Gritty Bayern hold on to see off Sevilla

Gritty Bayern hold on to see off Sevilla
Bayern remain on course for the treble despite a frustrating evening for Arjen Robben and their forwards against Sevilla

Bayern Munich ground out a 0-0 draw to see off Sevilla’s spirited challenge and reach the Champions League semi-finals with a 2-1 aggregate win.

The newly crowned German champions, who won their past two home games 6-0, needed defensive grit to match their usual attacking flair at a sold-out Allianz Arena.

Sevilla defender Joaquin Correa, who was sent off in stoppage time, hit the bar with a header and midfielder Pablo Sarabia, who scored in the first leg, wasted a glorious first-half chance.

But Bayern top-scorer Robert Lewandowski had a header pushed over the crossbar by goalkeeper David Soria and a brilliant block from Sevilla’s Jesus Navas denied Franck Ribery.

It was the first time in 22 home Champions League matches that Bayern had failed to score.

Sevilla defender Gabriel Mercado, replacing injured centre-back Simon Kjaer, was lucky to stay on the pitch after bringing down Lewandowski when he split the visiting defence in the second minute.

But Vincenzo Montella’s side recovered to control the first half, even if they were ultimately frustrated, none more so than Correa, who slid in wildly on Javi Martinez to earn a red card.

Bayern – into the semi-finals for the seventh time in nine years – join Liverpool, Roma and Real Madrid in the draw, which takes place in Nyon, Switzerland, at 12:00 BST on Friday.

Bayern lack sparkle but Sevilla fail to capitalise

Robert Lewandowski’s painful moments of frustration mirrored those of his team on a night when the usual goals did not flow

Bayern winger Arjen Robben had warned his team-mates against complacency in this game after winning the first leg 2-1 in Spain.

But it was less a case of Bayern’s over-confidence and more Sevilla’s self-belief and command of the ball which kept this compelling encounter in the balance for so long.

Sevilla are seventh in La Liga but have been a surprise package in the Champions League, and they surprised everyone by having more possession than their illustrious hosts in the first half – 54% to 46%.

Sarabia, who missed a good chance before scoring in the first leg, wasted another opportunity and Bayern left-back Rafinha slid in to prevent the midfielder shooting again after a trademark quick break.

Bayern, who worked Soria sporadically in the first half, stepped it up after the break as Lewandowski headed into the side netting at the far post and Robben threatened.

But the hosts lacked their usual sparkle and Lewandowski – bloodied from a clash of heads – was substituted in the 77th minute after drawing a rare blank in front of goal.

Boss Jupp Heynckes had to settle for the consolation of Bayern’s 100th clean sheet at home in European competitions.

Montella’s side won many admirers, even if they came up short of delivering another quarter-final upset after Roma stunned Barcelona on Tuesday.

Man of the match – Rafinha (Bayern Munich)

Bayern’s Brazilian full-back made some key interventions in a solid defensive performance

‘We have the motivation and ambition’ – what they said

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes: “The semi-final games will be tough, but we have the ambition and the motivation to face up to those challenges.

“We didn’t let ourselves get flustered and become nervous. Sevilla had some good moments, but sometimes you just need to keep a clean sheet.

“That’s what I told the players and that was enough tonight.

“Furthermore, none of our players will be suspended for the semi-finals. That was very important for me tonight.”

Sevilla coach Vincenzo Montella: “We played a good match. We had balance, clear opportunities to score, as seen with Sarabia and Correa, and I am proud of the team because it wasn’t easy competing against a rival that is always competing to win the Champions League.

“We have gone out with pride and we have to cherish that. Now we need to remember all that we have done on the pitch tonight so that we can move forward in the matches that remain.”

Bayern’s players salute the home supporters at the Allianz Arena after the game

Bayern maintain Allianz dominance – the stats

  • Bayern reached an 11th Champions League semi-final; only Real Madrid (13) have more
  • Bayern have got to the semi-finals six times more than all other German sides put together
  • This is the first time since 2010 that only one Spanish side have reached the Champions League semi-finals, with each of the previous seven campaigns featuring two
  • Bayern are unbeaten in 20 games in all competitions this season at Allianz Arena (W17 D3), the only side from the German, English, Spanish, French and Italian top flights not to lose at home
  • Bayern failed to score at home in the Champions League for the first time since April 2014, a run of 21 games
  • Sevilla have received three red cards in the Champions League in the past two campaigns, with their previous red coming in the knockout stages against Leicester City last season
  • Sevilla, who needed at least two goals to qualify for the semi-finals, failed to have a shot on target in the match

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