Created on 2016-03-16 at 22:35 PM by Chris Hamley
Bayern’s quest for Champions League glory in 2015/16 remains on course after the never-say-die Reds battled back from two goals down with less than 20 minutes left in the Round of 16 second leg against Juventus to seal a dramatic and thrilling 4-2 extra-time victory, sending the German champions through to the last eight 6-4 on aggregate.
The 70,000 capacity crowd at the Allianz Arena was stunned into silence by Paul Pogba’s sixth-minute opener for the clinical Serie A leaders, before Juan Cuadrado doubled the misery with Juve’s second before the half-hour. Pep Guardiola’s men laid siege to their opponents’ goal in the second period and were finally rewarded after 73 minutes when Robert Lewandowski pulled one back with a header, before Thomas Müller sent the tie into extra-time with a dramatic last-minute equaliser. Sub Thiago edged FCB ahead in the 108th minute before fellow replacement Kingsley Coman wrapped up a stunning victory just two minutes later
Following Friday’s quarter-final draw, the Bavarians return to Bundesliga action away to FC Köln on Saturday afternoon.
Franck from the start
Bayern boss Guardiola made three changes to the team that dismissed Werder Bremen 5-0 at the weekend, with Kingsley Coman, Mario Götze and Thiago dropping to the bench and Arturo Vidal, Douglas Costa and Lewandowski restored to the line-up. Arjen Robben missed out due to a cold, with Jerome Boateng and Holger Badstuber still unavailable injured.
The home team began with Manuel Neuer in goal, David Alaba, Joshua Kimmich, Mehdi Benatia and skipper Philipp Lahm in the back four, Xabi Alonso in the holding role, Costa, Müller, Vidal, and Franck Ribery in attacking midfield, and Lewandowski at centre-forward.
Juve supremo Massimiliano Allegri made five changes to the team that beat Sassuolo 1-0 in Serie A last Friday, with Daniele Rugani, Kwadwo Asamoah, ex-FCB man Mario Mandzukic and injured due Claudio Marchiso and Paulo Dybala giving way to Stephan Lichtsteiner, Patrice Evra, Pogba, Hernanes and Alvaro Morata.
Two down at the break
There was a shock for Bayern just six minutes after Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson whistled play underway on a chilly night in the Bavarian capital when Sami Khedira released Lichtsteiner on a charge down the inside-right channel, the Swiss international outfoxing Alaba and squaring for Pogba to slide the ball into the empty net through Lahm’s legs.
The men in red sought an immediate response with Ribery and Costa loosing off shots and Vidal coming up only just short of a Lewandowski pass, although there was a stroke of luck for the home team midway through the half when Morata lobbed Neuer but was deemed offside. However, the Italians did move two clear on 28 minutes when Morata strode forward from inside his own half and played in Cuadrado, the Colombian shimmying past Benatia before slamming a shot past Neuer.
Munich kept plugging away but clear-cut chances were thin on the ground, Gianluigi Buffon saving the best of them from Müller, with Evra’s clearance rebounding off Lewandowski and out of play. Juve remained dangerous on the break and Neuer blocked Cuadrado’s close-range effort before Ribery speared the last chance of the half wide of the target.
Juan Bernat replaced Benatia for a second period that began scrappily with four yellow cards in the space of five minutes, before livewire Morata conjured up no fewer than three chances after the 55th minute with a low shot, a deflected drive and a header straight at Neuer.
Guardiola sent on Juve loanee Coman for Alonso on the hour, with the Reds having a fair shout for a penalty turned down on 68 minutes when Andrea Barzagli seemed to handle in the box, but Bayern were firmly back in it on 73 minutes when Lewandowski bulleted home a header from Costa’s whipped cross.
Munich attacked furiously now with Pogba hoofing Ribery’s shot off the line, Buffon clinging onto a Ribery centre, and Lewandowski hitting a post, although the Pole was in an offside position. Costa’s shot swerved wide, but there was to be a dramatic end to normal time when Müller headed home from Coman’s cross to tie it up on the night and on aggregate and send the game into extra-time.
Super subs close it out
Lichtsteiner forced Neuer into a diving save with the first chance of the additional 30 minutes, before Costa’s deflected shot looped into Buffon’s arms. Thiago replaced the tiring Ribery for the last 20 minutes of the contest, and it was the Spaniard who played a sublime one-two with Müller and fired his side into the lead after 108 minutes. Coman settled it once and for all with a glorious curled finish to make the score 4-2 just two minutes later. The Italians gamely kept up the fight but Neuer saved from sub Mandzukic and the night ultimately belonged to the German record champions.
Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley