Bayern, Malaga Complete Champions League Quarterfinal Lineup
Four-time champion Bayern Munich ousted Arsenal on away goals and tournament newcomer Malaga eliminated Porto to complete the quarterfinal lineup in soccer’s Champions League.
Bayern’s 2-0 home loss last night followed a 3-1 win in its round-of-16 opener in London, putting the German team through on the tiebreaker as the two-game series finished 3-3. Isco and Roque Santa Cruz scored as Malaga beat 10-man Porto 2-0 at home to advance 2-1 on aggregate.
Arsenal’s exit leaves England without a quarterfinalist in Europe’s elite club competition for the first time in 17 years. Eight teams from five countries, including three from Spain, will feature in tomorrow’s last-eight draw in Nyon, Switzerland.
“It’s a massive disappointment for English football,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said at a news conference. “It’s a massive wake-up call when you think we had Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal all out by the quarterfinal. It’s a long time since this happened.”
Goals at the start and end of last night’s match in Munich had given Arsenal a chance of avoiding a round-of-16 elimination for the third straight year. It was Bayern’s first defeat in 24 games in all competitions.
“We managed to get off with a slap on our wrists,” Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said in comments on tournament organizer UEFA’s website. “We still haven’t won anything. This was a timely reminder for us.”
The Gunners opened the scoring after three minutes at the Allianz Arena as Theo Walcott sent a low cross from the right that Olivier Giroud directed into the roof of the net.
It was Arsenal’s only shot of the first half as Bayern then controlled play. Toni Kroos had the home team’s best chance with a shot that was stopped by Lukasz Fabianski.
Bayern continued to dominate in the second half with Arjen Robben and Kroos shooting wide. Luiz Gustavo then curled a shot just wide and Fabianski blocked an attempt from Robben, who got behind the Arsenal defense.
Laurent Koscielny then headed in a corner in the 86th minute to put Arsenal within a goal of overturning the deficit from the opening game, though the Gunners weren’t able to create another good chance.
“We gave everything,” Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta said in a televised interview. “We knew after the first leg it was going to be difficult. It was hard mentally but we kept the crowd quiet. If we had had 10 more minutes, who knows?”
Malaga’s debut run in the Champions League continued as it beat Porto to join fellow Spanish teams Barcelona and Real Madrid in the quarterfinals. It’s the first time since 2003 three teams from La Liga have advanced that far, according to Opta Sports.
“An achievement like this seemed impossible only a short time ago,” Isco said on UEFA’s website. “The Champions League is the essence of football and we will continue to enjoy it no matter where it takes us next.”
After Malaga’s Javier Saviola had a goal ruled out in the 39th minute for a foul on Julio Baptista, the home team tied the series when Isco curled a shot from the edge of the penalty area into the top corner just before halftime.
Porto went down to 10 men four minutes after the break when Steven Defour received his second yellow card for a challenge on Joaquin. Santa Cruz came on for Baptista in the 73rd minute and put Malaga in front on aggregate four minutes later by heading in Isco’s corner kick.
With Porto needing to score to go through on away goals, Maicon’s 81st-minute header was disallowed for offside and Malaga held on to advance.
“Achieving this with Malaga feels different to everything I have lived through in my career because of the fact that we are creating history at the club,” Joaquin said on UEFA’s website. “Being among the last eight teams in Europe is the reward for all of that hard work.”
Borussia Dortmund, Galatasaray, Juventus and Paris Saint- Germain are the other quarterfinalists. The two-game series will open April 2 and 3 with the return matches a week later.
To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at email@example.com.