Bayern Munich eliminates Man United on away-goals rule
Dutch winger Arjen Robben scored a spectacular volley in the second half, and Bayern Munich advanced over Manchester United into the European Champions League semifinals.
Despite a 3-2 loss (and 4-4 aggregate score) Wednesday, Bayern Munich advanced because of a 2-1 advantage in away goals. Bayern becomes the first German team to reach the semifinals since 2002 and will play Lyon who advanced past Bordeaux 3-2 on aggregate.
Manchester United had taken what seemed an impregnable 3-0 lead with a dominant opening spell, but Bayern scored just before halftime through Ivica Olic. The Bavarians' comeback gained even more momentum early in the second half when Manchester United was reduced to 10 men with Rafael's sending-off.
You can rehash the game with the play-by-play analysis below:
Another fun night in with everyone's favorite family board game, Guess Who's Fit.
So it's a good job that Bayern coach Louis van Gaal is prepared. "I'd like to say that we did win a game with Rooney playing; it's not as if we can't win when Wayne Rooney is playing," he harrumphed today -- but this is the best bit: "We don't even need to win, a draw is fine." Miaow.
*Reports that Fabio Capello has been spotted weeping unashamedly into a United insignia hanky remain unconfirmed.
"What are your thoughts about United's midfield?" wonders Tim Maxwell. "Seems to me that something is lacking. Although talented players all, they don't quite measure up to Bayern's group of Ribery, Van Bommel, etc. I think United needs to consider an upgrade. Some creativity to go along with the work rate of Carrick/Fletcher/Scholes would be nice."
Creativity and movement, I think, which is why Fergie's decision not to play Nani before the last 18 minutes against Chelsea was so odd. There were legs in that midfield that remember the 1929 Wall Street Crash. A more youthful selection today though, and of course they'll be playing with Rooney rather than Berbatov, who'll no doubt be his usual bubbly self on the bench.
"I really hope Bayern München wins it all," says Yoothana Mumme, quite possibly cackling madly. "And to go through Manchester United would be even better. The worst loss I have witnessed was the loss to United in the '99 CL final. Oh, how sweet it would be for Bayern to win tonight. Die Bayern kommen, die Bayern kommen!"
"I hope Nani, Valencia, Macheda, Evra, and Giggs will give their best performance to destroy the Bayern midfield," trumpets Ludwig, taking a slightly different view. "If we can beat them 2-1 or 1-0 we will be happy." Either way, I'm going for a tight result.
Fergie mischief update: big grin while insisting that he wasn't fibbing yesterday, when he said Rooney had no chance.
The final whistle blows, und, meine damen und herren, es ist fertig. United are out of the Champions League, and Bayern will face Lyon in the semifinals.
Thanks for your company once again. Until next time...