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Football

There's no stopping Bayern

Germany's Bayern Munich put three goals past Arsenal as Porto record 1-0 home win against Malaga in Champions League.
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2013 22:21
Arsenal found themselves a goal down after just seven minutes following a great strike from Bayern's Toni Kroos [AFP]

Bayern Munich loaded fresh misery onto beleaguered Arsenal with a 3-1 win at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday that left them with one foot in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Seeking a reaction after Saturday's shock FA Cup exit at the hands of second-tier Blackburn Rovers, Arsenal were instead soundly beaten by a Bayern side desperate to atone for last season's Champions League final heartache.

Bayern, runaway leaders in the Bundesliga, bossed the first half of the last 16 first leg, and went in 2-0 up at half-time through goals from Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller.

"We really dominated, and I didn't see any big chances from Arsenal, but it was annoying to concede the goal"

Bayern goal scorer Toni Kroos

Lukas Podolski replied early in the second half, breaching his former club's defence for the first time in 2013, but Mario Mandzukic struck late on to put Bayern firmly in control ahead of the second leg on March 13.

"We put in an outstanding performance over a long period of time against one of the top teams in Europe," Kroos told German television channel Sky.

"We really dominated, and I didn't see any big chances from Arsenal, but it was annoying to concede the goal."

With defeat, Arsenal's hopes of ending an eight-year trophy drought recede still further, and although Bayern will be without the suspended Bastian Schweinsteiger in the second leg, with three away goals, they may not miss him.

"In the second half, we stepped it up and it's unfortunate we didn't do that in the first half," Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere told British television channel ITV.

"I'm not sure why. Maybe it's a bit of nerves or anxiety, because we show what we can do when we play. We will look at it and try to put it right."

A bit of luck 

Joao Moutinho grabbed the only goal and put on a midfield masterclass as twice former winners Porto scored a 1-0 win over Malaga in their last-16 first leg match.

Porto enjoyed most of the possession against the visitors but had to wait until the second half to break the deadlock.

Brazilian left back Alex Sandro slid a pinpoint pass into the area that Moutinho coolly side-footed in after 56 minutes.

"We couldn't be the team we usually are but we'll give it our all in Malaga and try to put them under the same kind of pressure in the second leg. We definitely have a chance to turn it around"

Malaga defender Martin Demichelis

Replays showed Moutinho was offside but the goal was given despite strong appeals from the Malaga players.

Champions League debutants Malaga defended resolutely in the first half but were innocuous up front with Roque Santa Cruz and Julio Baptista kept quiet by Porto's back four.

The coaches, Porto's Vitor Pereira and Malaga's Manuel Pellegrini, said they expected plenty of attacking football but, in the first half at least, the show fell short of expectations.

In the second period Moutinho, 26, showed just why he is so coveted by Europe's big-spending teams.

With a battery of scouts in the stands, he dictated the pace of play, recovered dozens of lost balls and also found the energy to show up in the box.

"Losing is never a good thing but losing 1-0 is the best we could have hoped for," Malaga defender Martin Demichelis told the Spanish television broadcaster TVE.

"It was a shame we came up against fantastic opponents who knew how to pressure us and controlled the ball well.

"We couldn't be the team we usually are but we'll give it our all in Malaga and try to put them under the same kind of pressure in the second leg. We definitely have a chance to turn it around."

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