ManUnited and Inter Milan joins final 8 to CL Qtr Finals

Wesley Sneijder and Goran Pandev scored in the second half, and defending European champion Inter Milan rallied to defeat Bayern Munich, 3-2, on Tuesday to overturn a first-leg deficit and advance to the Champions League quarterfinals on away goals.

Bayern won the first leg in Italy, 1-0, and led the second leg 2-1 after goals from Mario Gomez and Thomas Muller, but Sneijder scored in the 63rd and Pandev added the series-winner in the 88th to send Inter into the last eight.

Samuel Eto’o opened the scoring in the fourth minute for Inter, which tied the series 3-3 on aggregate to become just the second team to ever advance after a loss in the first leg at home.

Ajax, then coached by current Bayern manager Louis van Gaal, is the only other team to advance after losing the first leg at home. Inter also edged Bayern in last season’s Champions League final, 2-0.

Manchester United joined Inter in the last eight, getting a pair of goals from Javier Hernandez to nip Marseille, 2-1, and advance on the same aggregate. The teams tied the first leg in France, 0-0.

Inter got off to a dream start when Eto’o slipped behind the defense, with the help of a missed offside call, and drove Pandev’s pass between Bayern goalie Thomas Kraft’s legs for the opener inside four minutes.

Bayern was on level terms in the match in the 21st, when another mistake from Inter goalie Julio Cesar – who spilled a rebound for Gomez to score in Milan – led to another goal from Gomez.

Cesar allowed a shot from Arjen Robben to get into his chest, and it rebounded to the left edge of the six-yard box, where Gomez shielded the Brazilian and used an overhead flick with his back to the goal to find the empty net.

Bayern, which moved ahead in the series on aggregate 2-1 after the Gomez goal, added another goal 10 minutes later when Muller took advantage of a fortunate bounce to beat Cesar from deep inside the area.

Robben was involved again, as his pass to Muller bounced off a defender and to Muller in space, and the German settled and lifted a shot over a sliding Cesar and into the bottom right in the 31st.

Ribery broke in alone in the 35th only to shot directly at Cesar and Gomez got to a ball on the right side of the six-yard box minutes later with another good chance for Bayern to extend its lead, but his slow roller was cleared off the line by Andrea Ranocchia.

Inter got another break when Ranocchia’s clearance was deflected off the left post by a sliding Muller and Cesar finally covered the loose ball as Inter was able to escape the first half down just 3-1 on aggregate.

After Gomez forced a fine save from Cesar in the 62nd, Inter got back into the game and series when Sneijder drove a 20-yard shot into the bottom-left corner in the 63rd. Eto’o slipped the ball into space, and Sneijder unleashed a great shot that Kraft got a finger on but couldn’t keep out.

Now in need of just one more goal to advance on away goals, Inter nearly added its second in a five-minute span when Pandev settled a Sneijder pass and fired from 17 yards, but lifted the shot a few yards over Kraft’s bar.

Eto’o gained possession inside Bayern’s area again in the 81st and waited for Sneijder, who ran onto another pass in space only to watch his rocket deflect off Pandev with the right side of the net in his sights.

Inter remained the most dangerous team in the final 30 minutes, and Eto’o made another great play, winning the ball against Bayern defender Breno before he slipped a pass across the box to a streaking Pandev to set up the winner.

Pandev hammered a first-time shot into the upper-left corner, leaving Kraft no chance, to notch his first Champions League goal for Inter. The Italian side held on through four minutes of stoppage time to eliminate Bayern.

At Old Trafford, Hernandez scored in the fifth and 75th minutes and United was able to hold off Marseille despite a late own goal from Wes Brown, to advance to the quarterfinals for the fifth straight season.

Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney combined to set up the opener, with Rooney sending the final pass across the six-yard box for Hernandez to fire home.

Antonio Valencia and Giggs combined to set up the second goal, with Giggs able to square a pass into the middle to an open Hernandez for another easy finish.

Brown was the only player able to beat United goalie Edwin van der Sar, as he turned the ball into his own net eight minutes from time, but the English side held on to reach the last eight.

On Wednesday, Real hosts Lyon and Chelsea hosts FC Copenhagen to wrap up the round of 16. Real and Lyon tied the first leg 1-1 in France, while Chelsea won in Denmark, 2-0, in the first leg.


About mikechesterunited

A football enthusiast who also loves food, travel, photography and anime.

Posted on March 16, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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