Bayern Munich’s Mario Gomez strikes late to sink Inter

Prolific striker's 28th goal of the season hands Bayern Munich slender victory over Inter in San Siro

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
leonardo
Leonardo remains confident of qualification despite the defeat Photo: Inter.it

leonardo

Mario Gomez struck in the 89th minute as Bayern Munich seized a crucial away goal to take a 1-0 lead into the return leg of their Champions League last-16 tie against Inter Milan.

Inter goalkeeper Júlio César spilled Arjen Robben’s effort into the path of Gomez before the prolific German striker, who had already scored 27 goals this season, stroked home to give Bayern the edge over the defending champions.

Bayern coach Louis van Gaal, whose side lost to Inter in last season’s final, refused to get carried away with the result following an open encounter in San Siro.

“There were so many opportunities from both sides,” the 59-year-old told Sky Sports. “Bayern were lucky enough to score in the final moments of the game.

“I am very satisfied. I really enjoyed the second half, the offensive attitude and the fact that we did run a vacuum Inter.

“The goal in the final lens weighs a lot in qualifying. Inter? I was surprised, Inter created many scoring chances.”

In the first half Inter came close through Argentina international Esteban Cambiasso when his close-range shot was saved by Thomas Kraft following a weaving run from Samuel Eto’o on the right wing.

Inter’s best opening of the match arrived when Kraft deflected Eto’o’s shot directly into the path of Cambiasso, but the tenacious midfielder failed to adjust his feet and blasted the ball over crossbar.

Holland international Robben was Bayern’s danger man and early in the second half he delivered a delicious cross for Thomas Mueller, who could only head wide.

Moments later Robben drifted off the left wing and ran unchallenged across the Inter penalty area before unleashing a right-footed drive which rebounded off César’s right post.

But despite Gomez’s last-gasp winner, Inter boss Leonardo still remains hopeful of reaching the quarter-finals. “A loss is a loss,” he told Sky Italia. “We’re sorry to have conceded a goal in the 90th minute.

“Let’s say that should the game would have ended in a goalless draw, it would always have been difficult in Munich.

“So nothing’s changed. Anyway, my side played in a really good way, with the exception of the first 20 minutes, in which we have been too defensive.

“Considering they have had good ball possession, we have had the clearest chances to score. For me, everything is open regarding qualification.”

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