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Bayern Munich regains touch
by Paul Kennedy, February 26th, 2009 7AM
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[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] With American Landon Donovan only a spectator, Bayern Munich put aside its Bundesliga problems, pounding Sporting Lisbon, 5-0, in Lisbon in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League round-of-16 series. English clubs Liverpool and Chelsea were also winners on Wednesday, while Villarreal needed a penalty kick from Italian-American Giuseppe Rossi to tie Greek club Panathinaikos, 1-1.

Bayern pounds Sporting in second half

SPORTING-BAYERN MUNICH (0-5). Bayern put aside its Bundesliga problems with a resounding victory in Lisbon against Sporting, which was playing its first Champions League match in the knockout phase.

Bayern's attacking trio of Franck Ribery, Miroslav Klose and Luca Toni combined for all five goals -- four in the second half. Donovan did not suit up.

"The result is positive for us as it opens the road to the quarterfinals," Bayern coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. "It is positive, especially since the last games did not go that well for us, but we cannot become overly enthusiastic and must prepare calmly for the match on Sunday against Werder Bremen."

ADVANTAGE: Klinsmann can rest key players, knowing Bayern is through to the quarterfinals.

Feb. 25 in Lisbon
Sporting 0 Bayern Munich 5. Goals: Ribery 42, pen. 63, Klose 57, Toni 84, 90.
Sporting -- Tiago, Abel (Bruno Pereirinha 61), Tonel, Anderson Polga, Marco Caneira, Izmailov (Vukcevic 61), Fabio Rochemback, Joao Moutinho; Leandro Romagnoli, Liedson, Derlei (Djalo 71).
Bayern Munich -- Rensing, Oddo (Lell 67), Lucio (Van Buyten 78), Demichelis, Lahm, Schweinsteiger (Altintop 71), van Bommel, Ze Roberto, Ribery, Klose, Toni.
Referee: Bertrand Layec (France).
Att.: 35,163.

Reds head home with lead

REAL MADRID-LIVERPOOL (0-1). In the first meeting between Liverpool and Real Madrid since the 1981 European Cup final, Israeli Yossi Benayoun's late header off Fabio Aurelio's free kick eight minutes earned the Reds the away win.

The game had a heavy Spanish flavor. Both coaches were Spaniards -- Liverpool's Rafael Benitez and Real Madrid's Juande Ramos. Liverpool had the edge in Spanish starters -- five to three.

ADVANTAGE: Real Madrid sports director Pedja Mijatovic called the loss "the worst possible result." The Merengues look set to extend their record of exits in the first knockout phase to five straight competitions.

Feb. 25 in Madrid
Real Madrid 0 Liverpool 1. Goal: Benayoun 82.
Real Madrid -- Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Cannavaro, Pepe, Heinze, Robben, Diarra, Gago, Marcelo (Guti 46), Raul, Higuain.
Liverpool -- Reina, Arbeloa, Skrtel, Carragher, Fabio Aurelio, Xabi Alonso, Mascherano, Benayoun, Kuyt (Lucas 90+2), Riera (Gerrard 88), Fernando Torres (Babel 62).
Referee: Roberto Rosetti (Italy)
Att.: 71,579.

Blues waste chances to extend lead

CHELSEA-JUVENTUS (1-0). Didier Drogba, back in favor since the arrival of interim manager Guus Hiddink, put Chelsea ahead after only 12 minutes with his first goal in 10 appearances but wasted several chances to add to the Blues' lead.

The game marked the return of Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri to Stamford Bridge, where he managed Chelsea for four seasons (2000-04).

ADVANTAGE: Chelsea will be favored to hold on to its slim lead. It has lost of once in six away games against Italian teams in Europe.

Feb. 25 in London
Chelsea 1 Juventus 0. Goal: Drogba 12.
Chelsea -- Cech, Bosingwa, Alex, Terry, A.Cole, Lampard, Mikel, Ballack (Mancienne 82), Kalou (Malouda 72), Drogba, Anelka.
Juventus -- Buffon, Mellberg, Chiellini, Legrottaglie, Molinaro, Camoranesi (Marchionni 53), Sissoko (Trezeguet 87), Tiago (Marchisio 63), Nedved, Del Piero, Amauri.
Referee: Olegario Benquerenca (Portugal).
Att.: 38,079.

Rossi rescues Yellow Submarine

VILLARREAL-PANATHINAIKOS (1-1). A penalty kick by Italian-American Giuseppe Rossi earned the Yellow Submarine a tie. The goal, Rossi's third of the Champions League campaign, came after minutes after a 25-yard blast by Giorgos Karagounis put Panathinaikos ahead.

Villarreal had a huge edge in play -- it outshot Panathinaikos, 22-9 -- but goalie Mario Galinovic had a big game for the Greek club.

"It is incredible that we failed to win this match," Villarreal midfielder Santi Cazorla said. "We were the better team throughout the game, far more dangerous."

ADVANTAGE: Panathinaikos will be favored to return to the final eight of the Champions League for the first time since 2002.

Feb. 25 in Villarreal
Villarreal 1 Panathinaikos 1. Goals: Rossi pen. 67; Karagounis 59.
Villarreal -- D.Lopez, A.Lopez, Fuentes, Godin, Bruno, Santi Cazorla, Senna, Eguren (Pires 62), Ibagaza (Cani 70), Rossi, Llorente (Kahveci 62).
Panathinaikos -- Galinovic, Goumas (Gabriel 46), Vintra, Sarriegi, Nilsson, Gilberto Silva, Simao, Wawrzyniak, Karagounis (Salpigidis 85), Spiropoulos, Mantzios (Rukavina 90+3).
Referee: Konrad Plautz (Austria)
Att.: 21,801.



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