Robben scored the goal to put Bayern into the quarter-finals
By Peter Scrivener
Bayern Munich reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League on away goals despite losing 3-2 at Fiorentina.
The German side's 2-1 first-leg lead was wiped out by Juan Vargas' shot from a tight angle before Stevan Jovetic made it 2-0 on the night from 12 yards.
Mark van Bommel's 20-yard strike brought Bayern level on aggregate at 3-3 but Jovetic's close-range shot put the home side back in the ascendancy.
However Arjen Robben smashed in from 30 yards to make it 4-4 on aggregate.
Bayern's two goals maintained their impressive Champions League record of scoring in away ties - they have now notched in 18 of their last 19.
But it was far from a straightforward night for the Germans in the Artemio Franchi Stadium.
Bayern struggled to clear their lines in the first half as Fiorentina, playing with a strong breeze at their backs, adapted better to the conditions.
And it was no surprise that the opening goal came from a speculative wind-assisted effort.
Marco Marchionni's 40-yard shot bounced awkwardly in front of Bayern keeper Hans-Joerg Butt, who could only palm the effort into the path of Vargas, who swept home from a tight angle with his left foot.
Fiorentina were controlling the game and nullified the threat of Robben and Franck Ribery by sending three players every time the ball made its way to the Bayern wingers.
The only time Robben did manage to slip unnoticed into the Fiorentina penalty box, home keeper Sebastien Frey superbly tipped away his volley.
After the break Alberto Gilardino scuffed a shot from inside the six yard box as Fiorentina looked to extend their lead.
However, the Italian side's top scorer made amends moments later with an exquisite back-heeled lay-off to set up Jovetic who doubled the lead on the night and put Fiorentina 3-2 ahead on aggregate.
The goal sparked Bayern into life and substitute Miroslav Klose, who scored the highly controversial 'offside' winner in the first leg, was inches away from turning in a Robben free-kick.
Bayern finally restored parity on aggregate and away goals when Van Bommel guided Ribery's square pass beyond Frey's right-hand and into the bottom corner with a superbly controlled shot.
Any thoughts of extra-time were quickly extinguished though when Gilardino and Jovetic combined again, with the former nodding down for the latter to score from close range under Butt.
A crazy 11 minutes was completed seconds later when Robben was shown inside by the Fiorentina defence and he took full advantage, drilling a 30-yard left-foot effort into the top corner beyond Frey's despairing dive.
The 3-2 defeat on the night was Bayern's first in 19 games, although qualifying for the Champions League quarter-final was more than adequate compensation.
Fiorentina coach Cesare Prandelli: "I feel great bitterness but I am proud to have guided the team to play this match.
"My players should not feel frustrated. They are working to become important players and these type of games show that they can compete against anyone.
"My players did well against Bayern and it is a pity that Miroslav Klose's goal in the first-leg turned out to be important."
Bayern Munich coach Louis Van Gaal: "We made a lot of individual mistakes on defence, which made the game very complicated
"It wasn't an easy game, but in the second half we kept the ball on the ground more and we scored two beautiful goals.
"I can also understand that Fiorentina is upset, since the deciding goal (Klose's in the first leg) was scored offside."
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Tuesday, 9 March 2010
(HT 1-0)(agg 4-4)Bayern Munich win on the away goal rule
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