Bayern's Schweinsteiger scores, gets sent off in CL draw with Man Utd
MANCHESTER, England (AP) - Bastian Schweinsteiger scored an equalizer for Bayern Munich and was then sent off as the German champion drew 1-1 with Manchester United in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
United, floundering in the English Premier League under new manager David Moyes, confounded grim pregame predictions by taking the lead in the 58th minute through Nemanja Vidic's header from a corner.
However, Bayern will take a crucial away goal into next week's second leg in Germany after Schweinsteiger finally found a cutting edge to his team's fine build-up play, arrowing a half-volley high into the net in the 67th.
The Germany midfielder blotted his performance by picking up a second yellow card in the 90th minute for a foul on Wayne Rooney, ruling him out of the second leg.
With Bayern having become Europe's new powerhouse over the past two years, many predicted that United - languishing in seventh place in the Premier League amid a disastrous first year under Moyes - would have little chance going through.
Bayern coach Pep Guardiola warned that talk of United's demise was premature - and the man who turned Barcelona into the best team in the world between 2008-12 has proved to be a good judge of football over the past few years.
United's ambition was limited - it had to be, it hardly had the ball - but the team's desire and work rate couldn't be faulted. Moyes got his tactics largely spot on, although United has probably never been dominated in possession at Old Trafford as much as it was in the first half.
The tone was set after just 15 minutes - it was Bayern's attack vs. United's defense. And United's defense was brilliant, not conceding a genuine chance to the visitors until Schweinsteiger's excellently taken goal.
For all Bayern's possession in the first half, United should have gone into the break in the lead. Danny Welbeck fluffed a one-on-one opportunity in the 40th created by a slip from the defensively suspect Jerome Boateng as he tried to clear Rooney's through-ball.
Welbeck, not noted for being a ruthless goalscorer, bore down on Manuel Neuer and tried a chip over the goalkeeper, who stood tall and collected Welbeck's attempt that ended up being little better than a back-pass.
At the other end, United goalkeeper David de Gea comfortably tipped aside a curler from Arjen Robben in the 31st and there were some last-ditch clearances by Vidic and Phil Jones - playing out of position at right back. But Bayern lacked penetration and a cutting edge with just Thomas Mueller up front.
There were times when the home fans were deathly silent, perhaps mesmerized, as Bayern's bubbly midfield splayed the ball around in long periods of possession. But Moyes' side kept its shape well, with Vidic delivering his best performance of an otherwise shaky season and his long-time center-back partner, the 35-year-old Rio Ferdinand, also rolling back the years.
Bayern hadn't failed to score in a match all season and the frustration of its players was showing by the time Vidic was given the freedom of the penalty box to flick a header into the bottom corner from Rooney's left-wing corner. The marking was very poor, with Philipp Lahm letting the Serbian defender have a free run toward the six-yard box.
The lead lasted nine minutes, though, as Rafinha sped by Robben on the overlap and crossed deep for substitute Mario Mandzukic, who headed the ball down for Schweinsteiger to sweep a half-volley into the top corner.
The midfielder had already been booked for a foul on Michael Carrick when he brought down Rooney with seconds left of normal time. He protested, wagging his finger at Rooney, but Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo had already brandished the yellow card and Schweinsteiger will miss the second leg with the matchup well poised.
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