Ivica Olic celebrates after scoring Bayern Munich's first goal
By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer, at Old Trafford
Arjen Robben's spectacular late strike wrecked Manchester United's hopes of reaching a third successive Champions League final as he sent Bayern Munich through on away goals at Old Trafford.
The former Chelsea star rifled in a magnificent volley from Franck Ribery's corner with 16 minutes left to stun United after they looked to be cruising into the semi-finals as they went 3-0 up before the interval to establish a two-goal aggregate lead.
Robben capped a dismal week for United that has seen them lose the Premier League leadership and crash out of the Champions League - also ending English interest in the tournament after Arsenal's exit against Barcelona.
Wayne Rooney was in Sir Alex Ferguson's starting line-up as he completed a remarkable recovery from the ankle ligament injury he sustained in Bayern's 2-1 win against United in the Allianz Arena eight days ago.
And he was quickly a thorn in Bayern's side, setting up Darron Gibson's opener after just three minutes. United looked on course for the last four when Nani turned in Antonio Valencia's cross four minutes later to put them ahead in the tie.
Bayern were being run ragged and Nani capped United's complete supremacy when he scored his second and their third as half-time approached - but the whole mood and shape of the tie was turned when Ivica Olic took advantage of poor defending to bundle home a crucial goal before the interval.
Louis van Gaal's side suddenly discovered hope, and a measure of composure, their cause being helped when Rafael was sent off after 50 minutes following his second yellow card for a foul on Ribery.
Ferguson responded by replacing Rooney, who had been limping heavily earlier, with John O'Shea, but the momentum had swung dramatically to Bayern and Robben's wonder goal capped a period of pressure.
United had no Rooney to call on for the finale and they did not have the inspiration to mount a trademark late surge as the Premier League's last representative went out of a tournament in which they have exerted so much influence in recent seasons.
Ferguson must now gather his team for a final assault on a fourth successive title, but there is no doubt they have taken three heavy blows as they attempt to add more silverware to the Carling Cup won against Aston Villa.
And he will also hope Rooney has not sustained further damage to his ankle in this lost cause.
Defeat hard to digest - Ferguson
Rooney's presence was greeted with a thunderous roar at Old Trafford - and he was swiftly involved as United made the dream start by taking the lead after only three minutes. He found Gibson, whose right-foot shot from the edge of the box appeared to deceive Hans-Jorg Butt as it flew in.
Bayern were reeling under the weight of United's barrage and they doubled their lead four minutes later when Valencia tormented Holger Badstuber and crossed for Nani to flick his finish beyond Butt and into the far corner.
If Bayern had any plans to contain United, they were in tatters and their shredded nerves were in evidence again when a wild clearance from Butt almost let in Carrick, but his shot flew wide.
Rooney had shown little ill-effects from his injury in the early stages, but a gasp of anxiety swept around the stadium when he emerged from a tackle limping heavily. It was several minutes before he was able to run freely once more, signalling to the relieved United bench that he was able to continue.
Rafael had snuffed out the threat of Ribery in the first half, and was also able to join in United's attacking efforts. He was guilty, however, of wasting a perfect opportunity to increase United's advantage after 34 minutes when he raced clear into the box, only to fire across the face of goal with Rooney unmarked and perfectly placed, waiting in vain for the pass that never came.
Bayern finally posed a threat when Van der Sar was forced to plunge bravely at the feet of Olic in United's first serious moment of danger.
United's response was instant and emphatic as Nani added their third four minutes before the interval. Valencia, who had given Badstuber a torrid time, was the creator again with a cross that went behind Rooney but fell into the path of Nani, who confidently swept his finish high past Butt.
As United contemplated taking a three-goal lead into the interval, Bayern struck as poor defending from Michael Carrick allowed Olic to scramble a finish past Edwin Van der Sar.
Bayern were suddenly buoyant, knowing one more goal would give them control of the tie once again, and Robben's low shot brought a fine save from Van der Sar.
And their hopes were raised further when United were reduced to 10 men after 50 minutes as Rafael received a second yellow card for hauling back Ribery. United boss Ferguson acted quickly to fill the defensive gap as he sent on O'Shea for the tiring Rooney, who may have still been struggling with his ankle knock after the earlier incident.
Bayern clearly sensed there was something in this tie for them and the previously subdued Ribery fired in an instant volley which Van der Sar punched to safety.
United were refusing to sit back, however, and Patrice Evra's astute pass sent Nani into acres of space, but his powerful shot was blocked by Butt.
Bayern knew they needed a goal and continued to press, with substitute Mario Gomez arriving on the end of Philipp Lahm's delivery to send a header glancing off the bar with Van der Sar beaten.
And the strike they craved came with 16 minutes left, courtesy of a magnificent strike from Robben. United fatally left him unmarked at the far corner of the area, but he provided a classic low left foot volley that gave Van der Sar no chance.
