Gomez strikes right at the death to put Bayern in the driving seat
Inter Milan 0
Bayern Munich 1
Published 24/02/2011 | 05:00
Mario Gomez gave Bayern Munich a crucial advantage in Italy last night, as the Germans took a huge step towards exorcising the demons of their Champions League final defeat to Inter Milan
Gomez pounced on a loose ball in the penalty area in injury-time to stun the San Siro and give the visitors a deserved victory.
Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben had both hit the woodwork and Thomas Muller headed wide with the goal gaping as the visitors largely dominated the holders.
Esteban Cambiasso and Samuel Eto'o had chances for the hosts, but they could do little to stop Gomez as the striker stabbed home a priceless away goal at the death.
Inter flew out of the traps and centre-back Andrea Ranocchia, on his first Champions League start, spurned a glorious chance to break the deadlock.
Wesley Sneijder's whipped free-kick wide caused confusion in the Bayern penalty box and, with the goal gaping, Ranocchia lashed wide from just a few yards out.
Ribery lost his composure in the Inter area, falling over himself at the critical moment, before Robben's cross from the right found Ribery inside the area once again, but the Frenchman's header hit the bar and spun over.
As the half progressed, the Germans looked increasingly comfortable. Robben in particular was causing the hosts problems. In the 28th minute he picked out Philipp Lahm, whose low cross zipped into the feet of Gomez, but the frontman's finish was poor.
Inter were on the ropes but they almost snuck into the lead after 33 minutes. Eto'o spun and fired from about 12 yards out, but Thomas Kraft produced an excellent save.
Two minutes after the break, Bayern wasted a wonderful chance to take the lead. Robben's cross to the near post found Muller unmarked, but he somehow failed to hit the target.
Robben was running riot and went agonisingly close in the 53rd minute, striking the post with a right-footed shot. Inter were being outplayed, but they still looked dangerous in snatches and missed another golden chance just before the hour.
Kraft did well to keep out a firm strike from Eto'o, but Cambiasso blazed over the rebound with the goal at his mercy.
As the game ebbed towards the closing stages, both teams seemed content to settle for a draw, but Robben when lashed in a shot from distance, Cesar was unable to retain the ball and Gomez was first to the rebound to stab home from close-range.