Olympique Marseille 0 – Bayern Munich 2


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Holland World Cup winger ARJEN ROBBEN (10) of visiting German club Bayern Munich, who has tallied nine goals in eighteen European games for the Bavarians altogether since signing from Spanish giant Real Madrid in August of 2009, looks to play the ball ahead of pursuing Olympique Marseille fullback JEREMY MOREL during the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal, first leg match at the Stade Velodrome in the Mediterranean port city located in southeastern France.
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March 28, 2012
UEFA Champions League
Quarterfinal, first leg

0 – OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE (Fra)
2 – BAYERN MUNICH (Ger) —————— Gomez 44′, Robben 69′

Standout play between the sticks and a strike on either side of the halftime whistle were instrumental as visiting Bundesliga side BAYERN MUNICH blanked struggling Ligue 1 outfit OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE 2-0 in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.

Olympique Marseille had not advanced this far in Europe’s premier competition since having won the UEFA Champions League in 1993. However, trainer DIDIER DESCHAMPS side have been floundering domestically and currently occupy a disappointing ninth place in the league table. To make matters worse, the nine-times French champion were also without their first choice for the initial Champions League match with Bayern Munich.

Filling in for France international STEVE MANDANDA, the 27-year-old Olympique Marseille skipper, would be seldom-used Brazilian ELINTON ANDRADE. The 32-year-old veteran has made exactly three appearances in Ligue 1 for the Mediterranean club since transferring from Romanian side Rapid Bucharest in the summer of 2009 and has not featured at all in the French top flight this term. This lack of match practice for Andrade would later become painfully apparent for the Marseille faithful at the Stade Velodrome.

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It was the Bavarians, though, who were forced to call upon their goalkeeper at first. MANUEL NEUER, the newly-turned 26-year-old Germany World Cup shot-stopper who has been in such excellent form for Bayern Munich as of late, answered resolutely and flashed to his left to halt a menacing header from Marseille’s France international defender ROD FANNI off a seventh minute corner. Significantly, the visitors’ luck then held firm when France international striker LOIC REMY could only fire the rebound off the outside of the post.

And, inspite of all the good work to possess the majority of the ball in the first half, Neuer was needed once again to prevent Remy from finding the back of the net with the halftime break approaching.

But then Holland World Cup winger ARJEN ROBBEN, who has really picked up the pace of his offensive production in the month of March, measured a brilliant ball into space for Bayern Munich’s Germany international striker MARIO GOMEZ. With Marseille’s Spain U-21 international defender CESAR AZPILICUETA following closely on his heels, Super Mario struck a first-time shot low, near post which the Marseille goalkeeper appeared to have covered. But the rusty Andrade somehow allowed the ball to slip past beneath and bulge the back of the net to afford last season’s Bundesliga Torjaegermeister a 12th goal in Europe this term.

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The pivotal, first goal from Gomez — his 37th of the season in all competitions for Bayern Munich — only further encouraged the visiting side of trainer JUPP HEYNCKES to maintain an even more disciplined and defensive-minded focus for the second forty-five minutes of play; Neuer, nevertheless, came to the rescue again just after the hour when Remy relieved Germany international defender JEROME BOATENG of the football at the top of the box.

Robben effectively sealed the match (and, perhaps, the tie) with Bayern Munich’s second in the 69th minute. Wonderful one-two stuff with Germany World Cup winger THOMAS MUELLER set the Dangerous Dutchman loose in the box and a world-class, curling finish left Andrade absolutely no chance. A fourth goal in six European matches this term for Robben, who registered four goals in 10 games on Bayern Munich’s march to the UEFA Champions League Final during the 2009/10 campaign.

In this month of March, the re-energized Robben has absolutely riddled the Bavarian opposition in all competitions with eight goals and six assists in seven matches.

Heynckes turned to his bench as Bayern Munich sought to effectively kill off the clock. It is interesting to note that the two defensive reinforcements arriving in the second half, Germany World Cup midfielder BASTIAN SCHWEINSTEIGER and Ukraine national team captain ANATOLI TYMOSHCHUK, have combined for 204 senior caps at the international level. Another 42 appearances for Croatia midfielder DANIJEL PRANJIC only added to the wealth of experience that the Bavarians were able to put on late.

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Ghana World Cup winger ANDRE AYEW (20) of Olympique Marseille, the offspring of the legendary, three-time African Footballer of the Year Abedi Pele, attempts to break clear of Bayern Munich captain and Germany World Cup fullback PHILIPP LAHM during the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal, first leg match at the Stade Velodrome in the Mediterranean port city located in southeastern France.
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OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE : Andrade – Azpilicueta, Fanni, Nkoulou, Morel – Diarra (Cheyrou 71′), Mbia – Amalfitano (Brandao 68′), Valbuean, A. Ayew – Remy

BAYERN MUNICH : Neuer – Lahm, Boateng, Badstuber, Alaba – Luiz Gustavo, Kroos (Tymoshchuk 63′) – Robben, Mueller (Schweinsteiger 70′), Ribery (Pranjic 78′) – Gomez

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Olympique Marseille 0 – Bayern Munich 2

  1. matt

    I don’t think anyone understands how lucky Bayern got that game….. although that ref and goalkeeper were terrible… Lahm should of been sent off and their goalkeeper was terrible…. Its still not a lock for us to go through but hopefully they play well at home… and Schweinsteiger will be suspended for the next leg😦

    • LOOSE CANNON

      “good to be lucky, lucky to be good” … old goalkeeper’s expression … Marseille got four shots on target and Bayern Munich had three shots on goal for the match — let this be a lesson on the importance of solid goalkeeping at the highest level of professional football

    • LOOSE CANNON

      “its still not a lock” … Marseille have to win by three goals clear in Bavaria — forget about it!!!🙂