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Friday, April 9, 2010

Bayern ousts United

Robben volley crowns second-half comeback

MANCHESTER, England (AP) Bayern Munich gave Germany its first European Champions League semifinalist since 2002 and left England with no teams in the final four for the first time since 2003.

News photo
Back so soon: Bayern Munich's Daniel Van Buyten (right) keeps an eye on Manchester United's Wayne Rooney during their Champions League quarterfinal, second-leg match. AP PHOTO

Ivica Olic began the comeback with a goal late in the first half, Arjen Robben scored on a powerful volley in the 74th minute and Bayern Munich advanced over Manchester United despite a 3-2 loss Wednesday night.

"It was an incredible comeback from three goals down," Bayern coach Louis van Gaal said. "In the first 20 minutes, Manchester United played us off the park, then we got back into the game with a great goal from Ivica Olic.

"At halftime I was confident we could get back into the game and get the result."

Manchester United, the 2008 champion, took a 3-0 lead in the match and a 4-2 lead in the aggregate, helped by the quick return of Wayne Rooney from an ankle injury. But Rooney re-injured the ankle and could be sidelined for Sunday's match with Blackburn in the English Premier League.

Helped by the ejection of Man United's Rafael da Silva five minutes into the second half, Bayern came back and tied the aggregate score 4-4. Bayern advanced because of a 2-1 advantage in away goals.

"After 3-0 I thought it was going to be a very long evening, but the goal from Olic gave us confidence," Robben said. "They were a lot better in the first half."

Bayern avenged its defeat in the 1999 final to Manchester United, which scored a pair of injury-time goals. It will play Lyon, which lost 1-0 at Bordeaux in an all-French quarterfinal but advanced on 3-2 aggregate to reach its first Champions League semifinal.

"The first half was not that good," Van Gaal said. "What we did in the second half is incredible. We should have been aggressive from the start."

Sparked by the return of Rooney from an ankle injury sustained in last week's 2-1 first-leg loss in Munich, United led 2-0 after only seven minutes on goals by Darron Gibson and Nani.

Nani gave United a 3-0 lead when he scored in the 41st. But Olic began Bayern's comeback two minutes later when he left Michael Carrick flat-footed and slid a low, angled shot past goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.

United played a man short when da Silva was sent off for tugging at Franck Ribery and receiving a second yellow card. He got a yellow card in the first half for a petulant kick after being fouled by Mark Van Bommel.

"Young boy, inexperience, but they got him sent off," United manager Alex Ferguson said. "They all rushed towards the referee. Typical Germans."

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