The second leg of the Champions League tie between Bayern Munich and Manchester United set for Allainz Arena was not expected to have much meaning. However, a 1-1 draw in England meant that the semifinal round was still up for grabs. The defending European champions put themselves to sleep in the first half, and were only awoken when Patrice Evra scored. The Bavarian giants allowed Man U to lead for one minute before finding their form and taking their rightful place in the semifinals.
The first half of the match today was very similar to the first half last week, although Man U were unable to get a quality chance on the counter attack. They stayed compact at the back, making it very hard for Bayern to find space in the attacking zone. Bayern did not threaten in the first 45 minutes either. Pep Guardiola‘s tactics were playing right into the defensive strategy of David Moyes, as Philip Lahm and David Alaba continued to move toward the center of the field. Franck Ribbery and Arjen Robben were left to challenge on the outside alone.
It took the Evra goal to wake up the Bayern squad. Evra hit a beautifully placed one time shot off a searching cross that hit the top corner. Manuel Neuer had no chance. Before the fans could blink, the Allianz erupted as Mario Mandzukic leveled the game with a diving header about a minute later. It seemed the adversity faced after the Evra goal had rejuvenated Bayern.
Manchester United threatened one more time, but Roten had their foot on the gas. Robben used his right foot to thread a pass to Thomas Müller for a tap in in the 68th minute, then capped off the scoring off a deflection about eight minutes later. The 3-1 victory means that Bayern will join Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid in the semifinals.
Bayern were always favored, but almost lulled themselves to sleep in the first half. It wasn’t until they were behind that they took control of the game. Bayern found the will to move on, and perhaps that is why they are the defending champions.