Bayern München vs. Olympique Marseille  2 - 0


Champions League: Bayern Munich 2 Marseille 0

3 April 2012 23:51

Bayern Munich advanced to the Champions League semi-finals with a 4-0 aggregate victory over Marseille.

The German giants were in pole position to progress heading into Tuesday's clash, having won the first leg 2-0 in France. And another 2-0 triumph in the return fixture saw them book their place in the last four of Europe's elite club competition.

Ivica Olic, who two years ago scored a memorable hat-trick against Lyon, scored twice for Bayern before half-time, and his goals were all the hosts needed to advance.

The visitors made a bright start, and Loic Remy tested keeper Manuel Neuer in the opening minutes after making a clever turn.

Then, Benoit Cheyrou made an impressive run from deep and found Jeremy Morel, but the left-back's finish was kicked clear by the goalkeeper.

OM would rue their missed chances, as in the 13th minute, Olic opened the scoring.

Franck Ribery made a mazy run into the right side of the box before crossing low, and the Croatian striker stabbed home from close range.

The visitors reacted well and continued their positive play, with Stephane Mbia's long-ranged blast forcing Neuer to tip over the bar.

But Bayern gained full control of the match before the half-hour mark, as Toni Kroos and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk both forced fine saves from Steve Mandanda with long-ranged efforts.

Thomas Muller, who before half-time was withdrawn due to an apparent hamstring injury, forced Mandanda into action on 30 minutes, with a glancing header, and Kroos shortly thereafter rattled the left post with another strong effort from outside the box.

Bayern kept up their pressure, and on 37 minutes, Olic completed his double on the counter-attack. Ribery and David Alaba exchanged passes from deep in their own half before the Austrian crossed to Olic, who again finished from close range.

After the half-time break, the hosts stepped off the throttle as Marseille enjoyed more of the possession than before, but lacked incisiveness in the final third.

Ribery continued to be dangerous and forced a couple fine challenges to deny a look at goal before Kroos flashed another long-ranged attempt narrowly wide.

As the final quarter of the match approached, Marseille had their best chance of the game, but Brandao's open header from inside the six-yard box missed over the bar.

The Brazilian striker's attempt would be an anomaly, however, as the final 20 minutes had a training ground feel about them.

This suited Kroos, who was substituted without having been booked, as well as Jerome Boateng and Luiz Gustavo, who also avoided bookings that would have seen them slapped with a ban.

Bayern face the winner of Real Madrid's tie with APOEL in the semi-finals.


Champions League preview: Bayern Munich v Marseille

2 April 2012 10:06

Marseille have a big challenge before them when they travel to Bayern Munich for their Champions League quarter-final second leg on Tuesday.

The Ligue 1 side trail 2-0 after their home leg, and need to beat their German opponents - who have won their past seven in all competitions - by at least two goals at the Allianz Arena.

The last time Bayern lost by two goals at home was to Borussia Dortmund in February last year, a season in which Jurgen Klopp's men went on to win the title.

Bayern midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger said the club is hungry for success on the European stage.

"At the moment, there's total desire in the team, and all credit for that," Schweinsteiger said.

"We have to make the most of our good position in the Champions League on Tuesday thanks to victory in Marseille."

Munich are within reaching distance of a rare home Champions League final appearance, as the venue for the decider has already been allocated to the Allianz Arena.

It is fair to say Bayern will already be thinking of playing Real Madrid - most likely - in the semi-finals of the competition, given Marseille have lost eight of their past nine matches in all competitions.

Five league losses, two defeats in the Champions League and a Coupe de France exit has seen Didier Deschamps' side be robbed of any momentum heading into the latter stages of the season.

Marseille midfielder Alou Diarra, who is suspended for the leg in Germany, said Bayern's elder statesmen led the way in the first-leg victory.

"You could say experience was the difference," he said.

Diarra added that Marseille have no expectations of advancing into the final four.

"We have nothing left to lose," Diarra said.

"It's not mission impossible. We scored three in Dortmund in the group stage.

"Bayern drop very few points at home so it will take a big performance, but we know we have the ability to cause them problems."

The winner of the Marseille-Bayern tie will take on the victor in the Real Madrid-APOEL Nicosia fixture, with the La Liga powerhouse favoured to progress at home after winning the opening away leg 3-0.

Bundesliga table

# Team MP D P
1 31 +62 78
2 31 +14 56
3 31 +20 54
4 31 +14 51
5 31 +16 49

Ligue 1 table

# Team MP D P
2 34 +35 70
3 34 +39 69
4 34 +31 69
5 34 +0 50
6 34 -6 49
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