German press delight in Bayern Munich win

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The Independent Football

Germany was revelling in what Franz Beckenbauer labelled "one of the most beautiful defeats" after Bayern Munich's 3-2 loss to Manchester United last night proved enough for them to qualify for the semi-finals of the Champions League.

A set-piece routine involving Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben which resulted in the latter placing a sweet volley into the corner of Edwin van der Sar's goal proved decisive, and a combination of their names was widely used to describe the night at Old Trafford as Bayern advanced on the away goals rule after the scores finished 4-4 on aggregate.

The term "Robbery" dominates all of the papers with the local Tz newspaper saying "FC Bayern Robbs its way into the semi-final."

"What a wonderful Robben!" titles the city's other daily, the Abendzeitung, in English while the national Bild newspaper also goes with an English headline: "Robben, we love you."

While Lionel Messi was the headline-grabber on Wednesday morning, Robben's name could not be missed today.

Robben's "dream goal" (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) was not the only aspect the German media picked up on, however.

Like Sir Alex Ferguson, they acknowledged the red card to Rafael as a turning point in the game, although there were no complaints about the way he was shown a second yellow card.

"A 19-year-old decides the game," claims Die Welt newspaper. "After Rafael's red card, Bayern controlled the game," added Tz.

And the Frankfurter Allgemeine believes the game was just the latest example of one of the keenest rivalries in European football.

"Bayern Munich against Manchester United - it is a pairing which never lacks drama," writes a FAZ journalist.

"The German champions manage the masterpiece of reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time in nine years thanks to a magnificent turnaround in a dramatic match with two completely different halves at Old Trafford."

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