Bayern Munich v Barcelona: Captain Philipp Lahm targets Champions League victory over Lionel Messi and co

The sides meet in the first leg of the semi-final tonight

Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm is hoping it will be a case of third time lucky as he sets his sights on a place in the Champions League final with victory over Barcelona in the semi-finals.

Follow all the news the news on tonight's semi-final first leg: Champions League: Bayern Munich v Barcelona - LIVE!

The Bundesliga club have reached the final of Europe's showpiece football event twice in the past three years, finishing on the losing side to Inter Milan in 2010 and Chelsea last May.

For them to get a third crack at winning their first European title since defeating Valencia on penalties in 2001, they must overcome Spain's champions-elect, and four-time Champions League winners, over two legs with the first episode coming in a sold-out Allianz Arena tonight.

And Lahm says falling short at the final hurdle is not an option.

"When you reach the semi-finals, then you want to reach the final," he said. "Our aim is to win it."

Nevertheless, the Germany captain knows tonight's clash, which many feel would have formed an ideal Wembley final on May 25, is going to test his record-breaking team to the full.

Bayern have left the competition for dead domestically this season, wrapping up the title with six games to spare and earlier than any other club before them, while reaching the final of the domestic DFB-Pokal cup competition with a comfortable 6-1 win over league rivals Wolfsburg last Tuesday.

Even the Champions League's other semi-finalists Borussia Dortmund find themselves 20 points adrift of a Bayern side who, Lahm admits, can expect to meet their match in Barcelona.

"Barcelona have been the team to beat for several years now," he acknowledged. "But it's a game between two sides on a par with each other.

"We have the right players on the field to do Barcelona damage."

The Catalans are in the semi-finals for the sixth year running having taken the step to the final twice, going on to win the competition.

Defeats to Manchester United, Inter Milan and Chelsea in their other three semi-final ties have put them on guard, though, with midfielder Xavi well aware of what his side are up against not only tonight but in the return leg at the Nou Camp next Wednesday.

"Bayern are a great team," he said. "They have already won the league and are in the final of the German Cup.

"Their form is probably better than ours coming into the semi-finals, but I think the tie is 50/50.

"We want to show Barcelona at our best, then it will be up to what happens on the pitch to decide."

Like Lahm, Xavi knows that defeat is not an option when two of Europe's biggest clubs meet for a place at Wembley next month.

"Being at Barcelona, you have always got to win," he said. "It is the best club in the world and we want to show we are the best."

Follow all the news the news on tonight's semi-final first leg: Champions League: Bayern Munich v Barcelona - LIVE!

PA

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