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UEFA Champions League Group F wrap: Bayern deny Valencia

Valencia narrowly missed out on moving to the top of Champions League Group F with a hard-fought 1-1 draw Bayern Munich at the Mestalla.

Mauricio Pellegrino’s Valencia already had their place in the next round assured before the game but Bayern also booked their place in the draw for the last 16 with a late equaliser from Thomas Mueller, which cancelled out Sofiane Feghouli’s opener.

Bayern put the hosts’ defence under early pressure with a high pressing game and the visitors’ task was made easier in the 33rd minute when Valencia’s Antonio Barragan was dismissed for a second yellow card after a late tackle on David Alaba.

But Valencia were unperturbed by the setback, attacking the Bavarians after the interval and testing Manuel Neuer’s goal through Roberto Soldado.

Bayern were unable to make their man advantage count and they were given a reprieve when Soldado sprung the offside trap but blazed well over the bar on the hour mark.

Spurred on by the scare, Bayern finally forged a chance of their own as Franck Ribery cut back for Mueller, though the German failed to make a decent connection with the ball as Vincente Guaita saved with ease.

Somewhat against the run of play, a tiring Valencia took the lead through Feghouli, who won the ball in the opposing half and dribbled his way to the top of the box before sending a deflected shot beyond Neuer’s reach.

With nothing to lose, Bayern threw men forward and Mario Gomez made his first contribution on return from injury by setting up Mueller to send the ball into the net on 82 minutes.

In the group’s other match, Lille notched their first points of the campaign with a 2-0 win at BATE Borisov.

Maiden Champions League goals for Djibril Sidibe and Gianni Bruno saw the French side avenge their opening-round defeat to the Belarusians, keeping Rudi Garcia’s men in the hunt for Europa League qualification.

Tue 20 Nov, 2012
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