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Rediff.com  » Sports » CL PHOTOS: How Bayern ousted Arsenal and Costa inspired Atletico

CL PHOTOS: How Bayern ousted Arsenal and Costa inspired Atletico

March 12, 2014 10:48 IST

CL PHOTOS: How Bayern ousted Arsenal and Costa inspired Atletico

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Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid marched into Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday. Read on to know how they made it...

Bayern Munich, a shadow of the team that have been so imperious in the Bundesliga this season, survived a shaky second half and missed a late penalty against Arsenal on Tuesday to reach the Champions League quarter-finals.

The holders looked less than all-conquering in a 1-1 second-leg draw against Arsenal who were left with too much to do after losing 2-0 at home in the opening match of the last-16 encounter.

Runaway leaders Bayern have dropped only four points all season in the Bundesliga, and blasted 15 goals in their previous three games, but were well below their best against the Londoners at the Allianz Arena.

Bastian Schweinsteiger broke the deadlock in the 55th minute before Bayern old boy Lukas Podolski replied almost immediately for Arsenal who grew in confidence and brought out goalkeeper Manuel Neuer's eccentric side.

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Image: Bayern Munich's Bastian Schweinsteiger celebrates after scoring against Arsenal during their Champions League round of 16 second leg match in Munich on Tuesday
Photographs: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

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'We never got them really under pressure'

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The Bavarians won a controversial penalty when Arjen Robben reacted theatrically to a foul by Laurent Koscielny in stoppage time and Thomas Mueller's spot kick was superbly stopped by keeper Lukasz Fabianski, ending a run of 13 straight wins in all competitions.

"We had to defend a lot in the first half but we knew that by being in the game at halftime we stood a good chance to win and I believe in the second half the opportunities were there," said manager Arsene Wenger after Arsenal's fourth successive last-16 exit.

"We never got them really under pressure, they suddenly became nervous but because we never managed to make it 2-1 you could not see how they would have responded," the Frenchman told reporters.


Image: Arsenal's Lukasz Fabianski saves a penalty shot by Bayern Munich's Thomas Mueller (left) on Tuesday
Photographs: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

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'We had a lot of control but the opponents didn't push'

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Arsenal lost to the Germans on away goals at the same stage last season despite winning 2-0 in Munich.

Coach Pep Guardiola said on Tuesday that the lead Bayern held from the first leg prevented his team from going all out on the attack.

"We had a lot of control but the opponents didn't push and in the head of the players we were already 2-0 ahead," the Spaniard explained.

"You're not always going to score lots of goals. This was a top-level team we were facing."

Bayern spent most of the first half probing a resilient Arsenal defence that just about managed to hold out.


Image: Arsenal's Lukas Podolski (left) celebrates after scoring against Bayern Munichon Tuesday
Photographs: Michael Dalder/Reuters

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Arsenal allowed Bayern a lot of room

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It was touch and go for Wenger's men especially when Franck Ribery was free down the left and sent the ball into the middle where Robben failed to connect properly.

Javi Martinez's goal was disallowed for offside in the 26th minute and Robben had two dangerous efforts cut out by Arsenal defenders as Bayern tried to turn the screw.

Fabianski came to the rescue when he got down to save Mario Goetze's low shot seconds before the break.

Bayern finally broke through 10 minutes after the restart when Ribery sneaked into the area and laid the ball off for Schweinsteiger to finish from eight metres.


Image: Bayern Munich's Mario Mandzukic (2nd from left ) is beaten by Arsenal's Olivier Giroud (12) in an aerial challenge
Photographs: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

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Neuer played saviour to Bayern late in the game

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The home fans were stunned two minutes later when the referee allowed play to continue even though Podolski seemed to push Philipp Lahm in the box and the Arsenal forward slammed the ball into the roof of the net.

Neuer then had to come out of his box to head the ball clear after Tomas Rosicky tried to send Olivier Giroud clean through.

The Germany keeper had the Bayern fans on edge again when he sent a clearance straight to Giroud but the Bundesliga leaders quickly regrouped.


Image: Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer (right) saves a shot by Arsenal's Oliver Giroud on Tuesday
Photographs: Michael Dalder/Reuters

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Costa helps Atletico humble Milan

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Diego Costa extended his rich vein of form with a double as Atletico Madrid thumped AC Milan 4-1 to send the seven-times winners packing and secure a place in the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in 17 years.

