Robben spoils Man U party

Robben spoils Man U party

Dutchmans sublime late goal powers Bayern into semifinals

Robben spoils Man U party

Bayern Munich’s Ivica Olic celebrates after scoring against Manchester United on Wednesday. AFP

Rooney, returning to the heat of battle just eight days after damaging ankle ligaments in his side's 2-1 defeat in the first leg of their quarterfinal, flummoxed Bayern by his mere presence as United romped to a 3-0 lead but ultimately his amazing powers of recovery counted for nothing.

The England striker, who has scored 34 goals to underpin United's season, was largely a peripheral figure as United scored three goals in the opening 41 minutes against a Bayern side that had completely fluffed their lines amid the tumultuous din of a heaving Old Trafford.

He had a hand in Darron Gibson's opener after three minutes but after that it was Antonio Valencia and Nani who tore Bayern to shreds, the latter scoring twice to send United seemingly towards a fourth consecutive semifinal in the competition.

That was as good as it got, however, for United, who conceded twice to crash out on the away goals rule -- the second, former Chelsea winger Robben's killer blow, coming after Rooney had trudged off after 55 minutes with more damage to his ankle and Brazilian fullback Rafael had been sent off.

Despite Rooney not firing on all cylinders, United were full of pace, passion and purpose for most of his 55 minutes.

After that, although hampered by going down to 10 men, they retreated into their shells and to such an extent that Robben's knockout blow was hardly a surprise.
Seven turbulent minutes was all it took for a rampant United to turn a 2-1 first leg deficit into a 3-2 aggregate advantage at the Theatre of Dreams.

Rooney's most telling touch of the night sent Darron Gibson through to strike United in front after three minutes and Nani's deft back heel from Valencia's cross made it 2-0 as Bayern buckled in an electrifying atmosphere.

The visitors looked dead and buried when Nani struck again after 41 minutes with a magnificent shot into the top corner but Croatian Ivica Olic, scorer of the late winner in Munich, grabbed one back two minutes later from a narrow angle to give his side hope at the interval.

Five minutes into the second half, Rafael's inexperience resulted in a second yellow card -- the turning point, rather than Rooney's withdrawal soon afterwards, according to an angry Ferguson who pointed the finger at Bayern's players.
Robben was unshackled in the second half, wreaking havoc down the right as United went slowly backwards.

When a corner from Ribery was lofted towards him after 74 minutes, time seemed to stand still before one swing of his left boot sent the ball hurtling past Edwin van der Sar.

Lyon in semis

Olympique Lyon reached the semifinals for the first time despite losing 1-0 at French rivals Girondins Bordeaux.

Ligue 1 champions Bordeaux had only an outside chance of qualifying after going down 3-1 in Lyon last week but Morocco striker Marouane Chamakh kept their hopes alive by scoring from close range just before the break.

Lyon, though, controlled much of a highly-tactical affair that was not as exciting as the first leg to triumph 3-2 on aggregate and set up a meeting with Bayern Munich.
The first chance for Lyon came from a long-range free kick by Brazilian winger Michel Bastos that went just wide on 10 minutes.

The visitors showed more initiative up front in the opening stages and three minutes later lone striker Bafetimbi Gomis headed over from a corner.
Bordeaux looked nervous at first and did not threaten until playmaker Yoann Gourcuff nodded over in the 18th minute.

Minutes later a low cross by Tremoulinas took a deflection and Chamakh pounced to score from close range.