Ferguson threw on Dimitar Berbatov for the closing stages but Bayern closed out the game in composed manner as Old Trafford suffered bitter disappointment in near silence.
Correction - 90:00+11:54 The final whistle goes and the game is over.
90:00+3:23 The referee signals the end of the game.
90:00+1:45 Short corner worked by Hamit Altintop.
90:00+0:56 Nemanja Vidic challenges Bastian Schweinsteiger unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Mark Van Bommel.
88:18 Luis Nani produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the goal.
87:53 Franck Ribery has an effort at goal from outside the area which goes wide right of the goal.
84:42 Centre by Patrice Evra, Danijel Pranjic manages to make a clearance.
83:34 Substitution Danijel Pranjic is brought on as a substitute for Ivica Olic.
81:45 Effort from 35 yards by Franck Ribery went wide right of the net.
79:59 Substitution Ryan Giggs comes on in place of Darron Gibson.
79:03 Substitution Dimitar Berbatov joins the action as a substitute, replacing Michael Carrick.
76:36 Free kick awarded for a foul by John O'Shea on Franck Ribery. Free kick taken by Franck Ribery.
76:14 Daniel Van Buyten takes a shot. Save made by Edwin Van der Sar.
75:58 Corner taken by Hamit Altintop, clearance by Rio Ferdinand.
75:02 Substitution Hamit Altintop is brought on as a substitute for Arjen Robben.
73:34 Assist on the goal came from Franck Ribery.
73:34 GOAL - Arjen Robben:Man Utd 3 - 2 Bayern Munich Arjen Robben finds the back of the net with a goal from the edge of the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal.
Man Utd 3 (4)-(4) 2 Bayern Munich.
73:17 Corner taken right-footed by Franck Ribery,
73:04 Franck Ribery decides to take the corner short.
72:52 Arjen Robben takes a shot. Blocked by Nemanja Vidic.
71:58 Unfair challenge on Antonio Valencia by Bastian Schweinsteiger results in a free kick. Free kick taken by John O'Shea.
71:01 Effort on goal by Darron Gibson from 20 yards. Jorg Butt makes a comfortable save.
70:36 Bastian Schweinsteiger takes a shot. Save made by Edwin Van der Sar.
69:49 Arjen Robben sends in a cross, blocked by Patrice Evra.
67:51 Luis Nani challenges Martin Demichelis unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Martin Demichelis.
67:16 Header from deep inside the area by Mario Gomez goes harmlessly over the crossbar.
64:18 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Luis Nani, Effort on goal by Michael Carrick from deep inside the area goes
harmlessly over the bar.
64:01 Darren Fletcher produces a volleyed right-footed shot from 20 yards. Blocked by Mario Gomez.
63:10 Corner taken by Luis Nani, clearance made by Martin Demichelis.
62:57 Luis Nani takes a shot. Brilliant save by Jorg Butt.
61:14 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Franck Ribery by Antonio Valencia. Franck Ribery takes the free kick.
60:24 Outswinging corner taken by Franck Ribery from the left by-line, save made by Edwin Van der Sar.
60:17 The ball is sent over by Holger Badstuber, John O'Shea makes a clearance.
59:13 Arjen Robben takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Nemanja Vidic manages to make a clearance.
58:12 Franck Ribery takes a shot. Edwin Van der Sar makes a brilliant save.
55:02 Effort from the edge of the area by Darren Fletcher goes wide of the right-hand upright.
54:53 Short corner worked by Luis Nani.
54:24 Substitution (Man Utd) makes a substitution, with John O'Shea coming on for Wayne Rooney.
54:06 Luis Nani takes a shot. Jorg Butt makes a save.
53:20 The free kick is swung in right-footed by Darren Fletcher, save by Jorg Butt.
53:20 Booking Holger Badstuber receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.
53:09 Antonio Valencia fouled by Holger Badstuber, the ref awards a free kick.
50:59 Arjen Robben takes a inswinging corner to the near post, Luis Nani manages to make a clearance.
49:44 The free kick is swung in left-footed by Bastian Schweinsteiger, clearance by Rio Ferdinand.
49:44 Sent off Rafael Da Silva receives a red card for second bookable offence.
49:29 Rafael Da Silva concedes a free kick for a foul on Franck Ribery.
47:39 Franck Ribery takes the inswinging corner, Nemanja Vidic makes a clearance.
45:50 Ivica Olic fouled by Nemanja Vidic, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Philip Lahm.
45:01 The second half begins.
45:01 Substitution Thomas Muller goes off and Mario Gomez comes on.
45:00+3:06 The referee calls an end to the first half.
45:00+2:49 Shot from 25 yards from Darren Fletcher. Blocked by Bastian Schweinsteiger.
45:00+2:44 The ball is swung over by Antonio Valencia, Philip Lahm manages to make a clearance.
45:00+0:55 Daniel Van Buyten takes a shot. Blocked by Michael Carrick.
45:00+0:41 Franck Ribery decides to take a short corner.
