Champions League - Marseille beaten by Bayern
Wed, 28 Mar 21:36:00 2012
Bayern Munich have one foot in the last four of the Champions League after strikes from Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben gave the German side a 2-0 victory over Marseille at the Stade Velodrome in the first leg of their quarter-final.
Loic Remy should have given the home side the lead early on but his sliced effort from close-range crashed into the side-netting.
Bayern responded and took the lead through Gomez, who took his tally to 11 goals in this season's competition - one behind Lionel Messi - after Marseille's third-choice keeper Elinton Andrade let the German's shot squirm under his body.
Robben doubled Bayern's lead in the second half after a swift one-two with Thomas Mueller and classy finish into the bottom corner.
The win was soured only by Bastian Schweinsteiger's late yellow card, which rules him out of the second leg.
But given the advantage the Germans will take home, that should not derail Bayern's charge to the semi-finals, where they look certain to face Real Madrid in what will be a clash of two European heavyweights.
Despite coming into the game on the back of eight defeats in their last nine games, Marseille started the stronger and should have led when Rod Fanni's thumping header brought a superb reflex save out of Manuel Neuer, only for Remy to lash the rebound into the side-netting when he should have buried it.
Muller: We took the game to Marseille
While Bayern deserve credit for the devastating counter-attack that tore Marseille apart, the ease with which Andrade let Mario Gomez score was not befitting of Europe's elite club competition.
But regardless of the nature of the strike, Marseille were far inferior to their German counterparts, who cut Marseille open at will at times with Mueller, Robben and Gomez linking exquisitely throughout.
So it was only a matter of time before they added to their lead, and it came courtesy of the wonderful understanding between Robben and Mueller. Finding Mueller on the edge of the box, Robben collected the German's lofted return pass and guided the ball into the bottom corner with a trademark left-footed finish.
Marseille toiled for a route back into the game but had little more than a couple of half chances to show for their efforts.
While it was not quite the demolition Bayern produced against Basel in the last 16, the Bundesliga side were close to their irrepressible best and leave Marseille with a near-impossible task when the sides meet again next Tuesday.
Michael Da Silva - Twitter @mjdasilva / Eurosport