Milan: Mario Gomez, widely considered a failure in his first season with Bayern Munich, continued his resurgence with a last-gasp goal to clinch a 1-0 Champions League win at titleholders Inter Milan.
Bayern, inspired by Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, cancelled out Inter playmaker Wesley Sneijder to give the German side some revenge for last season`s 2-0 loss to the Italian champions in the final.
Winning coach Louis van Gaal described as "wonderful" a match that suggested his team are close finding the form which took them to last season`s final and won them a domestic double.
Inter also created plenty of chances in an end-to-end game but a home defeat in the last-16 first-leg match left their hopes of defending the title hanging by a thread.
"Inter surprised me, they played to win and that is very beautiful," said Van Gaal. "The whole world has seen a wonderful game and I think both sets of fans could be happy with this game.
"In last year`s final, Inter attacked less but got a better result. But that`s football."
Striker Gomez followed up to score his first Champions League knockout stage goal after Arjen Robben`s shot had been blocked in the last minute.
It was his seventh goal in this season`s competition, level with Inter`s Samuel Eto`o, who was twice denied by Bayern goalkeeper Thomas Kraft, and Chelsea`s Nicolas Anelka.
Gomez became the Bundesliga`s most expensive signing when he joined Bayern from VfB Stuttgart at the start of last season, but struggled to settle.
He played little part in the team which won the Bundesliga and German Cup double and losing to Inter in the final.
Given his chance after Bayern were plagued by injuries earlier this season, Gomez -- the Bundesliga`s leading scorer with 18 goals -- suddenly found his form with four hat-tricks, including one in the Champions League.