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Toni’s last-gasp brace sends Bayern into semis

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Never-say-die Bayern edged out ten-man Getafe at the very end of extra-time in an incident-packed match of almost unparalleled drama on Thursday, the 4-4 aggregate draw earning Munich a UEFA Cup semi-final meeting with Zenit St Petersburg on the away goals rule.

A 16,000 full house at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez in the Madrid suburbs saw an explosive opening, Getafe clearing off the line and losing Ruben de la Red to a harsh dismissal before Franck Ribery hit the post and Luca Toni had a goal disallowed, all in the first eight minutes.

The visitors patiently probed for openings after that, but the Spaniards settled to their task with vigour and Cosmin Contra, Bayern’s last-gasp tormentor in Munich, broke clear and netted a fulminating drive to hand his side a shock lead a minute from the break.

Drama at the death

Munich battered away at the home goal in the second half, but Toni had another goal disallowed, Klose blasted over the bar, and sub Jose Sosa drove wide, while at the other end the Bavarians were extremely fortunate not to concede a second as the technically outstanding Spaniards twice fashioned clear-cut chances on the break.

All appeared lost for the Germans, but Ribery was on hand to volley home the equaliser on 89 minutes and send the game into extra-time. However, after saving their skins at the death, the additional 30 minutes began with a double disaster for the Reds as first Francisco Casquero and then sub Braulio netted to hand the astoundingly resilient home side a 3-1 advantage.

Bayern struggled for much of the extra-time period but were suddenly thrown a lifeline when Toni stabbed home from keeper Robert Abbondanzieri’s dreadful blunder on 115 minutes. The cause still seemed hopeless with the clock ticking down, but Munich never threw in the towel and veteran Oliver Kahn was up front and involved in the move which saw Toni head home from the last move of the match and earn his side a place in the semi-finals.

Miro in for Lukas

Ottmar Hitzfeld made just one change to the side which earned a morale-boosting win over Bochum last weekend, Miroslav Klose’s impressive performance after coming on as a sub earning him the nod over Lukas Podolski.

The Bayern starting line-up last played together in a 6-0 drubbing of Aris Salonika at the group stage, and the Bavarians set off as if they meant to repeat the treatment against a weakened Getafe side.

Just 40 seconds had been played when Klose robbed makeshift centre-half de la Red on the edge of the box and squared for Ribery to blast goalwards, only for Toni to take the sting off the ball and allow Getafe to hack clear.

Red for de la Red

Getafe responded at once, Contra whipping a drive over Oliver Kahn’s bar, but the home side were dealt a major blow on just five minutes when Swiss referee Massimo Busacca adjudged the luckless de la Red’s foul on the onrushing Klose as worthy of a straight red, leaving his side to face a full 85 minutes with ten men.

Once the protestations had died down, Ribery curled the resulting free-kick against the post, Toni blasting the rebound into the net only to be hauled back for handball. There were two half-chances for Klose as Bayern kept up the pressure for a spell, but the whirlwind of action gradually blew itself out as Getafe concentrated on defence and Bayern probed for a way through.

Demichelis beat keeper and fellow Argentine Robert Abbondanzieri to a corner but headed over on the half-hour, although the Reds came even closer four minutes later when Tena flicked a cross out of his own keeper’s outstretched arms and towards Christian Lell on the right edge of the box. However, the full-back was unable to add to his debut Bundesliga goal at the weekend, losing his footing and skewing his attempted finish across the face of goal.

Contra strikes

Bayern continued to apply pressure without creating clear-cut chances, but Getafe looked increasingly assured and Contra delivered a savage blow to Bavarian hearts with half-time approaching, the Romanian veteran brushing aside three challenges before lashing home right-footed into the roof of the net from 12 yards.

With Marcell Jansen on for Lell after the break, Bastian Schweinsteiger’s 49th minute free-kick sneaked into the net at the far post, but the match official chalked off the effort for an apparent foul by Toni. Klose headed narrowly wide and Schweinsteiger came within inches of connecting with a Jansen cross as Munich pressed for a lifeline, but Casquero drove just wide as the ten Spaniards continued to threaten on the break.

Klose blasted over the bar from a fine Demichelis centre just after the hour, but there was a huge let-off for the Germans on 64 minutes when sub Braulio lost his footing after already rounding Kahn, failing to net what would surely have been the decisive second.

Franck’s last-gasp leveller

Jose Sosa replaced Schweinsteiger and Podolski came on for Ze Roberto for the closing stages, but both Bayern subs thumped presentable chances wide as the visitors’ attacking efforts became more and more frantic with the clock running down.

The unfortunate Braulio so nearly wrapped it up when Kahn and Martin Demichelis got into an awful tangle, but just as the cause appeared lost, Ribery connected with Toni’s 89th-minute knock-down and volleyed home, sparking scenes of jubilation on the touchline, and sending the game into extra-time.

Resilient Getafe downed at the last

Any thoughts Bayern may have had that their opponents, with 51 matches behind them already this term, would now tire and fade were dashed just a minute into the additional 30 when Casquero rifled home off the far post from fully 20 yards. Munich were still recovering from the latest shock when Braulio profited from Lucio’s slip to thump his side further ahead from a tight angle on 93 minutes.

Bayern massed round the home penalty area now but Spanish bodies were hurled in front of every shot, and Getafe amazingly still managed to conjure up chances on the break as the clock ticked inexorably down. But in a match of outrageous twists and turns, the men from Munich inched back towards salvation when Toni prodded home from Abbondanzieri’s howler on 115 minutes, Argentina's number one keeper allowing Mark van Bommel's innocuous lob to slither from his grasp.

Time still appeared to have run out for Bayern when Kahn, facing the prospect of his last seconds of European football, charged forward and made a nuisance of himself on the edge of the Getafe box. The ball broke for Sosa to swing over a final hopeful cross, Italian World Cup winner Toni rising to head the equaliser from the last move of the match and earn his side a semi-final place which had seemed highly unlikely for long spells on an extraordinary night of passion and drama.

Live match report for by Chris Hamley