MUNICH (AP) — Bayern Munich needed a bit of a wake-up call against a surprisingly resilient Manchester United team. Once it came, there was no stopping the defending champions from reaching a third straight Champions League semifinal.
Bayern came back quickly after falling behind in its home stadium, equalizing within two minutes and then scoring two more goals to win 3-1 in the second leg of their quarterfinal Wednesday and go through 4-2 on aggregate.
"I think it was very important we scored straight after they did," Bayern winger Arjen Robben said. "It was crucial today. It looked like a wake-up call because the first 10 minutes of the second half were a disaster the way we played. We were so slow, we were not there and you cannot do that in the Champions League - you will be punished. That's what they did, but it was a wake-up call and we scored three goals.
After Patrice Evra put United ahead with a superb volley in the 57th minute, Mario Mandzukic got the quick equalizer, Thomas Mueller made it 2-1 in the 68th and Robben secured the victory in the 76th.
"I had no time to tell my players anything or to think what we could do after we conceded that amazing goal," Bayern coach Pep Guardiola said. "I am very proud of my team and of this club. ... They have a big heart and reacted very well. As title holders, we have a lot of pressure."
The loss means United looks set to miss the Champions League next season for the first time since 1995-96. David Moyes' team is only seventh in the Premier League, with only the faintest of hopes of finishing in the top four. Its only realistic chance of qualifying for Europe's top competition was to win it this season, but now the team's last chance for a trophy is also gone.
Bayern dominated the first half but failed to make much out of its possession advantage, and Evra gave United a surprising lead. Antonio Valencia's swinging cross sailed over everyone in the area but fell to Evra, who unleashed an unstoppable shot into the upper corner.
Continue reading this story on the...