Bayern threw away Champions League victory, fumes van Gaal

Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal has admitted his side away threw victory in a late loss to Inter Milan that ended the Bavarians' Champions League campaign.

Bayern threw away Champions League victory, fumes van Gaal
Photo: DPA

A late goal sealed Inter Milan’s 3-2 win in Munich on Tuesday night and put the title holders in the tournament’s quarter-finals.

Inter went through to the last eight after victory at Bayern’s Allianz Arena saw the Round of 16 tie finish 3-3 on aggregate which put the Italians through on the away-goals rule.

After Inter also beat Bayern 2-0 in last season’s Champions League final – then coached by Portuguese ‘special one’ Jose Mourinho – this was another bitter pill for the Germans to swallow.

Goals by Bayern’s Mario Gomez and Thomas Müller were cancelled out by Inter’s Samuel Eto’o and Wesley Sneijder before Goran Pandev scored the Italians’ crucial third in the 88th minute.

It was hard to take for Bayern, who at one stage led 3-1 on aggregate and squandered at least two clear chances to hit the back of the Italians’ net, leaving van Gaal furious with his team.

“We have already thrown away victory four or five times this season and we did it again today,” said the Dutchman.

“Although the opponent had fewer chances, they scored the goals. We had said in the half-time break that we had to remain compact, which we didn’t then do and made life hard for ourselves.”

After Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told van Gaal ten days ago that his contract would be terminated at the end of the season, the Dutchman said he would not resign in the wake of the defeat.

“I will do everything I can to get the players out of this hole,” he said after last Saturday’s league win over Hamburg broke Bayern’s three-game losing streak which saw them dumped from the Bundesliga title race and German Cup.

While the outcome was all too familiar to van Gaal, his Inter counterpart Leonardo struggled to explain how his side’s fought back.

“I did not understand what happened tonight, I can’t even explain it,” said the Brazilian coach who took over after Spain’s Rafael Benitez was sacked in December.

“It was a great game between two teams who are amongst the best in the world. Bayern are a tough team to play, they control the ball and don’t let you play. They want to knock you down.”

Italian delight was tempered by the Germans’ bitter disappointment.

“We have played too passively and made too many mistakes at the end,” said a visibly disappointed Gomez.

“We didn’t finish our chances to counter-attack, you can’t do something like that against a team like that without being punished.”

Dutch winger Arjen Robben was just as stunned by the result.

“It is unbelievable, I don’t know how it came to this,” said Robben.

AFP/The Local/mry

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Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.