Mario Gomez scored a 90th-minute goal Wednesday as Bayern Munich won 1-0 at Inter Milan in the last 16 of the Champions League that doubled as a rematch of the 2010 final.
Bayern winger Arjen Robben hit a low shot that goalkeeper Julio Cesar failed to hold, and Gomez hooked the loose ball into the empty net for a record-equaling seventh goal in the competition this season.
Until then it appeared that the match was set to finish 0-0. Both sides struggled to find a way to break the deadlock, with Bayern goalkeeper Thomas Kraft denying Inter on a number of occasions.
Munich wingers Franck Ribery and Robben were the visitors’ main danger, while Inter’s Wesley Sneijder and Samuel Eto’o linked up on a number of occasions to get through the defense.
The second leg is on March 15.
Inter nearly scored in the first minute. Sneijder clipped a free kick into the box, and defender Andrea Ranocchia hooked the ball wide from close range.
After the opening exchanges the game took time to pick up as both sides struggled to find their rhythm.
Munich midfielder Luiz Gustavo hit a low shot narrowly wide of the post in the 20th. A minute later, Eto’o appealed for a penalty after going shoulder to shoulder with Anatoliy Tymoshchuk in the box, but referee Viktor Kassai waived away the appeals.
Gustavo again went close with a shot from distance that Lucio deflected for a corner. Kraft then stopped Esteban Cambiasso’s shot from close range after the Argentine had been set up by Eto’o.
Munich hit back and twice went close to breaking the deadlock in a matter of minutes. First, Ribery headed Robben’s cross onto the bar, then Gomez scooped Philipp Lahm’s clever cutback into the stands.
Kraft again came to Munich’s rescue in the 33rd, flinging himself to his left to push a shot by Eto’o away after the Cameroon striker had battled through the defense to shoot.
Robben continued to cause problems on the Munich wing. He picked out Muller in the box shortly after halftime, but the German international headed wide of the far post.
The Dutchman then went close himself, hitting the post following a flowing move across the face of Inter’s area.
Sneijder’s temper got the better of him in the 56th. He was booked after taking his protests too far after Eto’o went down under Tymoshchuk’s challenge.
Chances continued to go begging. After Bayern midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger gave the ball away, Inter defender Maicon picked out Eto’o, who created space for himself in the box. Kraft blocked his shot, the ball ran free and Cambiasso smashed it over the bar.
At the other end of the field, Robben cut in off the right wing on to his favored left foot but also shot high.
With 10 minutes left, Inter substitute Houssine Kharja brought another save out of Kraft. Five minutes later, the goalkeeper reacted quickly to stop Thiago Motta’s header.
Eto’o then drilled a shot through a pack of Munich defenders, but watched in despair as it took a last-minute deflection wide.
His despair was doubled moments later as the ball fell for Gomez to join Eto’o and Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka as the leading scorers in the Champions League this season.