Munich, March 17 (IANS) German giants Bayern Munich had to battle back from a two-goal deficit to defeat a tenacious Juventus side 4-2 in extra time for a 6-4 triumph on aggregate in their Champions League Round of 16 clash.
Juventus, who lost to Barcelona in last year’s final, displayed the tactical refinement and defensive acumen traditionally associated with Italian clubs at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday, reports Efe.
For Bayern, the match turned into a test of character that the German side passed with flying colours.
The first leg in Turin, Italy, ended 2-2, so Juventus started the night needing to outscore the hosts by at least two goals to have a chance of advancing to the quarter-finals.
The visitors played with the requisite level of urgency, forcing Bayern back on their heels with a goal in the 5th minute from Paul Pogba, who fired the ball into an open net after goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and defender David Alaba got tangled up trying to stop a ball into the area.
Encouraged by the early goal, Juventus was content to cede possession to Bayern and wait for opportunities on the counterattack.
A chance came in the 28th minute, when Sami Khedira robbed Alaba near the Juventus goal and fed the ball to Alvaro Morata, who ran nearly 60 meters before serving up a beautiful ball that Juan Guillermo Cuadrado slammed into the Bayern net to make it 2-0 on the night and 4-2 overall.
Bayern’s first shot on goal came just minutes before half-time and veteran Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon turned aside the strike from Thomas Muller.
Neuer, meanwhile, had to make a great stop on Cuadrado in the closing seconds of the half.
Juventus remained the better side after the break, with Morata threatening in the 57th minute even as the visitors’ defence continued to stymie Bayern.
With the crowd growing increasingly restless, Bayern star Robert Lewandowski headed a cross from Douglas Costa into the Juventus net in the 73rd minute to give his team life.
Bayern pressed, but Juventus didn’t yield until the final seconds, when Muller’s header beat Buffon to even the score at 2-2 on the night and 4-4 overall.
The home side carried the euphoria of the tying goal into extra time.
Thiago Alcantara, who came in at the 100-minute mark for Franck Ribery, broke the deadlock three minutes later after combining with Muller. Kingsley Coman completed the comeback with a goal in the 109th minute.