Champions League

Bayern sink Marseille

2012-03-28 23:06
Arjen Robben (AP)

Marseille - Bayern Munich took a huge step towards the Champions League semi-finals when goals by Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben gave them a clinical 2-0 win at Olympique Marseille on Wednesday in the first leg of their quarter-final tie.

Gomez gave Bayern the lead just before halftime when Robben's defence-splitting pass sent him clear and his shot beat Elinton Andrade who should have done better.

The Bundesliga side, whose stadium will stage the final, dominated the second half and Robben doubled their lead after 69 minutes when he played a neat one-two in the box with Thomas Mueller before cooly slotting the ball past Andrade.

Marseille had a few early chances, notably when Rod Fanni's header was parried by Manuel Neuer into the path of Loic Remy only for the France striker to lash his close-range shot wide.

The second leg takes place next Tuesday when Marseille will be massive underdogs to turn the tie around -- a task they must try and accomplish without holding midfielder Alou Diarra who picked up a yellow card meaning he will be suspended.

"It will obviously be very complicated. This Bayern side have a lot of qualities," Marseille coach Didier Deschamps told French TV channel TF1. "They have an impressive offensive strength.

Without centre back Souleymane Diawara and goalkeeper Steve Mandanda, both of whom were suspended, Marseille were never sharp enough to pose much threat to a Bayern side who had scored 22 goals in their previous five matches.

Marseille did start brightly, however, with Remy wasting a great chance to put them in front.

Bayern began to take control as the first half went on and they took the lead in controversial fashion after 44 minutes.

There was nothing wrong with Gomez's finish but the Bayern counter-attack began when Philipp Lahm handled the ball as he claimed it from Mathieu Valbuena.

Marseille, the 1993 champions, had a chance to level early in the second half when Remy took advantage of some sloppy defending to flick the ball past Jerome Boateng but his shot was blocked by Neuer.

Bayern earned breathing space with Robben's second goal and after that were content to run down the clock.

Read more on:    champions league  |  soccer
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