NEWS
Wednesday April 9 2014
CL: Semi-final line-up complete

Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid have joined Chelsea and Real Madrid in the draw for the Champions League semi-finals.

German and defending European champions Bayern overcame a brief scare to see off the challenge of Manchester United.

The quarter-final tie was locked at 1-1 heading into the second leg at Allianz Arena and predictably it was the hosts who dominated the first-half possession. They severely lacked a cutting edge however and failed to register a shot on target in the entire opening 45 minutes.

If David Moyes’ side were pleased with their first-half efforts, they were positively ecstatic when Patrice Evra put them ahead on 57 minutes. The Frenchman perfectly met Antonio Valencia’s cross field ball to fire home an unstoppable left-footed half-volley from 20 yards out, sending United fans into a state of delirium.

They were brought crashing down to earth within a minute though. Virtually from the kick-off, the Germans launched an attack down their left which ended in Mario Mandzukic glancing home a header, much to the relief of the home crowd.

Pep Guardiola’s team had their tails up now and their play became more and more incisive. Wayne Rooney however should have restored the Red Devils’ lead as United countered, but could only scuff his shot when virtually clean through.

It proved a very costly miss as Thomas Muller then put Bayern 2-1 up after getting on the end of Arjen Robben’s low ball in from the right.

The English side were unable to create any more clear cut chances and Robben made the game safe with a quarter of an hour to go. The Dutchman cut in from the right before unleashing a shot which beat David De Gea via a deflection off Nemanja Vidic.

The final whistle sounded to mark the end of what will surely be United’s final game in the competition for at least a year and a half, while Guardiola goes marching on to yet another semi-final.

Guardiola will not be joined in the last four by his old side Barcelona though. Koke’s early goal for Atletico was enough to condemn the Catalan giants to a 1-0 defeat on the night at the Vicente Calderon, and a 2-1 reverse overall.

It could and arguably should have been more for the Rojiblancos, who continue to amaze with their exploits this season and hit the woodwork three times in the opening 20 minutes of the match.

David Villa did so twice, while at the other end Lionel Messi sent an effort narrowly wide.

Though Tata Martino’s side enjoyed a whopping 71 per cent of the possession, it was Diego Simeone’s charges who looked the more likely to add to their tally as they looked to hit their compatriots from Catalonia on the counter.

The away side wasted their best chance of the night early in the second half. Brazilian forward Neymar found himself one on one with Atleti keeper Thibault Courtois, but rather than shoot he opted to round the Belgian. The shot-stopper tipped the ball away and, though the loose ball fell to Messi he was crowded out.

Gabi should have made the tie safe with a quarter of an hour remaining when he too was sent clean through on goal, but he could only side-foot a weak effort straight at Jose Pinto.

It ultimately did not matter as Atleti saw out the final stages of the match as comfortably as they could have done given the circumstances. The end of the game triggered wild celebrations among the home support and they now join their cross-city rivals Real Madrid in the last four of Europe's premier club competition.

The semi-final draw takes place on Friday at 11.00 BST.

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