Thu, February 26, 2009
Sports > Soccer

Liverpool upset Real, Bayern make history

2009-02-26 03:14:30 GMT2009-02-26 11:14:30 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Real Madrid's Marcelo (R) drives the ball during a Champions League soccer match against Liverpool at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, on February 25, 2009. Real Madrid lost the match 0-1.(Xinhua/Chen Haitong)

Real Madrid's Gutiterrez Guti (L) vies with Liverpool's Mascherano during their Champions League soccer match at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, on February 25, 2009. Real Madrid lost the match 0-1.(Xinhua/Chen Haitong)

Real Madrid's Ramos (R) vies with Liverpool's Xabi Alonso during their Champions League soccer match at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, on February 25, 2009. Real Madrid lost the match 0-1.(Xinhua/Chen Haitong)

LONDON, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Liverpool and Bayern Munich are in stronger positions to reach the Champions League quarterfinals after winning away their first-leg matches of last 16 on Wednesday.

Bayern Munich produced the biggest ever away victory margin in the Champions League by slaughtering Sporting Lisbon 5-0 and made themselves firm favorites for a quarterfinal place.

Yossi Benayoun's 82th-minute header helped Liverpool stun Real Madrid 1-0 while Chelsea also beat Juventus at home by the same score line to boost English hopes of seeing four clubs all advance.

In the night's second match in Spain, Giuseppe Rossi's second-half penalty earned Villarreal a vital equalizer in a 1-1 home draw with Panathinaikos.

Liverpool were comfortable at Bernabeu from the start despite speculation surrounding the future of manager Rafa Benitez.

They could have taken the lead before the break when they twice caught out Real's defence with two long balls forward. Fernando Torres and Benayoun both ran through on goal only to see their shots blocked by alert Iker Casillas.

The visitors had to wait until eight minutes from time when the unmarked Benayoun nodded in a Fabio Aurelio free-kick from eight yards.

Arjen Robben had Real's best chance when his fierce drive was steered over by keeper Jose Reina.

Juande Ramos' side also gave Liverpool a scare earlier when Gonzalo Higuain put in the rebound after Sergio Ramos' header was parried away, but the effort was disallowed for offside.

Sporting kept Bayern at bay for 41 minutes until Franck Ribery beat two defenders and fire a shot past Tiago. But Bayern went riot after the restart as Miroslav Klose made it 2-0, Ribery added his second from the spot and Luca Toni scored a double within the remaining seven minutes to complete a miserable night for the hosts.

Didier Drogba's early goal gave Chelsea a slender advantage over Juventus after a tight encounter, but former Chelsea coach Claudio Ranieri will have real hope for the second leg in Turin.

Drogba slid home Salomon Kalou's pass after 13 minutes to hand coach Guus Hiddink a second successive win since taking charge.

Juventus gave Chelsea anxious moments, with keeper Petr Cech saving brilliantly from Alessandro del Piero and Pavel Nedved just off target late on, but Chelsea held on to win.

On Tuesday Arsenal became the only winning side after beating AS Roma 1-0. Manchester United missed great chances to settle for a goalless draw with Inter Milan.

Barcelona managed a 1-1 draw at Lyon thanks to Thierry Henry's second-half equalizer while Porto twice came from behind to level 2-2 at Atletico Madrid.

The second legs are being played in two weeks.

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