Podolski reaches for the stars

Lukas Podolski said "anything is possible" for FC Bayern München after victory against Real Madrid CF gave them their first last-eight place in three seasons.

Lukas Podolski insisted "anything is possible" for FC Bayern München after an away-goals victory against Real Madrid CF gave them a place in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the first time in three seasons.

Dream start
Trailing 3-2 after the first leg in Spain, the German side edged an entertaining match 2-1 at the Fußball Arena München, the victory set up by a dream start which saw Roy Makaay score after just eleven seconds - eclipsing the record as the quickest ever goal in the competition. "It was always our intention to give it our all from the kick-off and it worked out absolutely brilliantly," Podolski said. The 21-year-old himself spurned a gilt-edged chance to double the advantage midway through the half as Bayern took the game to the visitors, with Makaay and Mark van Bommel drawing excellent saves from Iker Casillas.

'Under pressure'
The home side eventually added a second midway through the second half as Lucio headed in to leave Bayern within touching distance of a last-eight place. They had to endure some late pressure first, however, after Ruud van Nistelrooy had levelled the aggregate scores from the penalty spot during a final ten-minute period that saw players from each team dismissed and a Sergio Ramos effort scrubbed out for handball. "It was obvious we'd be under pressure in the last ten minutes as they went all out in attack," said Podolski. "It was always going to be difficult, but we held out, and if we fight and run like we did today then we can beat the big teams and anything is possible for our future in this competition."

'Best ever game'
Whether that means Bayern being crowned European champions for a fifth time it remains to be seen but whatever happens the club's general manager, Uli Hoeness, believes this match will long live in the memory. "It was the best game ever in this stadium," he said of Bayern's home for the past two seasons. "This was football at the highest level - the crowd will have gone home happy."