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Bayern beat Sevilla to enter CL semis
Munich, April 12 (IANS) Bayern Munich secured a berth in the Champions League semi-finals with a scoreless draw against Sevilla in the second leg here, a result that gave the Bavarians a 2-1 victory on aggregate in the quarter-final tie.
In Wednesday’s game at the Allianz Arena with few clear chances on goal, Bayern’s winger Franck Ribery had a golden scoring opportunity at the end of the first half while a shot from Sevilla’s Joaquin Correa clanked off the crossbar in the second half, reports Efe.
Sevilla were seeking their first-ever spot in the Champions last-four stage. But the Bundesliga side asserted control of midfield at the outset and that led to some threats in the form of a long-range blast by Arjen Robben and a Robert Lewandowski header that net minder David Soria batted away.
The visitors remained disciplined and compact defensively while waiting for their chances and the strategy generally proved effective, although Ribery squandered a chance to put Bayern ahead in the 38th minute on a shot that he left within reach of Soria, who made an excellent save.
The German club also appeared on the verge of scoring at the start of the second half on a header by striker Lewandowski and a shot by Thomas Muller, although good defensive work by defender Clement Lenglet and Soria, respectively, stymied those opportunities.
But Sevilla, which needed two goals after dropping last week’s first leg of the quarter-final clash 1-2 at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium in Seville, had no choice but to get on the offense and began pushing the action into Bayern’s half of the field.
That aggressive mindset was nearly rewarded immediately when a free kick by Ever Banega at the game’s one-hour mark found Correa, who connected on a near-perfect header that ricocheted off the crossbar.
But like a well-oiled machine, Bayern shook off that danger and got back to dominating the ball or clamping down defensively when necessary.
The very end of the contest featured some drama, with Correa causing tempers to flare and finally being sent off for a hard foul on Bayern’s Javi Martinez in second-half injury time.
With the win, the Bavarians advanced to the Champions League final four for the seventh time this decade.
They will learn their next opponent when the semi-final draw is conducted on Friday.
Despite the loss, the La Liga team proved a formidable rival for the German powerhouse.
“We made Sevilla very proud, and now we can think about what’s to come. We were missing what we’ve been lacking in the last few games – scoring goals, which is the most important thing in soccer,” attacking midfielder Franco Vazquez said afterward.