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Ciro Ferrara's side are condemned to the Europa League as they collapse at home......


Bayern Munich marched to the round of 16 in this season's Champions League as Group A runners-up after defeating Juventus 4-1 at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino on Tuesday evening. David Trezeguet gave the Italian giants the lead in the 19th minute but Hans-Jorg Butt equalised for the former European champions on the half hour mark. Ivica Olic made it 2-1 to the Bavarians in the 52nd minute and Mario Gomez wrapped up a sensational win seven minutes from time. Anatoliy Tymoshchuk added the cherry on the cake when he scored in the second minute of injury time.

Juventus commenced with Alessandro Del Piero and David Trezeguet upfront and with Diego entrusted with the supply from the midfield. Bayern needed to win this match and lined up an attacking formation with Mario Gomez and Ivica Olic as the two main strikers.

The game started at a frenetic pace as both sides came roaring out for the first and crucial goal. The maiden chance fell to the hosts in the fourth minute. Mauro Camoranesi whipped in a cross for Alessandro Del Piero, who then flicked the ball for Trezeguet but Daniel van Buyten headed the ball away. That allowed Bayern to break away for a counter-attack with Bastian Schweinsteiger but Juve didn't have much problem in clearing the ball away from danger.

Two minutes later the German international midfielder had a great chance of searing his side into a shock lead when he was fed by Philipp Lahm on the right inside the Juve penalty area but Schweinsteiger blasted the ball way off target.

Thereafter, Juve started to gain momentum and could have even gone ahead in the 10th minute. Camoranesi sent Trezeguet through only for the French striker to miss the target. It wouldn't have counted anyway as the referee had blown the whistle for offside.

A couple of minutes later Lady Luck conspired against Bayern as Ivica Olic hit the frame of the post from close range from a Mark van Bommel cross.

But it was the hosts who surged ahead on 19 minutes and it was Trezeguet who scored. Claudio Marchisio carried on his good form and expressed his technical abilities again as he craftily sent in a pass from the left accurately at Trezeguet and the 32-year-old's first time attempt beat Hans-Jorg Butt between the Bayern posts. It was a special moment for the striker, who surpassed Omar Sivori's 167 goal haul.

But all the good work upfront could have been wasted at the other end of the pitch just 60 seconds later when Schweinsteiger made a long range attempt on goal, but custodian Gianluigi Buffon was up to the challenge and pulled off a brilliant save.

Then in the 24th minute the Bavarians created yet another good chance when Danijel Pranjic took advantage of the time and space allowed to him and carved in a dangerous cross only for Olic to head it over the Juve crossbar.

The visitors eventually equalised on the half hour mark when Martin Caceres brought down Ivica Olic inside his penalty area. Bayern goalkeeper Butt stepped up to take the spot-kick and made no mistake.

Bayern had been the better side in the game until then and continued to press on upon the Juve backline. In the 32nd minute Van Buyten headed a corner over the bar from point-blank range and 10 minutes later Buffon was forced into making the best save of the first half when he fended off Schweinsteiger's rocket from the edge of the Juve penalty area.

Yet it was the hosts who could have scored the third goal of the match on the stroke of half-time when Del Piero hoodwinked the Bayern backline with a marvellous dummy but he couldn't lay the ball properly for Trezeguet. It finished 1-1 at half-time, which meant that Juventus were scrapping through to the knockout stages as Group A runners-up.



Juventus coach Ciro Ferrara took off Del Piero at half-time and brought on Christian Poulsen to alter his formation to 4-4-2 and to defend the 1-1 scoreline by shoring up the midfield.

However, the move didn't go according to plan as Bayern took the lead just seven minutes into the second half. Buffon made a good save from Van Buyten's attempt on the Juve goal but Olic, who had hit the post in the first 45 minutes, pounced on to tap in from close range. It became 2-1 to the visitors at that stage, implying that it was them and not Juve who were going through.

The goal was nothing more than what Bayern deserved as they were the better and more creative side until then in the game. But they could have conceded the equaliser on 58 minutes when Camoranesi sent in an inviting cross but Diego couldn't keep his attempt on target.

Juve were showing signs of urgency and a couple of minutes later on the hour mark the Bianconeri earned a free-kick in a dangerous position when Van Bommel committed a foul on Diego. The Brazilian whipped in a great ball but Poulsen's header was way off target.

Four minutes later it was the Germans who went close. Olic crossed the ball trying to find Schweinsteiger but Marchisio came to the rescue and intervened.

Three minutes later it was the Italians who came close to scoring the fourth goal of the game when Caceres carved in a lovely cross for Trezeguet only for the Frenchman to head wide from close range.

Time was running out for Juve and they started to attack in droves. They won a corner on 75 minutes but couldn't do anything productive with that. A couple of minutes later Fabio Grosso provided a cross into the Bayern penalty area for second half substitute Amauri but it was intercepted.

The game was eventually settled seven minutes before normal time when Mario Gomez tapped in from close range to make it 3-1 to Bayern. But the humiliation was not over at that point for Juve, who conceded yet again, this time in the second minute of injury time when Anatoliy Tymoshchuk smashed in a belter from outside the penalty box to make it 4-1 to the visitors.

So Bayern finish runners-up in Group A and are through to the knockout stages while Juventus drop down into the Europa League.

Subhankar Mondal, Goal.com





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