Section: Bayern Munich

Champions League: Bayern Munich 6-1 FC Porto (agg 7-4)

Bayern use huge first half to demolish Porto to reach semifinals

Bayern Munich made light work of a 3-1 first-leg deficit as they battered Porto 6-1 to sail into the last four of the Champions League with a 7-4 margin on aggregate.

It was supposed to be a night that would test Bayern boss Pep Guardiola’s mettle after last week’s disappointing defeat in Portugal, but his charges made a mockery of such predictions with five goals in 26 minutes in the first half.

Thiago Alcantara, Jerome Boateng, Robert Lewandowski (two) and Thomas Muller caused the damage as they mercilessly tore their Primeira Division opponents apart with scintillating passing, breathtaking movement and ruthless finishing.

Porto went into this clash unbeaten in the competition so far and they were given a brief glimmer of hope when Jackson Martinez headed in, but their evening got worse still when Ivan Marcano was sent off late on and Xabi Alonso fired in the resulting free-kick.

The reigning Bundesliga champions, who were even missing key players such as injured duo Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, now march on to their fourth consecutive Champions League semi-final after a fantastic night.

It was clear that Julen Lopetegui, who was a former team-mate of opposite number Guardiola at Barcelona in the 1990s, was happy for his Porto side to sit deep and try to protect their first-leg lead from the off.

But chinks appeared in Porto’s gameplan as early as the 10th minute when Lewandowski hit a post – and half an hour later they found themselves 5-0 down on the night.

Thiago, who scored Bayern’s consolation at the Estadio do Dragao last week, kicked off the rout by nipping in front of his marker at the near post to nod home from Juan Bernat’s superb cross after 14 minutes.

Amid the hostile environment of a raucous Allianz Arena Porto began to fall apart and Bayern levelled the contest on aggregate in the 22nd minute, with Boateng heading in his first goal of the season after Holger Badstuber nodded Thiago’s corner back across goal.

The Germany international’s effort had just enough pace to creep past Fabiano, but questions will have to be asked about the Porto keeper after he seemed slow to react.

The visitors could have no complaints about Bayern’s truly exquisite third, which completed a three-goal 13-minute salvo to totally turn the tie around.

First, Philipp Lahm showed his class with an inch-perfect cross on the volley, before Muller unselfishly flicked the ball onto Lewandowski’s head and the Polish striker made no mistake from close range.

Muller twisted the knife with a somewhat fortuitous, somewhat hilarious, fourth as his low shot from distance was deflected off Bruno Martins Indi and totally caught poor Fabiano off-guard as the ball trickled through his legs when he tried in vain to clear on the floor.

With Porto shell shocked, Lewandowski was hardly feeling charitable as he picked up the ball from Muller around the penalty spot and showed ice-cool composure to work an opening before firing it low past Fabiano with deadly accuracy.

Understandably the pace relented from the hosts after the interval, but they were still in complete control of proceedings before Martinez gave the visitors a glimmer of hope.

The striker, who has been linked with a summer move to the Premier League, caught Bayern’s under-worked backline out to head in Hector Herrera’s cross in the 73rd minute, even though replays showed he was clearly offside.

With that goal reducing the aggregate deficit to back to 6-4, Martinez went close with a shot from distance that had Manuel Neuer flustered before it went wide, but that was as close as Porto got to creating a tense finale.

Things got even worse for them when Marcano picked up a second yellow card for a wild lunge on Thiago with five minutes left and Alonso fired in the free-kick with aplomb to complete the scoring.

Read more at ESPN

Champions League: Shakhtar Donetsk 0-0 Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich’s Xabi Alonso was sent off in his 100th Champions League game as his side played out a drab stalemate against Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine.

The former Liverpool midfielder fouled Taison to collect a second yellow card with around 25 minutes to play.

Earlier, Thomas Muller had pulled a shot wide when clean through for Bayern and he fired over before the break.

But neither side threatened after Alonso’s red in a tetchy game. They meet again in Munich on 11 March.

The sides shared 35 fouls and six yellow cards in addition to Alonso’s red, with attacks often cut short by tactical fouls when danger looked likely.

Shakhtar, champions in Ukraine, will be “heroes” if they overcome Bayern according to the manager Mircea Lucescu as his side are still playing home fixtures away from their Donbass Arena because of conflict in the area.

They have also not played a competitive game since December as the Ukraine Premier League – in which they sit second to Dynamo Kiev – is on its winter break.

Playing several hundred miles away from home in the western city of Lviv, they arrived to face a Bayern side who had hammered Hamburg 8-0 on Saturday but ended the night having restricted their visitors to few chances.

Though Muller sprang the offside trap from Arjen Robben’s pass in the first half, he could only pull his shot across the goalmouth from 10 yards and he then fired over from a Franck Ribery pull-back late in the first period.

Shakhtar, boasting the tournament’s top scorer in Luiz Adriano, played on the break but only got their talisman into the game sparingly and he left the field late on having completed just 44% of his 18 passes.

Alonso tangled with Shakhtar winger Taison when the Brazilian threatened a break away, prompting a second yellow card, but the Ukrainians failed to make their advantage count and both sides settled for a point.

They will reconvene in three weeks’ time in Munich, where Bayern have not lost since defeat against Real Madrid in the semi-final of this competition last season.

Read more at BBC Sport

Champions League: Man City 3-2 Bayern Munich

Sergio Aguero hat trick hands Man City late win over Bayern Munich

Sergio Aguero struck twice in the closing minutes to complete a hat-trick and revive Manchester City’s Champions League hopes with a 3-2 win over 10-man Bayern Munich.

City’s challenge had looked all but over after Aguero’s early penalty was cancelled out by quickfire goals from Xabi Alonso and Robert Lewandowski before half-time.

But Aguero seized on a mistake from the otherwise brilliant Alonso to equalise with five minutes remaining and then broke through again after a Jerome Boateng error for a brilliant winner.

The victory was City’s first of the competition and brought them level with Roma and CSKA Moscow in Group E with a trip to the Italian capital to come next month.

City certainly did it the hard way after surrendering their early advantage.

Aguero struck from the spot after being brought down by Medhi Benatia, who was sent off for his challenge.

But they were unable to build on that advantage and it was left to the prolific Aguero to save them, the Argentinian doing so in style by taking his goal tally for the season to 17.

CSKA Moscow’s last-gasp draw against Roma had meant City could not be eliminated on the night and the atmosphere, flat in home European games this season, reflected that hope.

Read more at ESPN

Champions League: Bayern Munich 1-0 Man City

Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng scored a stunning last-minute winner to deny Manchester City a point in their opening Champions League group game.

Former City defender Boateng lashed a fierce shot across Joe Hart after the visitors had failed to clear a corner.

Hart had earlier kept City in the match with a string of saves from Thomas Muller, Mario Gotze and Boateng.

City’s best chance arrived in stoppage-time when Sergio Aguero beat Dante to the ball but poked narrowly wide.

Read more on BBC Sport