News24

Marseille stun Inter

2012-03-14 08:12

Paris - Marseille squeezed into the Champions League quarter-finals after a stunning conclusion to their 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.

"This match is a picture of our season," said Inter coach Claudio Ranieri.

"Over 180 minutes, Marseille had three shots on goal but in football the team that wins is the one that scores, so well done to them."

Robben had already threatened twice by the time he brought Bayern level on aggregate in the 11th minute at the Allianz Arena, collecting a deflected shot from Thomas Mueller and steadying himself before firing into the bottom-right corner.

Robben crossed for Mueller to volley home Bayern's second goal in the 42nd minute and Gomez put the hosts further ahead moments later, tapping in after Holger Badstuber had guided Toni Kroos' deep free-kick across the face of goal.

Franck Ribery teed up Gomez for his second, third and fourth goals inside the first 22 minutes of the second period, before Robben completed the humiliation by waltzing around Yann Sommer to score Bayern's seventh in the 81st minute.

"I'm not really disapponted that we have lost, but in the way we have gone out after such a good campaign," said Basel coach Heiko Vogel.

"The team has put in some big performances and we shouldn't forget that."

AFP