FC Bayern München are through to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals for the second successive year after Arjen Robben's stunning effort secured a pulsating away-goals win against ACF Fiorentina.
Trailing 2-1 after the first leg, goals from Juan Vargas and Stevan Jovetić had put the Serie A side on course for the last eight of Europe's elite competition for the first time since 1970. Yet Jovetić's 54th-minute effort was merely the start of a frenetic spell which brought four goals in 11 minutes, Robben's word proving final as Bayern, 3-2 losers on the night, went through with a 4-4 aggregate draw.
With all the snow that had hit the region over the last two days it was the wind that played havoc early on, prompting over-hit passes, aerial head tennis and an ambitious 35-metre free-kick by Vargas which curled just over on six minutes. Indeed, the Peruvian international made the best of the early going, twice racing down the left to send over crosses Bayern defended adeptly. But it was when he found a more central position that the deadlock was broken on 28 minutes.
With the visitors back in numbers, Marco Marchionni's shot from distance looked little more than hopeful. Yet Hans-Jörg Butt spilled the bouncing ball, and Vargas held off Daniel Van Buyten to fire high into the net from the angle, turning the aggregate tide the way of the hosts. While Butt was ruing his error opposite number Sébastien Frey was coming to the rescue of the Viola, saving outstandingly from Robben, who hared onto Mark van Bommel's flick, only for Frey to tip his effort over.
Miroslav Klose, on for the injured Mario Gómez, also threatened, but failed to direct his header on target after a fine run cross by Thomas Müller, and Fiorentina took their advantage into half-time. They went close to extending it soon after the restart. Marchionni carved out a clear chance for Alberto Gilardino that the Italian international scuffed with just Butt to beat, and was soon back testing 17-year-old UEFA Champions League debutant David Alaba. This time his cross was met by Jovetić, who fired across Butt to make it 2-0.
Bayern responded well, and levelled the tie through Van Bommel. The midfielder, picked out by Franck Ribéry, rifled low past Frey from 20 metres to silence the Fiorentina faithful. The Viola hit back with a delightful move involving Jovetić and Gilardino, the Montenegrin international reacting first to Gilardino's return header to make it 2-2 on the night. Yet no sooner were they back in control than Robben had wrested it back when he angled a stunning 25-metre strike into the top corner.
After the storm, Bayern's defence brought calm, absorbing the pressure and trying to hit Cesare Prandelli's men on the break through the jet-heeled Ribéry and Robben. Frey was twice called into action, punching away a Bastian Schweinsteiger free-kick and scrambling the ball off the line following a goalmouth scramble. Bayern's place in the 19 March draw was never threatened, although Schweinsteiger will be suspended for the first leg.