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UEFA Champions League

  • November 20, 2012
  • • 2:45 PM
  • • Estadio de Mestalla, Valencia
  • Referee: H. Webb
  • • Attendance: 35407

Valencia 1-1 Bayern: Muller's late leveler sees Bavarians through

The Germany international equalized in the closing stages against a 10-man opponent to seal die Roten's progression to the next round, along with Los Che.

Valencia narrowly missed out on moving to the top of Champions League Group F with a hard-fought 1-1 draw with 2012 runner-up Bayern Munich at the Mestalla.

The Bundesliga outfit was on top during the early exchanges but failed to make the most of its dominance. Los Che were reduced to 10 men in the first half but they showed immense determination to score late on through Sofiane Feghouli.

Mauricio Pellegrino's men already had their place in the next round assured before the game but Bayern also booked its place in the draw for the Round of 16 with a late equalizer from Thomas Muller.

Die Roten showed their hand early as they put the Valencia defence under pressure with a high pressing game. The home side was struggling to get the ball out and was fortunate that Guaita was on hand to keep out Dante's header in the 18th minute.

However, Jupp Heynckes' side was struggling to get Claudio Pizarro involved and the lack of focus in attack almost cost the club just after the half hour mark, but Manuel Neuer saved brilliantly from Feghouli.

It appeared as though that positive momentum instantly evaporated as Antonio Barragan was dismissed for a terribly late tackle on David Alaba, but it actually induced Los Che's best spell of the game.

With nine second-half minutes played a cross into the box found Soldado but the Spain international's header flew straight into the arms of the keeper.

Bayern remained unable to make the man advantage count and was let off the hook when Soldado sprung the offside trap but blazed well over the bar on the hour mark.

Spurred on by the scare, die Roten finally forged a chance of their own as Ribery cut the ball back for Muller. However, the 23-year-old failed to make a decent connection with the ball and Guaita saved with ease.

As Bayern pressed, Valencia's legs began to tire and thus substitute Mario Mandzukic was offered a free header in the area with 20 minutes remaining. The keeper was idle as the ball cut through the air but the effort crashed off the outside of the post and went behind.

Come the 77th minute it looked to be a disastrous miss. Feghouli won the ball in the opposing half and dribbled his way to the top of the box. From there he unleased a shot which took a deflection off of Dante and bounced into the net, out of the reach of Neuer.

With nothing to lose, Bayern threw men forward and Mario Gomez made his first contribution on his return to the side by taking the sting out of a cross for Muller to send into the corner, with a slight deflection from Feghouli.

The draw means that both the Bavarian side and the Liga outfit will be in the hat for the next round, though the group winner will be decided on the final match day.

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