Bayern Munich 2-3 Inter, 3-3 Agg. The comeback kings do it again to secure quarter final place

Inter are through to the Champions league quarter finals on away goals after a 3-3 Agg win against Bayern Munich. All I can say about this match that ended 2-3 on the night, is what a game!!! Eto’o opened the scoring for Inter but by half time we were 2-1 down and it was looking like our title defense was in tatters, but Inter being Inter they picked themselves up and came out fighting, Sneijder scoring a low long range effort the Pandev secured the win with a late goal assisted by Eto’o. Inter thus qualify for the quarter-finals after completing a European comeback for the first time since 1993 – an impossible comeback, they said. But with Inter anything is possible.With this win we are one step closer to repeating the back to back European titles of the 60’s and maybe even an unprecidented back to back treble!

Match Report
The Allianz Arena was the scene for a great show tonight: a full house that included 3,000 Nerazzurri fans packed in after making the trip to get behind the team and help overturn the 0-1 deficit from the first leg.


Leonardo was forced to rethink his starting line-up after Zanetti was ruled out with flu, meaning that Cambiasso and Thiago Motta both started in midfield alongside Stankovic, who was named captain for the evening. Lucio recovered in time to take his place at the heart of the defence but Milito wasn’t even among the substitutes.

Both sides took to the field with a black armband as a sign of respect towards the earthquake victims in Japan, and a huge banner was displayed (“We’re with you Japan”) during the minute’s silence at the beginning of the game.

The Bavarians looked dangerous from the off, with Robben’s freekick met by Gomez in front of goal but saved by Julio Cesar after just a minute. But almost immediately Inter took the lead through super Eto’o: Stankovic fed Pandev, who played a delightful through-ball behind the defence for Eto’o (just onside) to latch onto and turn his shot between Kraft’s legs. Eto’o made it one-nil to Inter with his 8th goal in the Champions League and 32nd overall this season; like last Friday, he dedicated it to Nagatomo.

Bayern’s response came in the form of a Ribery cross finding Gomez yards from goal on 10 minutes, but Ranocchia slid in to make the crucial block just as Gomez pulled the trigger. Inter were still blazing and launching attacks through Eto’o and Sneijder, as in the first leg, a mistake by Julio Cesar brought the Nerazzurri crashing back down to earth: Robben’s long-range blast was fumbled by the Inter keeper and up popped Mario Gomez – again! – to score by lobbing Julio Cesar with his back to goal and make it 1-1. The goal sparked Van Gaal’s side into life and just ten minutes later they had turned the score around: Robben played in a pass looking for Gomez, Thiago Motta got a touch on the ball on the edge of the box but it slipped away from him allowing Muller to run onto it and deftly chip over Julio Cesar: 2-1. In the 35th minute, Julio Cesar came to Inter’s rescue with a superb save from Ribery, pushing the ball just over the bar. On 39 minutes, following Thiago Motta’s freekick, Stankovic was presented with a great chance to equalise but he delayed a fraction too long and Kraft was onto it. A minute later and a quite miraculous goal-line clearance by Ranocchia kept Inter in the game: Ribery’s ball into the box was for Gomez, who slid in and beat Julio Cesar, but the ball bounced along the line for what seemed like an eternity before Ranocchia hacked clear – via Muller’s foot and then the post – into Julio Cesar’s hands. To an almighty sigh of relief from all Inter fans. They were holding their breaths again minutes later when Lucio got himself into a fix trying to clear under pressure from two opponents but the danger was eventually cleared and after one minute of stoppage time the two sides went in for the break.

At this point i really thought our European dreams for this season we’re over, but i should have known Inter wouldn’t go down without a fight.
The second half got underway with the same 22 players on the pitch and with Bayern taking the initiative, first through Gomez, who had his shot blocked by Julio Cesar in the 47th minute, then with Schweinsteiger taking a weak shot from distance a minute later. In the 51st minute Leonardo made his first change when he removed Stankovic, who was carrying a slight injury, and replaced him with Coutinho. A chance fell to Inter just before the hour mark: a low freekick from Sneijder, followed by a cross from Ranocchia for Lucio, which saw Kraft come off his line just in time for the crucial interception. After 61 minutes Eto’o unintentionally served up a dangerous ball for Pandev, whose shot was parried, however.

Then, with more decisiveness, the “Lion King” fed Sneijder, whose magnificent right-footed shot beat Kraft to bring the score to 2-2. Hopes were further reignited when Pandev nearly put Inter ahead in the 67th minute as he chest-trapped Sneijder’s long pass, but the ensuing shot on the turn sailed just over the crossbar. Sneijder came close on 80 minutes after a pass from Eto’o, but his powerful right-footer from outside the box was saved.

