOEL respectively.
Italian giants Milan and Barca were no strangers after meeting twice in the group stages, but with a 0-0 draw played out in Milan, every thing was to play for at Camp Nou.
A Lionel Messi double and one from Andres Iniesta cancelled out Antonio Nocerino’s striker and Barca reached their fifth successive semi-final.
APOEL were the minnows of the competition but with Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain in great form, Jose Mourinho’s men won 3-0 in Cyprus.
A 5-2 win at the Bernabeu meant they would join Barca in the semi-finals.
Old nemesis Chelsea awaited Barcelona and despite the Catalans dominating over two legs they could not find a way to stop a resilient and rejuvenated Chelsea.
Didier Drogba’s goal in the first leg followed by Ramires and Torres strikes at Camp Nou saw the English side progress to the final winning 3-2 on aggregate.
Real Madrid had similar trouble as they met a fiesty Bayern Munich, Mario Gomez’s late winner in Germany saw Mourinho’s men up against it at the Bernabeu.
The Germans won when the game eventually went to penalties after Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos missed spot kicks.
Chelsea would eventually go on to beat Bayern Munich in the final.
|2||Mario Gómez||Bayern Munich||12||1003′|
|3||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||10||930′|
|4||Karim Benzema||Real Madrid||7||760′|
|Karim Benzema||Real Madrid||5||761′|
|Franck Ribéry||Bayern Munich||5||1030′|