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FOOTBALL

Bayern get just enough from Valencia draw

Bayern Munich needed a late Thomas Müller goal to come from behind and seal a 1-1 draw against ten-man Valencia on Tuesday which put both teams in the Champions League's knock-out phase.

Bayern get just enough from Valencia draw
Lahm fights for the ball. Photo: DPA

After Lille’s 2-0 win at BATE Borisov in Belarus earlier, both teams are now guaranteed passage into the knock-out phase and are level on 10 points at the top of Group F after the draw at Estadi de Mestalla.

With BATE third in the group on six points, neither team can now be denied a place in the last 16.

Midfielder Sofiane Feghouli had put Valencia ahead with time running out, but Bayern held their nerve as Germany midfielder Müller netted the equaliser.

The draw in Valencia means the final round of matches in a fortnight are just for pride when Bayern host BATE in Munich and Valencia are at Lille.

Valencia were reduced to ten men after only 33 minutes when defender Antonio Barragan, who had brought down France’s Franck Ribery on 20 minutes, slid into Bayern’s David Alaba and earned an immediate red card from referee Howard Webb.

Bayern, who are bidding to reach their third Champions League final in four years at Wembley next May, enjoyed the lion’s share of possession, with 65 percent, and created 17 shots on goal compared to Valencia’s nine.

Despite the numerical deficit, the hosts took the lead with just over 15 minutes left when Feghouli cut in from the right wing and fired home from the edge of the area.

The ball took a deflection off the hand of Bayern defender Dante, which wrong-footed Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer as it flew into the net on 77 minutes.

Munich coach Jupp Heynckes responded immediately by sending on Germany striker Mario Gomez for his first appearance in a Bayern shirt this season and his first competitive match since the Euro 2012 semi-final defeat to Italy.

Ankle surgery in August had kept him out for three months, but Heynckes opted to field two strikers with Gomez alongside Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic, who came on for Peru veteran Claudio Pizarro ten minutes before the opening goal.

Bayern were behind for just five minutes and Heynckes’ change of tactics paid off as both Mandzukic and Gomez left a cross from captain Philipp Lahm on 82 minutes for Müller to fire home and put Bayern into the knock-out phase.

AFP/hc

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MUNICH

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.

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