Champions League - Bayern sweep Marseille aside
Bayern Munich progressed to the semi-finals of the Champions League with a convincing 2-0 win over Marseille at the Allianz Arena, a repeat of their quarter-final first-leg result in France a week earlier to hand them a 4-0 aggregate victory.
Ivica Olic was handed a rare start by Jupp Heynckes and the striker took his chance with both hands, scoring both his team’s goals in the first half as Bayern practically killed the tie off in the opening 45 minutes, with Franck Ribery putting in another stellar Champions League display.
It was Bayern’s eighth successive victory in all competitions and their 12th win in 13 home Champions League games, and came in stark contrast to Didier Deschamps’s side who have struggled for form lately.
The visitors never looked likely to turn the tie around and Bayern were on top immediately after kick-off, but it was the visitors who had the first chance to score. Benoit Cheyrou got in down the right and flashed the ball to Jeremy Morel, but he shot straight at Manuel Neuer.
Within a minute Bayern were in front as they punished Marseille on the counter. Ribery was the creator as he made a burst inside the area and slid the ball into Olic’s path, and the Croatian poked past Steve Mandanda on the stretch for 1-0 in only the 13th minute.
Neuer pulled off a solid save to deny Stephane M’Bia from 25 yards, but Marseille’s hopes remained distant and it was Mandanda who was the more feverishly worked of the two goalkeepers.
Marseille’s captain was forced into a string of impressive stops on the half-hour mark, the pick being a low dive to his left to palm away a sweetly-struck Anatoliy Tymoshchuk volley and a point-blank reaction stop to block a Thomas Mueller header from a corner.
The onslaught continued when Toni Kroos hammered a shot off the outside of the left post, and in the 37th minute Olic added his and Bayern’s second of the evening. Ribery and David Alaba combined in defence to pass the ball out of a tricky spot, and the Frenchman carried it the length of the pitch before laying it off to his team-mate once again.
A cross from the Austrian was met at the near post by Olic as any chance Marseille may have had of getting back into the tie went with the striker’s sweeping of the ball into the net.
Two goals down at half-time, the task for the Ligue 1 side proved insurmountable and they were unable to find any response in the second half.
Ribery continued to terrorise his former employers with penetrating runs from all angles, and Marseille persistently tried to find a way of at least clawing back some pride with a consolation goal.
They were unable to however despite the best efforts of Mathieu Valbuena and M’Bia, with Brandao heading a great chance over at the far post in a missed opportunity which symbolised the French side’s inability to trouble their opponents.
Bayern went close to adding to their lead with a Kroos shot that whistled past the left post, and Mandanda – who had been so sure-handed in the first half – almost gifted a third when spilling a corner late in the game.
Neither side was able to add to the scoreline however, and with the full-time whistle Bayern’s progression to the last four was confirmed. There they will face either Real Madrid or APOEL Nicosia, with the Spanish team leading 3-0 going into Wednesday’s second leg.