Brutal Bayern crush Porto to reach last four

Ross McLean
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Thiago, Xabi Alonso and Thomas Muller all scored as Bayern brushed aside Porto last night
REIGNING German champions Bayern Munich demolished FC Porto 6-1 at the Allianz Arena last night to obliterate their first-leg arrears and secure a Champions League semi-final place for the fourth successive year.

Trailing 3-1 from their inauspicious opening clash at Estadio do Dragao last week, Bayern cast aside the doubts hanging over their European participation with a breathtaking five-goal first-half showing, which laid the foundations for a 7-4 aggregate rout.

Bayern had only recovered from a two-goal European deficit once in 11 previous attempts dating back to the 1988/89 campaign, but an early header from Thiago, their scorer in the first leg, set the tone for the evening.

Defender Jerome Boateng followed suit before a Robert Lewandowski double and Thomas Muller strike made a mockery of suggestions that Bayern boss Pep Guardiola was feeling the heat and risked a Champions League humbling for a second successive year.

Colombia forward Jackson Martinez gave the visitors some forlorn hope, although the one-way traffic resumed following defender Ivan Marcano’s dismissal and a perfectly executed free-kick from ex-Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso.

Bayern are safely in the hat for Friday’s semi-final draw where they will bid to avenge the humiliation suffered at that stage of the competition last term when they wilted to a 5-0 aggregate loss to eventual winners Real Madrid.

Guardiola has lost only four of 63 Bundesliga games since taking the Bayern reins from Jupp Heynckes in 2013, and his and Bayern’s treble aspirations remain alive.

Porto boss Julen Lopetegui, a team-mate of Guardiola at Camp Nou in the 1990s, had hoped to guide his side, who were previously unbeaten in this season’s Champions League, to the last four for the first time since their triumphant run in 2004 and the era of Jose Mourinho, although those dreams are now firmly in tatters.

Guardiola’s former club Barcelona will join Bayern in the semi-final draw after two first-half goals from Brazil forward Neymar saw the Catalans cruise past Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 on the night and 5-1 on aggregate.

A dazzling Andres Iniesta run set up Neymar for Barcelona’s opening strike while a headed second maintained his side’s pursuit of a first Champions League title since 2011.