Goran Pandev scored a late winner for Inter as they beat Bayern Munich 3-2 to reach the quarter-finals.
Champions League holders refuse to relinquish grip on titleGoran Pandev scored a late winner for Inter Milan as they beat Bayern Munich 3-2 and progressed to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals on away goals. Pandev netted in the 88th minute to complete their recovery in a remarkable game where Inter overturned a 1-0 deficit from the first leg. Inter were 2-1 down at the interval and 3-1 on aggregate due to their porous defence which always looked like it would concede as Bayern surged forward at will. Samuel Eto'o put the visitors ahead early on before Mario Gomez levelled the scores with an improvised finish after Julio Cesar spilled Arjen Robben's effort. And Thomas Muller put Bayern into the lead with a composed finished as they looked for revenge having lost last year's final to Inter. However, the second half was all about the visitors as a crisp strike from Wesley Sneijder earned them parity before Pandev wrote himself into Inter's folklore. Bayern should have been flying just days after their 6-0 thrashing of Hamburg, and with star wingers Robben and Franck Ribery back on form, but they got off to a nightmare start. They did have a strong claim for offside when Pandev's neat pass with the outside of his left foot sent Eto'o through in the left of the area, but there was no flag and the Cameroonian finished neatly through the legs of Thomas Kraft with just three minutes gone. At the other end Gomez had the door slammed in his face by Andrea Ranocchia when he looked to have wriggled clear of the last defender.
CalamitousBut a calamitous error by Cesar handed Bayern the equaliser in the 21st minute. The Brazilian fumbled a routine shot from Robben and Gomez, as the keeper came out to close him down, hooked the bouncing ball over his own head and into the net. Ten minutes later Bayern were ahead - and again the Inter defence was culpable. Robben cut inside from the left along the edge of the area and played a pass which was intended for Gomez. Lucio tried to cut it out but only succeeded in putting the ball directly into the path of Muller, who scored with a dinked finish. Ribery should have added another moments later when he scampered clear in acres of space, but Cesar produced a fine save to deny the Frenchman. Inter had another major let-off as Gomez stretched to get a touch to Ribery's ball to the back post and send it back across goal. With the ball rolling along the goal-line Ranocchia just got to it ahead of Muller and knocked it against the German and onto the inside of the post before it went to safety.
DangerouslyRanocchia was certainly living dangerously and his miscontrol gave the ball to Robben, but the Holland man's shot from a tight angle hit the side-netting. His fellow centre-back Lucio then lost the ball when inexplicably attempting a Cruyff turn in the area and almost let Ribery in. The half-time whistle could not come quick enough for the Italians, but they continued to look second best after the restart. Gomez met Ribery's cross with a fierce volley which was acrobatically saved by Cesar, but Inter stunned the hosts by levelling in the 63rd minute. Sneijder guided a right-footed finished low into the far left corner from 25 yards from Eto'o's lay-off in 63rd minute. Suddenly Bayern were clinging on and Pandev took a Sneijder ball down on his chest and spun, but volleyed his effort over the bar. Sneijder had time to measure a left-foot shot as Philipp Lahm struggled to get across and close him down but he sent it wide. The Dutchman was now finding space around the Bayern box and had a goalbound shot blocked by Pandev. Bayern were getting chances on the break, but not a telling touch to any of Ribery's countless crosses. And Inter made them pay as Breno allowed Eto'o to get to the ball ahead of him down the left and the striker laid the ball across the box to Pandev, who fired it into the top corner to complete a remarkable comeback.
|FC Bayern München||Team Statistics||Internazionale|
|2||1st Half Goals||1|
|8||Shots on Target||3|
|3||Shots off Target||7|