Away goals advance Bayern into the semifinals

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Away goals advance Bayern into the semifinals

MANCHESTER, England - Arjen Robben capped a surprising comeback Wednesday by scoring with a late volley to send Bayern Munich into the Champions League semifinals on away goals despite a 3-2 loss at 10-man Manchester United.

Robben scored from outside the area in the 74th minute at Old Trafford to make the aggregate score 4-4 and leave the Premier League without a team in the semifinals for the first time since 2003.

United had led 2-0 after seven minutes from goals by Darron Gibson and Nani. And Nani added another in the 41st minute to make it 3-0 before Ivica Olic got one back for Bayern in the 43rd.

Robben had missed the first leg with a calf injury, but his comeback was overshadowed by Wayne Rooney’s rapid return from damaged ankle ligaments that were meant to rule him out for up to three weeks.

Rooney was instrumental in United taking a two-goal lead. With his first touch, he fed Gibson to score in the third minute, and the England forward was part of the move that led to Nani’s backheeled goal four minutes later.

Nani scored again to give United a 4-2 aggregate lead but Olic soon hit back, and United was reduced to 10 men in the 50th when Rafael da Silva was sent off after being shown a second yellow card for tugging at Franck Ribery.

“Young boy, inexperience, but they got him sent off,’’ United manager Alex Ferguson said. “They all rushed towards the referee. Typical Germans. You can’t dispute that. The key issues were the goal before halftime and then the boy getting sent off.’’

And without Rooney - the England striker was replaced in the 55th - Bayern overpowered United before Robben struck the decisive goal.

“With 11 men it wouldn’t have been a problem,’’ Ferguson said.


AP

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