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Zenit St. Petersburg 4 Bayern 0

Treble dream over as Bayern’s luck runs out

Bayern crashed out of the UEFA Cup 5-1 on aggregate to slick and clinical Zenit on a horror night when everything went wrong for Ottmar Hitzfeld’s men.

The 21,735 crowd at the Petrovski stadium witnessed an explosive start, Miro Klose seeing his shot hacked off the line before Pavel Pogrebnyak blasted the home side into a shock fourth-minute lead. Munich battered away at the Zenit goal after that but the wily Russians were always a threat on the break, and Konstantin Zyryanov doubled the misery six minutes from half-time.

Bayern began the second half brightly enough, but Viktor Fayzulin made it three with a simple header nine minutes after the restart, and for all Munich’s laboured endeavour, there was a touch of the inevitable about Pogrebnyak’s second and Zenit’s fourth fifteen minutes from time as the Bavarians’ Herculean efforts this term finally took their toll.

Five changes for Reds

Bayern coach Hitzfeld made five changes to the side which beat outgoing Bundesliga champions Stuttgart 4-1 on Sunday. Captain Oliver Kahn returned in goal after shaking off a back injury, with fit-again Philipp Lahm taking over at right-back from Christian Lell. Lucio, Zé Robertö and Franck Ribéry were also restored in place of Andi Ottl, Daniel van Buyten and Willy Sagnol.

For his part, Zenit boss Dick Advocaat was forced into three changes compared to the first leg, replacing suspended trio Sirl, Ricksen and Arshavin with Gorshkov, Alejandro Dominguez and fit-again Alexander Anyukov.

Early setback

Once Norwegian ref Tom Henning Ovrebo whistled play underway on a warm spring evening on the Baltic coast, Munich set off like men on a mission and Klose directed the ball past Zenit keeper Vyacheslav Malafeev after good work from Marcell Jansen and Toni, only for Roman Shirokov to boot clear off the line.

The action switched to the other end and Bayern were suddenly a goal behind, Pogrebnyak taking his total for the competition to nine with a well-hit but straight 18-yard free-kick which rocketed through a gap in the defensive wall.

Ribery fired goalwards three times as the visitors went in search of a quick reply, but Malafeev gathered the best of the Frenchman’s efforts at the second attempt. Zenit threatened sporadically but with menace, Zyryanov warming Kahn’s gloves before the keeper threw out a leg to deny Anyukov after the full-back burst into the danger zone.

Double trouble

Toni nodded over from Martin Demichelis’ header back across goal, and the Argentine himself headed wide as Munich probed Zenit’s aerial defences, but Lahm had to hoof clear from a scramble in Kahn’s six-yard box as Zenit upped the tempo, and Zyryanov all too easily evaded Ze and Demichelis after latching onto Dominguez’ through pass six minutes from the break, striding unchecked into the box before beating Kahn all ends up from 12 yards.

Ribery and Toni almost worked a decent opening before the interval, but the sides turned round with the Russians firmly in the driving seat and Hitzfeld reacted, introducing Lell for Jansen and Lukas Podolski for Ze. The visitors started the second period buzzing with intent, but Malafeev pushed Toni’s drive over the bar and punched away Bastian Schweinsteiger’s swerving shot.

Reds put to the sword

But Zenit’s exceptional skills on the counter-attack and ruthless streak in front of goal came to the fore again on 54 minutes in a neat passing move, culminating in Anyukov’s deep cross for the unmarked Fayzulin to plant a firm header past the helpless Kahn and effectively settle the issue.

Jose Sosa took over from the struggling Klose and the Argentine prompted and probed manfully, but Malafeev saved Schweinsteiger’s drive and Podolski put the rebound wide as the Russians pulled men back and looked for chances on the break. One such slick charge a quarter of an hour from time ended in Dominguez dancing round Lahm and pulling back for Pogrebnyak to slot home and give the scoreline a horribly one-sided look.

Malafeev saved from Ribery and Sosa as the tiring Reds sought some sort of consolation, but it was a night when nothing went right for the visitors, who were left to reflect on a string of missed chances in last week’s home leg.

Live match report for by Chris Hamley