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March 31, 2023

Champions League: Bayern record underlines danger to United

Manchester United FC are chasing on Wednesday night a fourth consecutive UEFA Champions League semi-final but first they must get overturn a 2-1 deficit against an FC Bayern Munich side unbeaten at Old Trafford. Winners in 2008 and runners-up last season, United hope to become the first team since Juventus (1996-98) to appear in three successive finals but they must first overturn a 2-1 deficit against a Bayern side they have never beaten on home soil, according to uefa.com. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side made the perfect start to the quarter-final first leg in Munich, Wayne Rooney volleying in within a minute, yet in a reversal of the teams’ famous meeting in the 1999 final, this time it was Bayern who mounted a sterling late comeback. Franck Ribéry’s free-kick deflected in off Rooney with 13 minutes left and worse was to follow for United as Ivica Olic pounced two minutes into added time to give the German side a precious lead.

The clubs’ most memorable encounter was that 1999 UEFA Champions League final when United famously broke Bayern hearts with added-time goals from substitutes Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjær. Bayern had led for 84 minutes following Mario Basler’s sixth-minute opener.

Bayern gained a measure of revenge for their 1999 defeat when they overcame United in the 2000/01 quarter-finals. After a 1-0 win at Old Trafford courtesy of a late Paulo Sergio strike, the Bavarian club prevailed 2-1 in the return where Giggs hit the visitors’ consolation goal.

Bayern successfully defended a 2-1 first-leg lead in the last 16 of this season’s competition against ACF Fiorentina, squeezing through on away goals after a 3-2 defeat in the return. Bayern’s most recent visit to England brought a 4-2 loss at Chelsea FC that eventually led to a 6-5 aggregate defeat in the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.

Lyon to test Bordeaux’s home rule

FC Girondins de Bordeaux will put their 100% home record to the test against an Olympique Lyonnais team with a knack of winning on their travels and a valuable two-goal lead from the first leg.

Bordeaux have won four out of four at the Stade Chaban-Delmas in this season’s UEFA Champions League but, trailing 3-1 from the first leg, need to equal their best display yet against a Lyon team battling to reach their first ever semi-final in the competition, uefa.com comments.

Laurent Blanc’s side fell behind ten minutes into the first leg as Lisandro struck, but within four minutes Bordeaux were level thanks to Marouane Chamakh’s header. Michel Bastos restored the home team’s advantage in the 32nd minute, however, and Lisandro – who, along with Sidney Govou is suspended for the second leg after both collected late bookings – made it 3-1 from the penalty spot 13 minutes from time after Matthieu Chalmé had handled Aly Cissokho’s shot.

Whatever the outcome, France is guaranteed its first UEFA Champions League semi-finalist since AS Monaco FC in 2004.

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