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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Barcelona draw at Bayern to ease through

Barcelona draw at Bayern to ease through

April 15, 2009 06:36 IST

Barcelona eased into the Champions League semi-finals with a 1-1 draw at Bayern Munich on Tuesday which completed a crushing 5-1 aggregate victory.

Bayern playmaker Franck Ribery grabbed the lead just after the break to restore German pride after they were demolished 4-0 in the first leg but midfielder Seydou Keita levelled in the 73rd minute with a long-range effort.

Barcelona will next play Chelsea, who drew 4-4 with Premier League rivals Liverpool to progress 7-5 on aggregate.

Bayern surged forward in search of an early goal and had their first real chance within five minutes when striker Luca Toni was unmarked in the penalty area but could not connect with a Jose Sosa cross.

Ribery, completely shut down in the first leg, came close again minutes later with a shot from inside the box before Barcelona halted Bayern's early momentum with some good passing.

With Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola banned from the bench following a vocal protest in last week's match and Tito Vilanova making the calls, the Spaniards came forward.

They pressed the Germans high in their own half and became increasingly dangerous with Andres Iniesta on the left and Lionel Messi on the right.


"Tactically we played very well," Vilanova said. "We knew that if we lost balls in the midfield, Bayern could get very dangerous with Tony and Ribery. So we managed to contain them well.

"Now we must continue working and see what titles we end up with."

Bayern had one more chance to go ahead just before the break but Toni's shot flew wide.

Ribery gave Bayern fans something to cheer about two minutes after the break when he beat the offside trap, chased down a Ze Roberto cross on the left and fired past Barcelona keeper Victor Valdes from close range.

But a well-oiled Spanish defence left little space for the Germans to carve out any more meaningful chances.

"Of course we had a tiny hope we did not dare mention," Bayern coach Juergen Klinsmann, who was booed by fans, told reporters. "If we had gotten that early goal and maybe pushed forward and grabbed a second, wonders always happen in football."

Barcelona's Keita levelled 17 minutes from time to kill off any lingering Bayern hopes with a long-range effort after Iniesta and Xavi Fernandez split the Bayern defence with some quick passing.

"At the end I was satisfied with the way we played Barcelona. We went out to a team that is one class above us, probably the best in the world," said Klinsmann.

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