Tuesday 16 January 2018

Robben rules roost to give Bayern slight advantage

Arjen Robben celebrates scoring against Lyon. Photo: Getty Images
Arjen Robben celebrates scoring against Lyon. Photo: Getty Images

Matt Hughes

Bayern Munich will take a deserved lead into the second leg of their Champions League semi-final against Lyon thanks to Arjen Robben's 69th-minute strike at the Allianz Arena, where both teams ended with 10 men.

Franck Ribery was shown a straight red card in the 37th minute and then Lyon's Jeremy Toulalan was shown the yellow card twice in quick succession early in the second half. But it was Robben who stole the headlines with a deflected shot to put Bayern ahead in a finely poised tie.

Bayern launched the first wave of attacks with Daniel van Buyten getting on the end of an Ivica Olic cross in the 12th minute, but sent his volley high and wide.

A neat pass through the legs of Anthony Reveillere from Diego Contento sent Ribery through in the 18th minute and he skipped past Cris before shooting wide of the near post from 20 yards.


It has been a difficult week for Ribery, who has taken all the wrong headlines for his conduct off the field, and things got worse for him in the 37th minute when he was sent off by Italian referee Robert Rosetti for lunging in on Lisandro, ruling him out of the return leg next week.

Bayern did not give the impression of being one man down as they continued to take the game to Lyon at the start of the second half and a mazy run into the box by Philipp Lahm provided the next opening, but his drag back was missed by Thomas Muller.

Parity in personnel was restored in the 54th minute when Toulalan picked up his second yellow card in three minutes to join compatriot Ribery in the dressing-rooms.

The time had come for Robben to take charge of the situation and after 69 minutes his 25-yard effort deviated off the head of Thomas Muller into the corner of Lloris' goal. Robben almost set up a second for Gomez in the 85th minute, but the Germans had to make do with a one-goal advantage ahead of next week's visit to France.

Irish Independent

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