MUNICH - Holders Inter Milan showed
"amazing" team spirit to battle back to beat Bayern Munich 3-2
with an 88th-minute goal from Goran Pandev on Tuesday to scrape
through to the Champions League quarter-finals.
Inter, who also beat Bayern in last year's final, were on
the brink of going out until Macedonian Pandev struck to put the
Italians through on the away goals rule after losing 1-0 in the
first leg last month.
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Coach Leonardo's team became only the second side to advance
in the competition after having lost the first leg at home.
The only other team to achieve that feat was Ajax Amsterdam
in 1995-96 when they were coached by Louis van Gaal, now in
charge at Bayern.
"To advance like that is just unbelievable. For Pandev to
score such an amazing goal, a goal that will go down in history,
is just incredible," Leonardo told reporters.
"We showed amazing team spirit today, we showed emotional
and tactical intelligence," said the 41-year-old.
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Inter made a dream start with a fourth-minute goal from
Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o, his eighth in this season's
competition cancelling out Bayern's 1-0 win in Italy in the
The Bavarians levelled through Mario Gomez's eighth
Champions League goal of the campaign in the 21st minute.
Gomez pounced after another terrible mistake by keeper Julio
Cesar who spilled a straight-forward shot from Arjen Robben,
just like he did in the first leg.
Bayern then took a well-deserved lead thanks to Thomas
Muller, this time after a 31st-minute error by Inter defender
Thiago Motta, before missing several good chances.
The home team should have notched at least one more goal
before the break but squandered a hatful of opportunities,
mainly through Gomez and Franck Ribery.
"We stuck in there, even when we were 2-1 down I believed in
the team and knew that even if we need to create half a chance
we would score," said Leonardo.
Bayern were left to lick their wounds at the end of the
match and now look certain to end their season without any
"It was a self-inflicted defeat," said Van Gaal who will
leave the club at the end of the season.
"We should have finished them off much earlier but instead
we just let them score with their only two chances in the second
half. That's football."
Dutchman Wesley Sneijder levelled against the run of play
just past the hour with a drilled shot into the bottom corner of
Eto'o was then involved again when Pandev fired a venemous
left-foot drive into the top corner with time running out in an
entertaining end-to-end match.
"We still have a say this season. Inter are not done yet,"
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