ABU DHABI (AFP) - European champions Barcelona produced a masterclass to beat Mexican side Atlante 3-1 here on Wednesday and book their place in the World Club Cup final.
Guillermo Rojas shot Atlante into a surprise fifth-minute lead with Sergio Busquets dragging Barca back on level terms ten minutes from the break.
Second-half substitute Lionel Messi put the Spanish giants ahead in the 55th minute with Pedro wrapping up the semi-final in the 67th minute in front of 41,000 fans at the Zayed Sports City stadium.
Barcelona meet Argentine side Estudiantes, who beat South Korea's Pohang Steelers 2-1 in Tuesday's semi-final, in Saturday's final.
Atlante will face Asian champions Pohang Steelers in the third place play-off.
The World Club Cup is the only international honour missing from Barcelona's well-stocked trophy cabinet after their previous attempt to win it, in 2006, ended in a 1-0 defeat to Brazilian side Internacional.
Victory in the tournament would crown a remarkable year for the current Spanish league leaders, who last season won the Champions League, Spanish league and King's Cup to claim an unprecedented treble.
Pep Guardiola's side quickly settled into their familiar passing rhythm but they fell behind within five minutes when Rojas touched the ball past Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes before finishing from a difficult angle.
Atlante goalkeeper Federico Vilar had to save from Busquets as the Catalans sought a quick response, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic had an effort cleared off the line.
Andres Iniesta and Ibrahimovic were both narrowly off-target with long-range efforts but 10 minutes before the interval Barca levelled when Busquets touched home from close range after Yaya Toure had flicked on Xavi's corner.
Messi made his entrance shortly after the break and within two minutes he had delighted the crowd by putting his side in front.
The recently crowned European Footballer of the Year collected a reverse pass from Ibrahimovic before slipping away from a defender, rounding the goalkeeper and tapping the ball into an empty net.
Barca's third arrived 23 minutes from time, with Iniesta slaloming through the Atlante defence before setting up Pedro, who provided a nerveless finish.
|8||R. Márquez Lugo|
|Coach: J. Cruz|
for S. Solari 56'
for L. Velázquez 63'
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