Peruvian flourish sees Bayern into the last four

After Dortmund's remarkable progression on the Tuesday night, it was time for Bayern to join them in the Champions League semi-finals but perhaps in slightly more comfortable fashion. It seemed that fact would be enough to warn off the complacency that saw them nearly crash out in the last round.

With the season-ending injury to Toni Kroos spoiling the taste of their first-leg victory, Bayern were keen to avoid both spoilers and anxiety in Turin. In the light of some recent, game-changing refereeing decisions, it was hardly a surprise that before the game comments were made hinting at the importance of a good refereeing performance. Inside the opening ten minutes, that looked to be an ominous suggestion as Spanish referee Velasco Carballo booked Mario Mandzukic, suspending him from the first leg of the semi-final, after the Croatian was effectively fouled by Giorgio Chiellini.

Bayern were not to be deterred though. Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery combined intrinsically on the right-wing but Mandzukic's clipped effort was blocked well by Simone Padoin. Juventus were pushing into positions to test Manuel Neuer but just couldn't find a yard of space to release an effort, despite the determined arms of Mirko Vucinic. Bayern flashed another free kick wide through a group of their own players as once again the question of composure began to raise its familiar head.

Schweinsteiger had seemingly recovered from his sloppy start but the space-finder Thomas Mueller had all but lost his compass. Bayern were battling between being comfortable and nervous when Neuer made a fantastic reflex save from a driven Andrea Pirlo free kick to tilt the scales in favour of the former. The returning Javi Martinez was late with a challenge as Bayern tickled the prospect of increasing their possession. He's had a sensational season so far but the man who won Bayern the Bundesliga title on the weekend with a delightful back-heel flick did not look like the same one playing in red in the first half.

Daniel van Buyten's half-hour mark injury forced Jerome Boateng into the fray with the Belgian looking like he had never recovered from those determined arms of Vucinic. Robben seemed the only Bayern player capable of finding and exploiting space but his hard work was not rewarded as Muller sought a pass too many inside the box. Alaba dared to replicate his thunderous strike from the first leg but unlike in Munich, Gianluigi Buffon parried well. Robben's persistence to waste the space he himself created was infuriating, especially for those fans sat up in the gods who found themselves on the receiving end of his speculative efforts.

Neuer faced Pirlo from the set piece in the opening stages of the second half but aided by a deflection, Neuer came out on top again. The same could be said for the Juventus defence though as Mueller, having momentarily found his much coveted space, was once again denied a clear strike at goal. Fabio Quagliarella was offside when Neuer denied him with a great point-blank save.

As the hour mark approached, the significance became more and more apparent. After it nearly opened up for Chiellini, Bayern countered superbly and only the post denied Robben. Mandzukic was struggling to repeat his heroic efforts from the home leg and just as his opposite number was beginning to be a problem Bayern couldn't solve, the away side's new number nine delivered in a manner befitting of this season. Having taken the sting and tempo away from a previously aggressive home side, Schweinsteiger's swinging free kick was met by Javi Martinez's flying boot. The Spaniard forced a fantastic reflex save from Buffon but following up with his own reflex was Mandzukic. His diving header settled Bayern, deflated Juventus and ended the contest.

Juventus were self-imploding. The frequency of niggling fouls began to increase as the task slipped further and further from their horizon. Long-range efforts were welcomed by Neuer but the lack of control Carballo had on the game wasn't. Mueller was centimetres wide of a spectacular half volley as the game fizzled out to the faint chants of "Super Bayern, Super Bayern" from the 3,000 away fans. The in-form Claudio Pizarro was rewarded with a chance at a seven-minute cameo and the Peruvian just couldn't help but add a flourish to the finish. With expanses of space opening up for Schweinsteiger, his pass through allowed Pizarro to tuck a shot under Buffon, seal Bayern's progression and almost dare Heynckes not to select Pizarro for the semi-final.

Come who may in the semi-final, and there is a desire to avoid their German rivals, there is a feeling that reaching the final is less of a hurdle than winning it for Bayern. It has become a somewhat tarnished, fearful place for this team in recent years. It's one of pain, hurt and is a far cry from anything surrounding Bayern's campaign this year. Two steps left before those demons need to be exorcised though.

Juventus: Buffon - Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini - Pogba, Padoin (69' Isla), Pirlo, Marchisio (79' Giaccherini), Asamoah - Vucinic, Quagliarella (66' Matri)

Bayern Munich: Neuer - Lahm, van Buyten (35' Boateng), Dante, Alaba - Schweinsteiger, Javi Martinez - Robben, Mueller, Ribery (80' Luiz Gustavo) - Mandzukic (83' Pizarro)

Goals: 0-1 Mandzukic (64'), 0-2 Pizarro (90+1)

Referee: Velasco Carballo
Attendance: 41,000


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