Champions League - Bayern grab controversial win

Eurosport - Thu, 18 Feb 00:20:00 2010

Miroslav Klose's controversial goal one minute from time handed Bayern Munich a 2-1 win against 10-man Fiorentina in the first leg of their last 16 Champions League tie at the Allianz Arena.

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In-form Arjen Robben's penalty put Bayern in front on the stroke of half-time before Per Kroldrup struck back for the visitors.

But Massimo Gobbi was sent-off for a dubious elbow with 13 minutes left and Klose headed home the winner from close range - despite being three yards offside.

All the pre-match statistics pointed to a Bayern walkover, with the German champions in irresistible form on the back of a 12-game winning streak while Fiorentina were without victory in five Serie A games.

And the hosts came racing out of the blocks, with Robben latching onto a long ball straight from kick-off before nipping behind Massimo Gobbi but seeing his low cross blocked.

But it took until the 13th minute for the first sight of goal, with Mario Gomez ghosting behind the back four but firing his angled shot straight at Sebastien Frey.

Fiorentina worked their way back into possession from there, with Juan Vargas, a constant menace on the left, swinging in an inch-perfect cross which Cesare Natali could only head wide from a yard out.

Alberto Gilardino, playing as a lone striker, held the line admirably for Fiorentina and was unfortunate not to cap a wonderful flowing move which saw the former Milan man link with Vargas before Martin Demichelis hooked his low cross clear.

Bayern's early threat was a distant memory as Louis van Gaal's side struggled to press the Fiorentina final third, with the capacity Allianz Arena crowd making their feelings known.

And Mark Van Bommel was lucky not to see red for a two-footed tackle on Riccardo Montolivo; instead only being booked before later not being penalised for a blatant dive.

But Bayern began to feel their way back into contention with Robben at the centre of every attack.

The former Chelsea man cut in from the left with three minutes of first half action remaining before firing a powerful strike at Frey.

Fiorentina looked to have weathered Bayern's late storm until Franck Ribery was felled in the box and Robben slotted the loose ball home.

But the referee had already blown up for a penalty, with the Bayern ranks furious that he had made the decision instantly and not waited to play the advantage.

However Robben stepped up to coolly slot the resulting spot-kick home to score in a sixth successive match.

That eased the home crowd as Bayern emerged for the second half but Fiorentina caught their opponents napping within five minutes of the restart.

Bayern failed to deal with a deep corner which, having taken a deflection, fell to Kroldrup at the back post with the former Everton defender finding the back of the net with the simplest of finishes.

That seemed to spark Bayern into life, with Robben again conducting the attack, showing a remarkable turn of pace to skip past Natali before flashing a low cross across the face of goal.

And the Dutchman fired a great opportunity wide of Frey's post after Thomas Muller's cut back following Ribery's through-ball, while Ribery, played over the top by Van Bommel, saw his cross expertly cut out by Kroldrup with substitute Ivica Olic sure to score.

Olic was half of a double substitution with Klose also coming on as van Gaal made his last throw of the dice.

But the game was turned on its head when Tom Henning Ovrebo showed a straight red card to Gobbi.

The Norwegian official was the man at the centre of Chelsea's controversial semi-final defeat to Barcelona last season and again failed to cover himself in glory after Robben went down having run into Gobbi - but there being little evidence of an elbow.

That signalled a siege on the away goal and Fiorentina boss Cesare Prandelli made three substitutions within 10 minutes in attempt to sure-up his beleaguered side.

And it looked to have paid dividends as the Viola kept out a rampant Bayern attack with some resolute defending.

But as the clock ticked down Robben's piledriver from outside the box could only be parried by Frey, with Olic skewing the rebound into the path of Klose who nodded home.

The German international was clearly offside but Fiorentina's protests went unanswered and the debate about Ovrebo's ability to referee at the highest level is sure to be raised again as Bayern escaped to take a lead to the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Florence.

George Scott / Eurosport

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