45:00+0:30 Franck Ribery takes a shot. Save made by Edwin Van der Sar.
44:47 Ivica Olic delivers the ball, save made by Edwin Van der Sar.
44:03 Darren Fletcher gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Thomas Muller. Bastian Schweinsteiger restarts play with
the free kick.
43:28 Ivica Olic concedes a free kick for a foul on Rio Ferdinand. Free kick taken by Rio Ferdinand.
42:20 Thomas Muller provided the assist for the goal.
42:20 GOAL - Ivica Olic:Man Utd 3 - 1 Bayern Munich Ivica Olic finds the net with a goal from inside the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man Utd 3 (4)-(3)
1 Bayern Munich.
40:25 Assist by Antonio Valencia.
40:25 GOAL - Luis Nani:Man Utd 3 - 0 Bayern Munich Luis Nani finds the back of the net with a goal from the edge of the penalty box high into the middle of the goal. Man Utd
3 (4)-(2) 0 Bayern Munich.
37:54 Free kick awarded for a foul by Mark Van Bommel on Rafael Da Silva. Free kick crossed right-footed by Luis Nani, Ivica Olic
manages to make a clearance.
37:00 Luis Nani concedes a free kick for a foul on Thomas Muller. Mark Van Bommel takes the direct free kick.
36:03 Daniel Van Buyten challenges Wayne Rooney unfairly and gives away a free kick. Rio Ferdinand takes the direct free kick.
33:47 Rafael Da Silva produces a drilled right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.
32:57 A cross is delivered by Arjen Robben, clearance made by Michael Carrick.
32:12 Darron Gibson takes a long range shot harmlessly clearing the crossbar.
31:03 Darron Gibson takes the outswinging corner, Nemanja Vidic produces a right-footed shot from inside the area that clears the
28:08 Corner taken by Darron Gibson from the right by-line to the near post, Bastian Schweinsteiger makes a clearance.
27:06 Free kick taken by Nemanja Vidic.
27:06 Booking The referee shows Mark Van Bommel a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
26:52 Mark Van Bommel concedes a free kick for a foul on Darren Fletcher.
25:39 Bastian Schweinsteiger takes a shot. Blocked by Darren Fletcher.
24:35 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mark Van Bommel by Patrice Evra. Mark Van Bommel takes the free kick.
22:44 Luis Nani produces a right-footed shot from long range which goes wide right of the goal.
20:00 Foul by Michael Carrick on Bastian Schweinsteiger, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Mark Van Bommel.
17:52 Jorg Butt restarts play with the free kick.
17:52 Booking Rafael Da Silva is booked.
17:47 Unfair challenge on Mark Van Bommel by Rafael Da Silva results in a free kick.
15:57 Darron Gibson takes the outswinging corner, Header on goal by Wayne Rooney from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
15:52 Darron Gibson delivers the ball, Daniel Van Buyten makes a clearance.
15:02 Franck Ribery concedes a free kick for a foul on Rafael Da Silva. Rio Ferdinand takes the free kick.
12:23 The ball is crossed by Thomas Muller, Rio Ferdinand manages to make a clearance.
11:35 Michael Carrick produces a left-footed shot from long range which goes wide right of the goal.
10:59 Foul by Patrice Evra on Philip Lahm, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Philip Lahm.
9:52 Unfair challenge on Franck Ribery by Rafael Da Silva results in a free kick. Bastian Schweinsteiger restarts play with the
9:13 Unfair challenge on Mark Van Bommel by Luis Nani results in a free kick. Philip Lahm takes the direct free kick.
8:49 Ivica Olic is ruled offside. Edwin Van der Sar restarts play with the free kick.
8:12 Patrice Evra concedes a free kick for a foul on Arjen Robben. Arjen Robben delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed
from right wing.
7:40 Unfair challenge on Wayne Rooney by Bastian Schweinsteiger results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Michael Carrick.
6:30 Assist on the goal came from Antonio Valencia.
6:30 GOAL - Luis Nani:Man Utd 2 - 0 Bayern Munich Luis Nani finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Man Utd
2 (3)-(2) 0 Bayern Munich.
6:26 The ball is crossed by Antonio Valencia,
4:58 Luis Nani crosses the ball, Martin Demichelis makes a clearance.
4:06 Corner taken by Luis Nani from the left by-line, save by Jorg Butt.
2:38 The assist for the goal came from Wayne Rooney.
2:38 GOAL - Darron Gibson:Man Utd 1 - 0 Bayern Munich Darron Gibson gets on the score sheet with a goal from just outside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man Utd
1 (2)-(2) 0 Bayern Munich.
Correction - 0:21 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Darren Fletcher by Mark Van Bommel. Rio Ferdinand takes the direct free kick.
0:21 Foul by Mark Van Bommel on Darren Fletcher, free kick awarded. Rio Ferdinand takes the direct free kick.
0:00 The game begins.
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