Liverpool knock out Bayern, Barca reach Champions League quarters

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Barcelona – Sadio Mane struck twice as Liverpool beat Bayern Munich 3-1 on Wednesday to reach the Champions League quarter-finals, while Barcelona romped past Olympique Lyonnais 5-1.

Both last 16 first legs ended goalless but Liverpool and Barcelona both earned their passage to the next round with comfortable victories.

In Munich, at a sodden Allianz Arena, Juergen Klopp’s visitors beat the German champions in a game which at times lacked quality.

Five-time winners Bayern suffered their earliest Champions League exit since a last 16 departure in 2011.

“We laid down a marker tonight that Liverpool are back on the top level of European football,” said Klopp.

Liverpool were dealt an early blow when Jordan Henderson pulled up injured and had to be replaced. However they were on top as Bayern started cagily and Roberto Firmino fizzed an effort narrowly wide.

Mane produced a brilliant piece of skill to fool Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer as he broke the deadlock after 26 minutes.

The Senegalese forward turned the goalkeeper who had rushed out, before lofting the ball home in style, ensuring Neuer would not enjoy his 100th Champions League appearance.

“The first goal, I have to watch it back probably 500 times,” added Klopp. “It’s outstanding what [Mane] was doing. Apart from Henderson’s injury, everything was perfect.”

Joel Matip’s own goal levelled the score, with the defender turning into his own net under pressure from Robert Lewandowski.

Virgil Van Dijk’s towering header from James Milner’s corner sent Liverpool back ahead with Mane adding another late on for his 10th goal in the last 10 games across all competitions.

Liverpool’s progress meant four English teams are in Friday’s draw for the quarter-finals for the first time since 2008.

“I’d like to congratulate Juergen Klopp and Liverpool on the deserved victory,” said Bayern coach Niko Kovac.

“We still have two titles to fight for. We’re top in the Bundesliga and we’re still in the cup. Our goal is to win both of these competitions.”

At Camp Nou, Barcelona started at an intense speed and rarely let up in the first half.

Philippe Coutinho, who has struggled for form this season, was much better than in recent displays, offering invention in his passes and connecting well with his team-mates.

One early cross from the Brazilian nearly found Suarez, who arrived moments too late.

Barca captain Lionel Messi forced a good save from Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes, but the keeper was left helpless as the No. 10 cheekily chipped in a penalty to break the deadlock.

Suarez won it when Jason Denayer brought him down in the box and the Uruguayan harried Lyon incessantly.

The Uruguayan was key for Barcelona’s second, with a fine piece of control on the edge of the area allowing him to charge forward and set up Coutinho for a tap-in.

Messi nearly managed a third but Mathieu Gorgelin, on for the injured Anthony Lopes, produced a smart stop to deny the forward.

The Argentine almost netted Barcelona’s third at the start of the second half, lofting the ball over Gorgelin but his effort was scrambled off the line.

However when the Catalans lost concentration for the first time, Lyon struck.

Lucas Tousart fired home after the ball bounced his way in the box following a scramble.

The French side’s hope was quickly crushed as Messi scored the third before setting up Gerard Pique and Ousmane Dembele for late goals.

“When he’s at that level you almost can’t stop him,” Lyon coach Bruno Genesio said of Messi.

“He is one of the best players ever, he did a little like Cristiano Ronaldo did with Juventus (scoring a hat-trick against Atletico Madrid on Tuesday), pushing his team onwards.”

Barcelona reached the Champions League quarter-finals for the 12th season running.

“We’re happy to go through, we knew the game would be difficult,” said Suarez.

“We knew that in the second half they would come and try to get us a bit more and after they pulled one back they had five or 10 minutes (on top).” (dpa)