Munich tops Juventus to advance to CL semis

Bayern is bidding for a treble after winning the Bundesliga with a record six games to spare on Saturday. It has also reached the semifinals of the German Cup. (AP/Massimo Pinca)

TURIN, Italy — Bayern Munich continued its march toward a second consecutive Champions League final with a 2-0 win at Juventus on Wednesday, securing a 4-0 win on aggregate and a place in the semifinals.

Mario Mandzukic all but killed off the tie in the 64th minute, heading in a rebound to leave Juventus needing to score four goals in 26 minutes.

Substitute Claudio Pizarro added Bayern’s second in stoppage time, after Arjen Robben had earlier hit the post for the German champions.

The only sour note for Bayern was a booking for Mandzukic after a clash with Giorgio Chiellini. The striker will miss the team’s next match.

The victory keeps Bayern in the hunt for a treble this season after winning the Bundesliga with a record six games to spare on Saturday. It has also reached the semifinals of the German Cup.

In Wednesday’s other match, Barcelona advanced to the semifinals on the away goals rule after drawing 1-1 with Paris Saint-Germain to see the contest finish 3-3 on aggregate. Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid will be the other clubs in the draw on Friday.

“It doesn’t matter who we meet, everyone in the last four can win it, us included,” Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said. “It won’t be easy for anyone. I’m sure everyone respects us, we’ve reached the final twice in the past three years.

“It’s not as easy as it seems to play a really important game four days (after winning the league) so really congratulations to my players. If we had continued to play as we did in the first 20 minutes we certainly wouldn’t have won.”

Juventus manager Antonio Conte believes “an Italian team won’t win the Champions League for many years.”

“The teams at the top now are the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, (Manchester) United, (Manchester) City, PSG… which are superpowers with huge budgets,” Conte added. “They buy the best players.

“We have to try to do everything to increase our budget. It’s Italian clubs and Italian football that are lacking, not Juventus. No one is doing anything because they’re interested more in in-fighting, talking about the referee and other such stuff. I’m sorry but that’s the truth. We all have to work, work and try to take our football to a new level.”

Juventus faced an uphill struggle to qualify for the semifinals for the first time in 10 years. The Italian side was dominated for most of last week’s first leg, and was lucky to leave Munich only 2-0 down.

To make matters worse, Juventus had team selection problems. Midfielder Arturo Vidal and defender Stephan Lichtsteiner, who both started in Munich, were suspended, while striker Sebastian Giovinco was out through injury.

“All the guys gave 110 per cent today,” Conte said. “Bayern showed they were the stronger and congratulations to them. I go home very calm because I know we could not have done more.”

Needing an early goal, Juventus almost got off to the perfect start. Mirko Vucinic, who scored a brace at the weekend, did well to force his way into the area but his shot lacked any real power and was directed straight at Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

Juventus’ best chance of the first half came in the 23rd minute after Claudio Marchisio was fouled by Philipp Lahm and the referee awarded the Italian side a free kick in a dangerous, central position 20 yards (meters) out.

Free kick specialist Andrea Pirlo stepped up but Neuer did well to keep out his powerful drive which flew straight through the Bayern wall.

Juventus should have done better shortly afterwards when, following good work by Simone Padoin, Pogba put in a tantalizing cross which rolled across right in front of the goal but no home player was on hand to poke it in.

By contrast, Bayern seemed content to sit back, soak up the pressure and hit Juventus on the counter in search of an all-important away goal.

The visitors’ best chance came six minutes from halftime when a corner was headed out to the onrushing David Alaba, whose powerful shot was turned round the post by Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.

Pirlo was gifted another opportunity to score with one of his trademark free kicks immediately after the break when Vucinic was blocked by Dante on the edge of the area.

However, his deflected effort was comfortably gathered by Neuer.

Fabio Quagliarella went closer with a powerful drive which flashed wide of the left upright.

Robben should have put the contest beyond doubt shortly before the hour mark after Mandzukic chested the ball down, but the Netherlands forward’s curling effort crashed off the left post.

That was a warning from Bayern and it took the lead seven minutes later. A free kick was floated into the box and Buffon did brilliantly to keep out Javi Martinez’s effort from point-blank range — only for Mandzukic to head the rebound into an empty net.

Juventus desperately surged forward but it struggled to carve out any real opportunities.

Bayern looked more likely to score and did so in stoppage time when Bastian Schweinsteiger found Pizarro, who had come off the bench seven minutes earlier, and the Germany midfielder slotted through Buffon’s legs.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.