Bayern shrug off Juventus to reach semis

2013-04-10 23:02

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Turin – Bayern Munich weathered an early Juventus storm before Mario Mandzukic headed a second-half goal to help the Germans to a 2-0 win at Juventus and send them into the Champions League semi-finals.

Juventus, chasing a 2-0 deficit from the first leg of the quarter-final tie and backed by a raucous crowd tonight, huffed and puffed but were not quite creative enough to cause the newly-crowned Bundesliga champions more than the odd scare.

Both teams hit the post before Croatia forward Mandzukic, who was booked early in the game and will miss the semifinal first leg, headed in following a free kick in the 64th minute.

That left Juventus with the impossible task of scoring four goals and turned the rest of the game into a formality, with substitute Claudio Pizarro netting again for Bayern in injury time.

"It was decisive that we played like we did in Munich. It was a great atmosphere. It was not easy and we had to stay patient," Mandzukic told Germany's ZDF television.

"I am happy to have scored but happier that we are through. But we are not yet done."

Juventus, determined to make up for their poor showing in the first leg last week when they were lucky to escape with a 2-0 defeat in Germany, predictably made an aggressive start but Bayern quickly evened the match up.

Manuel Neuer came to Bayern's rescue in the 23rd minute when he fisted away a rising Andrea Pirlo free kick from the edge of the area, although the defensive wall did not appear to be nine metres from the ball.

Juventus also threatened when Paul Pogba fired a low ball across the face of the goal but nobody was on hand to turn it in.

Juve attempted to send long balls over the Bayern midfield for Mirko Vucinic and Fabio Quagliarella to chase but, although the Montenegrin was a handful, the German defence coped well.

Left back David Alaba, who scored in the first leg with a long-range shot which was misjudged by Gianluigi Buffon, had Bayern's best first-half attempt with another effort from distance but this time the goalkeeper was equal to it.

Juve also started the second half brightly and another Pirlo free kick was deflected but fell kindly for Neuer to save, then Quagliarella hit the foot of the post with a long-range shot.

Again, Juventus were unable to keep it going and Bayern came back at them, Arjen Robben hitting the post with a curling effort after he had been cleverly set up by Mandzukic.

Bayern broke through in the 64th minute when Bastian Schweinsteiger floated over a free kick and, although Buffon saved Javi Martinez's shot, Mandzukic headed in the rebound.

Peruvian striker Pizarro added the gloss for a 4-0 aggregate win as Bayern, last term's runners-up when beaten by Chelsea, joined fellow Germans Borussia Dortmund and Spanish duo Barcelona and Real Madrid in the last four.

The draw is on Friday.

Italian champions and Serie A leaders Juve had not previously lost to foreign opposition at their two-year-old Juventus Stadium and were last beaten in a European game in Turin when they went down 4-1 to Bayern in 2009 at their previous Stadio Olimpico home.

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