Mario Gomez hit a late winner as Bayern Munich earned a 1-0 win at Inter Milan in their Champions League round-of-16 first leg on Wednesday.
With the game seemingly destined for a 0-0 draw despite both sides going close to breaking the deadlock throughout the match, Arjen Robben’s shot from range deflected into the path of striker Gomez, who capitalised on some flat-footed defending from Inter and former Bayern defender Lucio to tap home in the 90th minute.
Fittingly, the Dutch international finished with the match ball in his hands after not only setting up the winner for the Bundesliga club but – along with Gomez – carving out flurry of chances over the 90 minutes as Bayern set about finding a crucial away win.
Striker Gomez had a gilt-edged chance to put Bayern in front in the 28th minute but his right-foot shot from close range was sliced over the cross bar.
Inter right-back Maicon had an opportunity to open the scoring in first-half injury time, but he fired his strike from an acute angle wide of the right post.
Bayern pushed for an opener early in the second half as Robben’s mesmorising run ended with the Dutchman firing a shot that was denied by the right post.
Samuel Eto’o almost fired Inter ahead in the 57th minute when his delightful turn and shot was parried by Bayern goalkeeper Thomas Kraft, with Esteban Cambiasso following up the rebound but shooting over the bar in the best chance of the game for the Italians.
Robben fired back almost instantly, with a left-footed shot from the edge of the penalty area flying just over the crossbar.
Thiago Motta’s bullet header was saved on the line by Kraft in the 85th minute, in a fine parry from the shot-stopper.
Title holders Inter maintained their late push for a winner when Eto’o fired a shot from the edge of the penalty area two minutes later, but his strike was deflected to safety before Bayern found the late winner.