By JOHN BOSCHINI
Late goals were on display yet again as a pair of stubborn underdogs put a couple of European giants in shaky standing in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.
Bayern Munich provided most of the pressure but were fairly inept in front of goal and were punished in the closing stages against FC Basel, surrendering a late goal in a 1-0 loss in their first leg in Switzerland. Substitute Valentin Stocker's left-footed shot beat Manuel Neuer in the 88th minute as the Swiss side once again shocked a big European side.
It was Basel who ended Manchester United's Champions League campaign prematurely by defeating the English giants in the final game of the group stage and relegating them to the UEFA Europa League.
Basel was at it again on Wednesday, hitting the woodwork twice in the first half. Several stunning saves from goalkeeper Yans Sommer, including one from six yards out on Franck Ribery, kept Basel level on the scoreboard.
The second half belonged to Bayern Munich, as the Bundesliga giants exerted their muscle. Philipp Lahm and Mario Gomez couldn't beat Sommer with their chances, though, and Jacques Zoua found Stocker in the center of the box for the shock winner.
MARSEILLE 1, INTER MILAN 0
Inter Milan didn't seem likely to surrender a goal despite conceding most of the possession, but they were punished with the final play of the game against Marseille, extending their winless streak to seven games across all competitions. Marseille seemed equally content to play for a draw until Andre Ayew slipped in between two defenders to head home the winner in the 93rd minute to give the French club the upper hand heading into the return leg.
The 17 shots for Marseille do not tell the full story on how few chances the home side had, although Inter did not put up much of a fight, either. Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda tipped Diego Forlan's shot over the bar in the eighth minute in what was Inter's best opportunity of the first half.
The second half saw little improvement. The home side's first real chance came in the 79th minute, when Ayew couldn't find the target with a header. He had no such problem 13 minutes later, when his header beat Julio Cesar.
What did you think of today's games? Impressed with the home teams? Do you think Bayern Munich and Inter Milan will come back in their respective second legs?
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