Bayern Munich cruised into the last four of the Champions League as a 2-0 victory over Juventus in Turin gave them a 4-0 aggregate win in their quarterfinal tie.
Arjen Robben had already struck a post by the time Mario Mandzukic headed in on 64 minutes to all-but seal Bayern’s progress before Claudio Pizarro’s neat finish emphasized the Germans’ superiority over the two legs.
Having already won the Bundesliga title at the earliest stage in history at the weekend, Bayern have now reached the Champions League semifinals for the third time in four years in what is shaping up to be a season to remember.
But with Juventus looking set for a second straight Serie A title and with Mirko Vucinic back to full fitness, Antonio Conte had reason to believe that his side could recover from a poor showing in Munich last week.
Yet, once again it was Bayern that created the best chances.
Inside the first 10 minutes, Mandzukic looked poised to turn in Franck Ribery’s cross at the near post but Simone Padoin, in for the suspended Stephan Lichtsteiner, did well to get across and get in a block.
The first real menacing effort from the home side came midway through the first half when Andrea Pirlo’s free-kick was parried over by Manuel Neuer.
Early in the second half Fabio Quagliarella’s fierce low shot from outside the box had Neuer at full-stretch but the ball just clipped the outside of the post. And that was to be as good as it got for Juventus.
Just before the hour mark, Robben came inside and hit a trademark curled left-effort that looked destined for the top corner, but came back off the post.
But less than 10 minutes later Bayern found the target to leave Juventus needing to score an improbable four times.
From Bastian Schweinsteiger’s free-kick, Javi Martinez hung out a leg at the back post and, although Buffon produced a fine save, the ball came straight out to Mandzukic who dove forward to head the ball into the net.
The tie had all-but ended the tie as a contest but there was still time for Bayern to pour salt in the wounds in the first minute of injury time.
Schweinsteiger was again the creator, this time with a fine turn to create space before playing a perfectly weighted pass for substitute Pizarro, who made no mistake with a low finish across Buffon and into the corner of the net.
Sports reporter, mainly focusing on my native sport of soccer, but also dabbling in some tennis and Formula One.