Champions League: Bayern overcomes brief deficit, ousts Man United
MUNICH (AP) - Title holder Bayern Munich came alive in the second half after falling behind and beat Manchester United 3-1 on Wednesday to advance to its third straight Champions League semifinal.
Bayern advanced 4-2 on aggregate after a 1-1 draw in Manchester, but waited until the last 30 minutes to make the two-leg series as one-sided as many had expected it to be from the beginning.
Bayern dominated the first half but failed to make much out of its possession advantage, and Patrice Evra put United ahead with a superb volley in the 57th minute.
That served as a wake-up call for Bayern, though, and the lead lasted only two minutes before Mario Mandzukic got the equalizer. Thomas Mueller made it 2-1 in the 68th and Arjen Robben secured the victory in the 76th.
''I think it`s great how we came back despite this little setback,'' Mueller said. ''If we look at both matches, I think we deserved to come through.''
The loss means United looks set to miss the Champions League next season for the first time since 1995-96. David Moyes' team is only seventh in the Premier League, with only the faintest of hopes of finishing in the top four. Its only realistic chance of qualifying for Europe's top competition was to win it this season, but now the team's last chance for a trophy is also gone.
United spent much of the game defending and waiting for counterattacks and that was not enough to eliminate the defending champion.
Bayern had failed to win its last four matches at home against English opposition but once it stepped up the pressure and the pace there was little doubt about the outcome. United remained winless in the Bavarian capital in five outings.
Evra buried a tremendous left-foot volley from the edge of the area to put United ahead in the 57th. Antonio Valencia's swinging cross sailed over everyone in the area but fell to Evra, who unleashed an unstoppable shot into the upper corner.
But United's lead last only two minutes.
Franck Ribery crossed form the left and Mandzukic's diving header beat David de Gea.
''We concentrated so fabulously but to give up that goal at that moment was very disappointing,'' Moyes said.
In the 62nd, Wayne Rooney fluffed a shot while having only goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to beat and squandered a great opportunity. Rooney had not trained the whole week because of a toe injury and took an injection to play.
''We had a great chance to go to 2-2,'' Moyes said. ''Munich are a very good team and we had to defend very well. I am disappointed we didn`t take those chances.''
Bayern punished the miss in the 68th, when Mueller knocked in a low cross from Arjen Robben.
And in the 76th, Robben cut inside from the right and made it 3-1 with a low shot that clipped the foot of Nemanja Vidic and rolled into the net, with de Gea on the wrong foot.
Bayern dominated the first half as United crowded its defense and pulled back deep. Bayern sent a few long-range shots but otherwise failed to translate its dominance into chances.
It was United that had the best opportunity when Rooney got to a loose ball in the eighth minute and raced into the area. But the striker took too long to move the ball to his stronger right foot and Dante slid in to block the attempt.
''I thought the players did a great job today,'' Moyes said. ''We made it difficult for them for long periods but at the end we just couldn`t keep it.''
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