Bayern Munich 2-3 Inter Milan - Inter inflict European misery on Bayern for second straight year
Goran Pandev scored two minutes from time as Inter Milan turned around a first-leg deficit to scrape into the last eight of the Champions League on away goals at the expense of Bayern Munich. Samuel Eto'o and Wesley Sneijder were also on target for last season’s winners, cancelling out first-half goals from Mario Gomez and Thomas Muller. The result will leave the German side reeling as they had countless opportunities to score more goals and put the game beyond Inter.
Bayern, who had the lead in the tie thanks to Gomez’s late strike in the San Siro, were unable to settle into any game plan for the match as Eto’o levelled matters very early on. With less than three minutes on the clock, the Cameroonian striker ghosted in behind the soft-centred German backline and finished underneath home keeper Thomas Kraft. It was the perfect start for the visitors, but a start that they were unable to build on.
With the scores level, Louis van Gaal’s men resorted to their usual mentality of attacking teams and that meant they exposed Inter’s just as fragile backline. The natural width of Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben stretched the Italian team. The full-backs were often outnumbered and any time the ball did break to an Inter player, an attack couldn’t be kick-started as the midfield were all out of position.
In the first-leg, Gomez scored as a result of a mistake by Julio Cesar and the Brazilian allowed Bayern to equalise after 21 minutes with another parried save. Robben raced at his marker before cutting inside to shoot. The Inter goalkeeper failed to catch it and instead spooned the shot away. Gomez reacted first, shielded the ball brilliantly from Cesar and then flicked it over his head into the open goal for his 28th goal in his last 28 games.
Inter were rattled and just ten minutes later, Bayern went ahead on the night. Robben and Ribery were again involved before Robben’s attempted pass through the defence deflected into Muller’s path. The German international controlled well before scooping the ball over the on-rushing keeper. Ribery, Muller and Robben all had chances to add a third as Bayern continued to dominate but as the teams went in at half-time, Inter remained in the tie.
Sneijder had endured a quiet first-half by his standards but, after the interval, he dropped much deeper to get the ball and started pulling the strings. Bayern sat off Inter and tried to hold onto their lead. The Dutch midfielder started and ended the move that lead to Inter’s second goal; curling his shot from outside the area just beyond Kraft.
With one goal needed for either team to settle the tie, Eto’o set-up his striker partner to score the match winner. Breno shouldn’t have allowed the ball to bounce and once he had, Eto’o ousted him off it on the edge of the area, attracted a host of scrambling Bayern defenders towards him and then played the ball into space for Pandev to finish smartly and send Inter through to the next round.