Costa, who struck in Atletico's 1-0 win at the San Siro in the first leg of the last-16 tie and has seven goals in five appearances in Europe's elite club competition, opened the scoring in the third minute with an acrobatic volley.

Kaka levelled with a header in the 27th as Milan briefly took control of the match before Arda Turan's deflected effort sailed into the net five minutes before halftime to restore the home team's lead.

Raul Garcia headed Atletico's third in the 71st minute and Costa struck again five minutes from time to seal a 5-1 aggregate success and crown a near-perfect night for the fans thronging Calderon stadium next to Madrid's Manzanares river.


Image: Atletico Madrid's Raul Garcia and teammate Diego Costa (right) celebrate after beating AC Milan in their Champions League last 16 second leg match at Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on Tuesday
Photographs: Juan Medina/Reuters

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'I knew that Milan could complicate things'

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"We played very well as a team tonight," Brazil-born Costa said in an interview with Spanish television.

"We are grateful for the support of the fans and the truth is that the team deserves congratulating for the way it has played," he added.

"We don't really want a particular opponent in the next round. All the teams that will be in the quarter-finals will be tough prospects. For now we'll just enjoy."

Atletico, whose last appearance in the last eight in 1997 was with a team featuring current coach Diego Simeone, thoroughly deserved their victory, and they have matched their best result in the competition.

"I knew that Milan could complicate things," Simeone said.

"We started better than them in the first half and it seemed we would go on and control the game after the first goal, but they got back into it," added the Argentine, who has transformed Atletico since taking over in late 2011.

"However, my players were excellent in the second half."


Image: Kaka of AC Milan celebrates after scoring against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday
Photographs: Denis Doyle/Getty Images

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Fourth time Milan have conceded four goals in the Champions League

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Milan's exit means there will be no Italian side in the quarter-finals for the first time since 2009.

The Serie A club are mired in mid table in their domestic league and face a real battle to secure a place in European competition next season.

It was only the fourth time Milan have conceded four goals in the Champions League. New coach Clarence Seedorf, who took over when Massimiliano Allegri was sacked in January, has much to ponder.

"Congratulations to Atletico they deserved this victory, especially for the way they played in the second half," Seedorf said.

"We did not manage to maintain control of the game and their second goal came at our best moment," added the former Ajax Amsterdam, Real Madrid and Milan midfielder, the only player to win the Champions League with three different clubs.

"But that is what football is like and that is what the Champions League is like."


Image: Diego Costa (right) of Atletico Madrid clashes with Adil Rami of AC Milan during their match on Tuesday
Photographs: Denis Doyle/Getty Images

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Atletico weathered more Milan pressure after Kaka equaliser

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Atletico started the game with real intent, and Costa brought the home faithful to their feet with his spectacular early goal from Koke's far-post cross.

Raul Garcia scuffed a shot narrowly wide of the Milan goal in the ninth minute but the visitors gradually started to gain some control and Mario Balotelli threatened before Kaka's leveller, a header that ricocheted into the net off Atletico fullback Juanfran.

It was the 31-year-old former Real Madrid man's 30th goal in Europe's elite club competition, more than any other Brazilian, and he should have had another when well placed in the 36th minute but headed over the crossbar.

Atletico weathered more Milan pressure until a well-worked move created space for Arda just outside the penalty area and his volley deflected off centre back Adil Rami, leaving Abbiati to watch it loop past him into the net.

Garcia almost netted an overhead kick and a Gabi effort spun away off the outside of the post either side of halftime as Atletico looked increasingly comfortable as the second half wore on.


Image: Atletico Madrid's Koke (back) and AC Milan's Michael Essien vie for possession on Tuesday
Photographs: Juan Medina/Reuters

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'Overall in the tie we were the better side'

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Garcia headed in Gabi's free kick before Costa scored with a low, angled shot.

"I think over the two games against Milan we were really good," Atletico keeper Thibaut Courtois said on the UEFA website (www.uefa.com).

"Maybe it was a bit difficult at the end of the first half tonight, but overall in the tie we were the better side," added the Belgian international, who is on loan from English Premier League side Chelsea.

Milan's best moment of the second half came with the tie already beyond them when substitute Robinho struck a shot against the crossbar in the 73rd minute.

The draw for the quarter-finals takes place on March 21, when Atletico could be drawn against La Liga rivals Real Madrid or Barcelona if they make the last eight as expected.'


Image: Atletico Madrid's Raul Garcia celebrates scoring against AC Milan on Tuesday
Photographs: Juan Medina/Reuters

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