Revenge mission completed as Robben rocket blasts Bayern into semis
As the Fundesliga correctly called in yesterday's blog, Bayern MÃÂ¼nchen have put English champions Manchester United to the sword in the Champions League following a quite remarkable game at Old Trafford.
And it was the Rib-Rob combination that did it, with the latter scoring a quite ridiculous volley from RibÃÂ©ry's floated corner to put the Germans through on away goals.
After Rafael's deserved sending off it was a typically efficient (Ã¢ÂÂtypically GermanÃ¢ÂÂ, you might say...) Bayern who took the initiative and dominated United for the last 35 minutes, stretching the play and tiring out their opponents, pinging the ball around the field at will.
Who'd have thought that a Manchester United team could fold so meekly in front of their own fans?
Inside the stadium it was the Bayern fans making all of the noise, lighting up flares and generally embarrassing the home fans who outnumbered them by a ratio of about 23:1. Well, Old Trafford isn't known for it's atmosphere, now, it is...
The game looked like it was running away from die Bayern with 41 minutes gone, after a long range Gibson strike and two classy Nani efforts put the home side three up, home fans hoping for continuing goals glut, only for Ivica Olic to pull one back just moments after Nani's second strike. All what was needed then was for Bayern to score one more, and when it came it was worth the wait Ã¢ÂÂ Robben's immense goalscoring record of late continuing with an outrageous volley from his mate RibÃÂ©ry's corner with 16 minutes to go.
As you'll know if you've read this blog before, the Fundesliga absolutely loves Arjen Robben, and it's fitting that, of all players, it's he who has scored yet another screamer to send his team into the semis.
I'm not sure which of his last two Champions League goals were better, last nightÃ¢ÂÂs, or his late goal away to Fiorentina, but the similarities between the two ties are eerie to say the least.
Both against United and the Florence outfit Bayern won the first leg 2-1 at home thanks to a late, late goal, before Robben scored relatively late in the away to seal a 3-2 defeat and take Bayern through on away goals after a 4-4 aggregate draw.
Tonight's biggest winners:
Arjen Robben. Genius. Just sheer genius. That volley could have ended up anywhere, but it shot arrow-like into the bottom corner of Van Der Sar's goal.
Franck RibÃÂ©ry. Controlled the midfield after the sending off, although was perhaps a little bit cheeky in waving the invisible red card. But let's face it, United do it all the time, so can't complain..
Louis van Gaal. Tactically perfect. Didn't panic at three down, and got the result he required and deserved.
Tonight's biggest losers:
Wayne Rooney. Wasn't fit to start, it seemed a rare act of desperation by Ferguson to include him in the starting XI. To be frank he didn't do much for the 55 minutes or so he was on the field, either. Perhaps Berbatov wouldÃ¢ÂÂve been a better option from the start, with plenty of pace, energy and movement already coming from Nani and Antonio Valencia.
Rafael. After a highly impressive first half his inexperience got the better of him. As if being at United for a few years wasn't enough of a learning curve to show him that players will do anything to get their opponents sent off...
Sir Alex Ferguson.
Typical Germans, ay?
What a game, and what a great couple of evening's football we've been treated to this week.
Auf gehtÃÂ´s Deutschland schieÃÂ ein Tor!