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Bayern's swift recovery sees off brave United

FC Bayern München 3-1 Manchester United FC (agg: 4-2)
United led briefly before Mario Mandžukić cancelled out Patrice Evra's goal and Thomas Müller and Arjen Robben sent the hosts through.

Bayern's swift recovery sees off brave United
Bayern's swift recovery sees off brave United ©UEFA.com

FC Bayern München reached the UEFA Champions League semi-finals for the fourth time in five seasons with a 3-1 second-leg victory against Manchester United FC.

With the sides poised at one apiece from last week's match, the title holders controlled possession throughout the first period but were stunned when Patrice Evra crashed in a superb opener towards the hour. Josep Guardiola's charges swiftly levelled through Mario Mandžukić, however, before Thomas Müller and Arjen Robben completed the turnaround to end Bayern's winless run at home to English clubs and send them through 4-2 on aggregate.

It was no surprise to see Bayern set the tone early, and with Mandžukić leading the line, they were keen to get the ball wide into crossing positions. Robben looked particularly motivated and flashed three shots off target, but Wayne Rooney spurned arguably the best initial chance when he sneaked in behind at the other end, going for goal himself when he might have found the supporting Shinji Kagawa.

Antonio Valencia did have the ball in the net for David Moyes's men though his finish was ruled offside, and otherwise Bayern had little to deal with defensively. The trouble was in attack. Their forward traffic came almost exclusively via the flanks and, with Müller and Mario Götze uncharacteristically uninventive with their movements in the centre, the hosts were limited to long-range strikes.

While Franck Ribéry hit the side netting with one effort and Toni Kroos curled narrowly over, it was all very uncharacteristic of a Bayern team whose many goals this term have come almost entirely from within the box. The German champions were almost lulling themselves into a daze with all their possession, and United pounced.

Evra's rocket of a strike had the visiting fans in raptures, yet the Frenchman's spectacular goal served only to awaken the home side. Just as in the first leg, Bayern equalised within minutes of falling behind as Mandžukić dived to head in Ribéry's cross.

Things might have panned out differently had Rooney converted a glorious opportunity from close range shortly afterwards. Instead it was Bayern who seized their moment, going in front when Müller converted Robben's low centre. Robben himself then made absolutely sure of Bayern's place in the semi-final draw with a trademark run and deflected finish with 14 minutes remaining.

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