Bayern, Real score exciting wins
Bayern Munich needed a couple of lucky bounces to prevent Sevilla from pulling off another Champions League upset.
After being outplayed by the hosts early on and conceding a 32nd-minute opener by Pablo Sarabia, Bayern came from behind to beat Sevilla 2-1 in the first leg of their quarter-final yesterday, thanks to an own goal by Jesus Navas and a second-half header by Thiago Alcantara. Both times the ball deflected off a defender to take Sevilla goalkeeper David Soria out of play.
"Psychologically, it was very important to equalise quickly, even if it took a bit of luck," Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said. "But if we want to win the Champions League, we need to improve. ... We lost the ball too often and lacked structure in midfield, which allowed Sevilla to create chances. We improved in the second half and in the end deserved to win."
Bayern now only need a draw in the second leg in Munich next week to reach the semi-finals for the fifth time in six seasons.
Sevilla, playing in the last eight for the first time in 60 years after overcoming heavily favoured Manchester United in the previous round, has never made it to the semi-finals in the Champions League.
Stunning overhead kick
In Tuesday's other game, defending champions Real Madrid defeated Juventus 3-0 in Turin after two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo including a stunning overhead kick to make it 2-0 in the second half.
"We were unlucky," Sevilla coach Vincenzo Montella said. "We played well against a very strong Bayern team. We deserved more."
Sevilla started well and had the best chances early at Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium. And they were rewarded when Sarabia opened the scoring with a close-range shot after beating Bayern defender Juan Bernat to a pass by Sergio Escudero into the area. However, replays showed that Sarabia, who had missed a great chance a few minutes earlier, may have controlled the ball with his arm before calmly finding the net.
The hosts seemed in control but Bayern levelled with fortuitous goal five minutes later. Franck Ribery tried to make a low cross into the area but the ball deflected off Navas and was redirected toward the near corner. Soria tried to change directions quickly but he couldn't keep the ball from trickling across the goal line after it hit the post.
"We played well in the first half, created many chances, but that own goal was key," Sarabia said. "It hurt us when we were playing better. In the second half they improved and controlled possession. It will be hard, but we are not out of it yet."