Marseille stuns Inter Milan, Bayern enters quarters
PARIS MARSEILLE squeezed into the Champions League quarter- finals after a stunning conclusion to its last-16 tie with Inter Milan on Tuesday, while Bayern Munich blitzed FC Basel 7-0 to reach the last eight.
Marseille’s match at San Siro looked destined for extra time after Inter’s Diego Milito levelled the tie on aggregate in the 75th minute, only for substitute Brandao to slam home in injury time to put Didier Deschamps’ side in front.
There was still time for Giampaolo Pazzini to put Inter 2-1 up on the night with a 96th-minute penalty, after Steve Mandanda had been sent off for bringing him down, but the French side went through on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw.
It will be the first time that Marseille have featured in the competition’s last eight since they won the trophy with Deschamps as captain in 1993.
“We hurt them, like we did in the first leg. It was almost Italian-style,” said Deschamps, in reference to Andre Ayew’s injury-time winner at Stade Velodrome three weeks ago.
“To be in the quarter-finals of the Champions League is fabulous. It might get a little bit crazy in Marseille, after a very difficult period in the league.” Bayern enjoyed a vastly more comfortable evening at their Allianz Arena home, which will host May’s final, despite facing a side that had put paid to Manchester United in the group phase.
Having thrashed Hoffenheim 7-1 at the weekend, Bayern raced into a 3-0 half-time lead to erase Basel’s 1-0 first-leg advantage before Mario Gomez completed a quadruple of strikes to take his tally to 10 goals in this season’s competition.
The final scoreline represented the biggest victory in the Champions League knockout stages, and completed a lopsided 7-1 aggregate win.
“We have to stay focused,” said Bayern winger Arjen Robben, whose side will discover their last-eight opponents in Friday’s draw.
“It would be good to get Barcelona or Real Madrid in the next round, but we’ll take whoever comes.” Marseille had been indebted to Mandanda, their captain, for preserving their 1-0 first-leg lead in the early stages at San Siro.
The France international blocked a close-range shot from Wesley Sneijder in the eighth minute and produced a stunning reflex save moments later after Milito had instinctively chested Sneijder’s centre towards goal.
OM’s resistance finally cracked in the 75th minute, with Milito stabbing home from close range after Cesar Azpilicueta had blocked from Pazzini.
Extra time loomed as the clock ticked beyond the 90- minute mark, only for Brandao to seize on a long ball before thrashing a crisp low shot past Julio Cesar.
Pazzini’s penalty only delayed the outbreak of jubilant celebrations on the Marseille bench, although OM will have to do without Mandanda for the first leg of their quarter-final after he received a second yellow card for felling Pazzini.