Premiership: Pizarro comes through for Bayern Munich

Claudio Pizarro made up for a penalty miss with a late winner as Champions League holders Bayern Munich beat Nantes.

Bayern Munich 2 Nantes 1

Claudio Pizarro made up for a penalty miss with a late winner as Champions League holders Bayern Munich beat Nantes.

Nantes goalkeeper Willy Grondin, normally a reserve for France star Mikael Landreau, stopped the Peruvian’s 72nd-minute spot-kick after Loic Pailleres felled Hasan Salihamidzic.

But Pizarro made amends with the winning volley three minutes from time, although it was not enough to ensure they won the group after Manchester United’s 3-0 win over Boavista.

Hassan Ahamada had put the French side ahead in the 54th minute before Jens Jeremies levelled four minutes later.

The first half was a low-key affair between the already-qualified hosts and weakened visitors, who rested seven first-team regulars.

The first shot on target only came in injury-time of the first half, from Nantes’ Jeremy Toualan.

However, the crowd at the Olympic Stadium were lifted after half-time with the return of Salihamidzic to first-team action after four months out with a knee injury.

But the impact of the substitution was not what coach Ottmar Hitzfeld had wanted with Nantes coming out of the blocks fastest, shocking Bayern with a goal nine minutes into the second period.

Sylvain Armand played Ahamada through and although Oliver Kahn got a hand to the low shot, he could not stop it.

The lead did not last though, as Bayern levelled within four minutes, Jeremies heading home a cross from Michael Tarnat.

And Pizarro was handed the opportunity to give Bayern three points when referee Knud Erik Fisker pointed at the penalty spot following a foul on Salihamidzic by Yves Deroff.

But Grondin, replacing Landreau for the first time this season, denied Pizarro with a diving save to his left.

Bayern kept pushing for the winner, and Paulo Sergio went close with a long-range shot in the 78th minute.

It was Pizarro who secured the win for the Germans, with a crashing volley to ease Bayern into a fifth consecutive Champions League quarter-final.

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