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Bayern, Atletico into Champions League quarters

Thursday, March 13, 2014

PARIS - Holders Bayern Munich kept their hopes alive of becoming the first team to retain the Champions League trophy while Atletico Madrid also progressed to the quarter-finals of this season's competition yesterday.

Bayern — who have reached the final of the past two Champions League campaigns — were held 1-1 in Munich by Arsenal, but just as they did last year against the same opposition at the same stage, the Germans went through, this time 3-1 on aggregate.

Atletico — who are the surprise package of the competition this season as well as in the La Liga title race — reached their first Champions League quarter-final since 1997, when their present coach Diego Simeone was in the side, with a far more emphatic 4-1 win at home to Italian side AC Milan, to prevail 5-1 on aggregate.

It left Italy without a side remaining in the competition as Napoli and Juventus went out in the group stage. In Munich Bastian Schweinsteiger opened the scoring for the hosts — his first goal since October — before Lukas Podolski equalised for Arsenal against his former team, just as he had done in last season's first leg match.

The hosts could have won the match itself right at the end but Thomas Mueller's penalty was saved by Lukasz Fabianski.

In Madrid the result never looked too much in doubt, once Diego Costa got the opener after three minutes, despite former Real Madrid star Kaka levelling halfway through the first-half.

Turkish international Arda Turan restored the one goal lead before the break with a half-volley that took a wicked deflection and Raul Garcia and Costa added two more in the second-half, the latter taking his tally in all competitions this season to 29, including seven in the Champions League.

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