SEVILLE: Bayern Munich fought back with a deflected own goal and a late header from Thiago to claim a 2-1 win at Sevilla in an exciting Champions League quarter-final, first leg clash on Tuesday.
Pablo Sarabia had put Sevilla ahead in the 32nd minute when he got the better of Juan Bernat to control Sergio Escudero`s cross and fire home at the back post. However, five minutes later Bayern levelled when Sevilla`s Jesus Navas deflected Franck Ribery`s cross past home goalkeeper David Soria at the near post.
With Sevilla tiring, five-time European champions Bayern took advantage and Thiago headed the winner with the help of a deflection off Escudero in the 68th minute. Vincenzo Montella’s Sevilla were unlucky to go in level at the break, having had the better of the first half and demonstrating the spirit that saw them knock out Manchester United in the last 16.
Despite the absence of suspended playmaker Ever Banega, the Andalusians defied their underdog label and might have been awarded a penalty when Joaquin Correa was felled by Jerome Boateng but instead he was booked for diving.
Sarabia should then have put the hosts ahead but fired just wide after the ball dropped perfectly for him in front of goal. The Spanish attacking midfielder made amends with the opening goal before Navas’s own goal levelled the scores.
With Bayern`s usual left-back David Alaba injured, Bernat was given a torrid time by Sarabia who he was booked for fouling shortly after the opener before being withdrawn at halftime. The hosts nearly scored just after the break but Javi Martinez made a superb tackle on Franco Vazquez in the area.
After that Sevilla ran out of steam and Soria had to make a fine save to deny Martinez before Thiago grabbed the wiinner. Having let the lead slip, as they did in the 2-2 draw with Barcelona in La Liga on Saturday, Sevilla never looked like pulling level and Bayern`s Robert Lewandowski fired narrowly wide as the visitors, now in control, looked for a third.
Sevilla now need an unlikely triumph against the experienced Jupp Heynckes` side in Munich in next Wednesday`s second leg to reach the Champions League semi-finals for the first time.