Hope never died and in the 88th minute Pandev sent the Nerazzurri fans around the world into rapture by connecting with a pass from Eto’o and blasting the ball into the top corner with a left-footed strike. The Macedonian triggered a Nerazzurri explosion of joy inside the Allianz Arena with his goal that sent Inter to the quarter-finals and closed the game with a 2-3 score line. Only once in the history of the Champions League had a team overcome a first-leg loss at home.

And today Inter made history.
Bayern Munich 2-3 Inter
Scorers: 3 Eto’o, 21 Gomez, 31 Muller, 63 Sneijder, 88 Pandev
Referee: Pedro Proenca (Portugal).
Booked: 38 Gustavo, 57 Breno, 59 Lucio, 88 Pandev, 90+1 Kharja, 90+4 Thiago Motta.
Added time: 1 + 4 mins
Line ups
Bayern Munich: 35 Kraft; 2 Breno (39 Kroos, 90), 30 Gustavo, 5 Van Buyten (28 Badstuber, 70), 21 Lahm; 31 Schweinsteiger, 23 Pranjic; 7 Ribery, 25 Muller,10 Robben (8 Altintop, 68); 33 Gomez.
Unused subs: 1 Butt, 16 Ottl, 18 Klose, 44 Tymoshchuk.
Coach: Louis Van Gaal

Inter: 1 Julio Cesar; 13 Maicon, 6 Lucio, 15 Ranocchia, 26 Chivu (55 Nagatomo, 87); 5 Stankovic (29 Coutinho, 51), 8 Thiago Motta, 19 Cambiasso; 10 Sneijder; 27 Pandev (14 Kharja, 90), 9 Eto’o.
Unused subs: 12 Castellazzi, 2 Cordoba, 17 Mariga, 23 Materazzi.
Coach: Leonardo
Post Match Reactions

“Explaining this match tonight is going to be very difficult,” continued the Nerazzurri coach. “We won and it was a victory with all of our hearts. A very well-organized match: we found the back of the net after three minutes, but various incidents led to a lot of problems in which everything went Bayern’s way. We lost our equilibrium, we tried to take control of the game again, then we let in another goal. We settled down and then, as I said, it was all heart. And Pandev, what can I say? I’m thrilled for him because he’s been going through a difficult period.”
Pandev may have been going through a difficult period of bad form but he’ definitely the hero of the day for Inter and he pulled a goal out of the hat just when it was needed.
A moment of indecision on the part of Julio Cesar led to Bayern’s equaliser and opened the door for Inter’s problems, but Leonardo can joke about it now: “It was all planned out. We calculated that the mistake would give us the boost we needed… [smiling]. And to see Julio crying at the end of the match was touching, tears of spontaneous joy. A win like this can’t be explained, it can only be experienced.”
The Nerazzurri coach continued, “This team was always in the game. We had a few problems but we were always in it. Otherwise none of the things that have happened this season would have been possible. This is a historic victory, but similar things have happened in our league season, too. There may be better or worse moments, but what happened today symbolises what Inter are capable of.”
A match to be experienced, not explained. Leonardo reflected: “Perhaps someone will accuse me of talking too much about emotions, but for us that’s what football is: something to be experienced. I think this team has many certainties. They won exactly as they had been set up to do tonight, and having to face a side that plays so well in attack such as Bayern, we had to show courage. We managed things very well in the second half. We could have lost our heads, but instead we always stayed in the game.”
Emotion is exactly what Inter is built on everything we have acheived in the last 6 years have been made all the better for the emotion of getting back where we belong after so many years of pain, and it’s great to see this Inter squad that doesn’t give up when behind and has faith that they can acheive anything, these are two qualities that were missing from Inter for so long.
And as for the question posed to him regarding whether he’s happy to be a coach even after such an agonising victory, Leonardo replied with a smile: “I’m still alive, I have no other plans. Not even for the derby, there’s still a lot of time.”
Massimo Moratti

“It was a strange game. It had moments that were completely different from one to the next, first manageable, then dangerous. In the second half we controlled the game well once again and then, when the team felt sure of themselves again, they sealed the win. Julio Cesar? When a goalkeeper makes an error like that it’s an accident. You can’t ever judge him because he then goes on to make incredible saves, just as he did tonight. Pandev wasn’t in the game tonight, but the god of football is strange… Good for him, though, because otherwise it would have been a disaster [smiling]. The team has personality, character and is very united; even when things go wrong this team knows how to turn it around. In the quarters we’ll get Barcelona – again [smiling]. Does Leonardo deserve a ten for this game? I think so, also because during the game it was truly tough from a psychological standpoint and he was fantastic.”

