Champions League: Comeback vs. Juventus revives Bayern Munich′s title hopes | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 16.03.2016
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Champions League: Comeback vs. Juventus revives Bayern Munich's title hopes

Until late in the game it appeared Bayern's match against Juventus would be another black mark on Pep Guardiola's career. However, Munich turned the match around, giving the Allianz Arena crowd a night to remember.

Bayern Munich (4-2) Juventus (6-4 agg.)
(Lewandowski 73', Müller 90', Thiago 108', Coman 110' - Pogba 5', Cuadrado 28')

Bayern Munich came back from two goals down in the second leg of their tie with Juventus, winning Wednesday's game 4-2 in extra time and booking their spot in the quarterfinals of the Champions League with a 6-4 win on aggregate.

Bayern started the match much as they had concluded the first-leg match two weeks earlier, when they threw away a two-goal lead in Turin. Bayern looked nervous, sloppy and lacked composure as Juventus quickly closed their hosts down and took the game to them.

Fittingly, in an opening 30 minutes that would have surprised even the most pessimistic of fans, it was David Alaba, who has usually been rock solid during Guardiola’s time in Munich, who made errors that led to both goals.

Champions League Bayern München Juventus Guardiola

Pep Guardiola could not watch as his team fell behind early

Five minutes in to the game, Alaba failed to control a simple through ball, not only putting himself in a bad position but also his on-rushing goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer. The loose ball then went across the Bayern box to an unmarked Paul Pogba, who knocked it into the empty net.

Alaba's second mistake came 23 minutes later when he was just in front of the Juventus box, looking to receive a pass in a Bayern counterattack. But the ball bounced off the fullback's foot after the bluntest of touches. Alvaro Morata snapped up the loose ball, dribbled past two Bayern defenders and laid a pass off to Juan Cuadrado who put Juventus up 2-0.

Guardiola’s guile gets the game back

With Bayern’s away-goal advantage wiped off the board, Guardiola reacted by replacing the sluggish Medhi Benatia with Juan Bernat at halftime. After another opening period of Juventus-led action, the game slowly began to turn in favor of the home side.

Bayern wrestled possession from their guests and started playing with greater purpose. They found the breakthrough when a whipped cross from Douglas Costa found Robert Lewandowski at the back post, who headed in from close range. From then on, the momentum was with the German champions as they continued to press the Juventus defense.

Champions League Bayern München Juventus Tor Müller

Thomas Müller knocked in the late equalizer to force extra time

Yet with the clock ticking down, Bayern began to get desperate. Guardiola screamed from the touchline as Franck Ribery labored on the ball, Thomas Müller struggled for space and Kingsley Coman offered little hope of getting past his marker, Alex Sandro. But then Arturo Vidal intercepted a run from Sandro and played Coman down the line with time and space to cross a ball to Müller at the back post, who happily headed home for a last-minute equalizer. Just moments before the final whistle, Bayern had pulled the game out of the fire, and the scintillating tie headed to extra time.

Juventus appeared to be out of ideas in extra time and seemed to lack the willpower to press on. As if they were fighting the tide, the Italian champions seemed to be going through the motions, putting 10 men behind the ball. As the Juventus players' legs grew heavy, it was the fresh twinkle toes of extra-time substitute Thiago Alcantara that broke through the Italian defense. After a smart one-two with Müller, the Spaniard casually slotted the ball past Gianluigi Buffon to give Bayern the lead for the first time of the night. Coman put the result beyond doubt, darting down the right before cutting inside and planting a left-footed shot into the far corner of Buffon's goal.

The miraculous comeback silenced the Guardiola critics for now, with Barcelona boss Luis Enrique singing his praises: "He deserves it," Enrique said of the win. "Especially during his last year with Bayern. The teams he leads never give up"

The victory means Bayern have reached their fifth-straight Champions League quarterfinal. The gutsy effort from the Bavarians will surely be in the coach's highlight reel of results at Munich, and he may still claim a Champions League trophy with Bayern.

Live Champions League: Bayern Munich vs. Juventus