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Wednesday, 18 April, 2001, 20:53 GMT 21:53 UK
Bayern wreck Man Utd dream
Bayern Munich 2-1 Manchester United (Agg: 3-1)
Manchester United's dream of a Champions League comeback evaporated in a first-half storm in Munich.
Elber and Mehmet Scholl struck in the first and final five minutes of a sensational first half to put Bayern out of reach in a quarter-final tie in which they were always in control.
United grabbed a goal back early in the second half courtesey of Ryan Giggs, but that proved a mere consolation, even if that hardly describes the mood of United and their disconsolate manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
With United trailing to Paolo Sergio's first-leg goal, it seemed a safe bet to assume they would come racing out of the blocks in Munich.
Instead, they were left standing.
Bayern made a glorious start and secured themselves a two-goal aggregate cushion within five minutes.
Michael Tarnat's low cross from the left was missed by Carsten Jancker and, crucially, Wes Brown, allowing Brazilian striker Elber to rifle into the roof of the net.
Two minutes later, shell-shocked United should have been in deeper trouble.
Again their defence stood like startled rabbits in the glare of headlights as Mehmet Scholl fed Jancker, whose shot thudded against the crossbar.
Brown, more than anyone, appeared to be suffering from stage fright as United failed to deal with Bayern's rampant start.
The young defender's attempted cushioned header back to his goalkeeper fell horribly short of Fabien Barthez's grasp and it was only the ineptitude of Jancker's finishing which saved United from further damage.
On the face of it, one Bayern goal did not change United's task. Two away goals remained the target and they slowly began to raise their game in a belated attempt to turn the tie around.
Andy Cole narrowly failed to turn home a Ryan Giggs corner as Scholl hacked off the line midway through the half and Dwight Yorke saw a shot fluffed over the bar by Bayern keeper Oliver Kahn.
The German international goalkeeper's clumsiness was forgivable after he had been knocked unconcious in a collision with Cole earlier in the half.
United, though, rarely tested his senses and instead it was the visitors who were caught cold again late in the first half.
Jens Jeremies made a surging run through midfield and crossed for Elber to help the ball on to Scholl, who made no mistake with a low, near-post finish.
United's task thus seemed impossible by half-time - Bayern have not conceded a European goal at home in around nine hours' play.
But the English champions grabbed themselves some kind of lifeline within five minutes of the restart.
Paul Scholes cleverly chipped over the defence to put Giggs clear and he completed the up-and-under routine to beat Kahn with a neat lobbed finish.
Cole came close to reducing the deficit further when he spun away from Samuel Kuffour in the six-yard box and tumbled under the defender's challenge, but his penalty appeals were more in hope than expectation.
Even the second-half introduction of Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - United's heroes against Bayern in the 1999 final in Barcelona - failed to ignite United's glimmer of hope.
Scholes saw a long-range effort beaten away by Kahn and Sheringham snapped a volley wide as United produced their best football of the tie.
Sadly, that inspired play came too late. United needed to have started the game the way they finished it and that, more than anything, underlined the fact that Bayern deserve their semi-final place.
Bayern Munich: Kahn, Kuffour, Andersson, Linke, Sagnol, Tarnat,
Jeremies, Effenberg, Scholl, Jancker, Elber.
Manchester United: Barthez, Gary Neville, Brown, Stam, Silvestre,
Scholes, Keane, Butt, Giggs, Yorke, Cole.
Referee: V M Pereira (Portugal).
18 Apr 01 | Photo Galleries
United humbled in Munich
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