Our thanks go, again, to Moratti for replacing that waste of space Spaniard with Leonardo at just the right time, as i think we all know that if Benitez was still in charge we’d be out of the running in all competitions by now. And last night’s game just proves that Leonardo is the rightful heir to Mourinho’s Inter throne!


And speaking of heir’s Cambiasso also proved he is more than capable of filling Zanetti’s shoes and leading the Nerazzurri to a glorious victory
“We feel a great sense of satisfaction. We formulated our game knowing that we would be able to pull it off. At the beginning it seemed to be going well, then there was a bit of a wobble but we really put our hearts into it and we did it. Julio Cesar wasn’t pleased at half-time because he thought he had ruined our evening, but then he gave us the charge to go out there and win. We believed until the end and we did it. I’m happy for Pandev. For him and for all of us, it’s a great satisfaction. Now we’re moving ahead, we have a great squad and we’ll also have Milito back: this team has a lot of heart and can do great things.”

Julio Cesar

Speaking to Sky Sport Italia, Julio Cesar analysed the game and his mistake on Bayern’s first goal: “That was a terrible moment. When I let that in I just wanted to disappear immediately, go back to Milan – on foot, on horseback, whatever – but then I pulled myself together. The goal was like a cold shower, but thanks to my team-mates we got back into it. I really must congratulate them. Still, you learn from your mistakes. I messed up tonight, more than in the first leg for sure, but fortunately we’re here now talking about our victory. Afterwards I rolled my sleeves up and got on with it. Which save was the most difficult? Maybe the one from Ribery. What did I do when Pandev scored? I started to cry, I thanked God and my team-mates. I would have been in a really bad way if we’d lost, but these are things that help you become more mature. Let’s hope that’s the end of the mistakes now.”

I wish Cesar wouldn’t be so harsh on himself, so he made a mistake it’s up to the entire team to stop the chances coming not just him, it can’t be good for his mental state to always be so self critical, he seems to forget about all the wonderful saves he does do and he needs to remember no keeper in the world can stop every shot that comes their way no matter how good they are.

Thiago Motta

“We knew that it would be a tough match, but we believed it was possible and we did it. We believe in our game because we have strength and determination inside us. The teams in the quarter-finals? All of the teams that make it there are strong. Now we’re thinking of the Serie A. And I’ll say one thing: Italians should be happy tonight, because an Italian team in the quarter-finals is important for Italian football as a whole.”

Cristian Chivu

Tonight’s game against Bayern Munich also included a protagonist’s role for Cristian Chivu, who gave his comments to Inter Channel on the victory that won the team a place in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League: “It was a good game, we suffered a bit, but we played as Inter should. We were aware of what we were going to face and how we could do it. We did it in the best possible way and now we can be happy and celebrate because this was the only thing we wanted.”

Andrea Ranocchia

“It turned out all right in the end and I’m happy I was able to save that goal. I felt some incredible emotions out there tonight: to come here and turn the tie around, especially after going behind on the night as well, wasn’t easy. But we put a lot of heart into it and managed to pull it off. If we keep working like this, we have a great chance of doing well, in every competition.”

Goran Pandev

And last but not least the hero of the hour-

“Eto’o gave me a great ball, I only had to stick it in. I couldn’t not score. Thanks to everyone, the club and my team-mates, who have been there for me through a very tough time. I’m not someone who scores 20-30 goals a season, but someone who works hard for the team, and when a goal arrives it’s very important. Everyone told me that I would score and that we would win the game: I really have to thank my team-mates, who then celebrated with me and made fun of me. This goal truly arrived at an important time for us, and I’m happy. Now I’ll continue to work. I feel better than before, definitely.”
I truly feel this goal for Pandev not only got us through to the quarter finals but also will give Goran the confidence to get back into the goal scoring form that he’s been lacking all season
Inter have now got a day off before training begins for this weekend’s game against Lecce and the Champions League quarter final draw is this Friday so we won’t have long to wait to see who we’re up against next, no matter who we’re drawn against you can guarantee it’s going to be a tough match and Inter need to keep the faith that they can again reign supreme as the Kings of European and World football.


About Don Nerazzurri

Huge fan of FC Internazionale Milano and founder of the Nerazzurri World blog, Inter is in my soul, cut me & I bleed black and blue! 'il Padrino' of the #InterFamily! C'e Solo l'Inter! Follow me on Twitter - @Don_Nerazzurri

Posted on March 16, 2011, in UEFA Champions League and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Share Your Views With The Inter Family

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: