Luck was on Bayern Munich’s side on Tuesday as they scored two deflected goals to edge Sevilla 2-1 in their UEFA Champions League quarter-final, first-leg tie at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
Sevilla 1 Bayern Munich 2
- Sarabia (20′) misses sitter from 12 yards out
- Sarabia (32′) makes amends to open scoring
- Ribery cross turned in by Navas (37′)
- Thiago (68′) header deflects in off Escudero
Pablo Sarabia gave Los Rojiblancos the lead on 32 minutes having earlier spurned a glorious chance to open the scoring, but Bayern hit back just five minutes later when Jesus Navas put past his own keeper.
Fortune smiled on Jupp Heynckes’ side again on 68 minutes as Thiago Alcantara’s header was diverted past David Soria by Sergio Escudero to put Bayern in the driving seat for the second leg at the Allianz Arena.
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The encounter got off to a frenetic start with both teams creating chances inside the opening five minutes. Mats Hummels directed a header wide from a third-minute corner, before Wissam Ben Yedder headed straight at Sven Ulreich from Joaquin Correa’s cross on the left moments later.
Thomas Muller failed to test Soria on 10 minutes with a driven effort from the edge of the box that flew over the crossbar, while the visitors were let off the hook 10 minutes later when Sarabia curled wide of the right post from 12 yards out with just Ulreich to beat after Escudero’s cross wasn’t dealt with by Hummels.
Soria was required to save Thiago’s strike from distance on 26 minutes after the Spanish midfielder eluded his marker to get into a pocket of space.
Just moments after Ulreich parried away Steven N’Zonzi’s drilled effort from 25 yards out, Sarabia made amends for his earlier miss as he controlled Escudero’s cross at the back post and slotted past Ulreich to put the Andalusian outfit ahead.
They were cruelly pegged back five minutes later, however, when Ribery’s cross from the left took a huge deflection off Navas and went in off the left post after Soria could only get a glove on the ball.
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) April 3, 2018
The Bavarian giants were indebted to Javi Martinez four minutes into the second half as the Spanish defender made a last-ditch tackle to deny Franco Vazquez inside the box following good link-up play with Ben Yedder and Correa.
They were threatening soon afterwards, though, when James just cleared the bar with a sliced shot on 55 minutes, before Martinez drew a smart save out of Soria after connecting with Muller’s cross on the half-volley in the 66th minute.
Bayern did manage to find the back of the net again just two minutes later and Thiago was the recipient of a fortuitous deflection as he met Ribery’s cross at the back post, with his header going in off Escudero.
There were further opportunities for the Reds to extend their lead, but Muller missed the target with a left-footed strike on 70 minutes, while James forced Soria to palm away his venomous shot two minutes later after cutting in from the right.
Vincenzo Montella’s men refused to give up, however, and N’Zonzi was inches away from equalising with an effort from long range on 79 minutes, before Sandro cut in from the left and launched a shot at goal that was expertly kept out by Ulreich nine minutes from time.
N’Zonzi was guilty of missing the target again in the closing stages following a scramble inside the box, while Robert Lewandowski should have made the game safe on 83 minutes when he latched onto Robben’s through-ball and fired wide.