Valencia - FC Bayern Munich have booked their place in the first knock-out phase of the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League, courtesy of a 1-1 draw at Valencia CF on Matchday 5.

Bayern dominated the first half hour while rarely threatening to score, but the game opened up after Valencia were reduced to ten men when Antonio Barragan was red-carded half an hour in. Opportunities at both ends of the pitch thereafter could have seen either side emerge as winners. Instead, an 82nd-minute strike by Thomas Müller, in swift response to Sofiane Feghouli's opener for the hosts, secured the result that saw both teams through to the last 16.

Bayern, who were guaranteed to progress with a draw after LOSC Lille had beaten FC BATE Borisov 2-0 in the other Group F encounter, which had ended before kick-off at the Estadio Mestalla, dictated the early exchanges, enjoying the lion's share of possession and carving out a number of half-chances. Valencia's Vicente Guaita appeared a little shaky when dealing with Franck Ribery's low cross the ball from the left, before Dante tested the Spanish keeper further a good ten minutes later with a sharp header from a Toni Kroos corner (18').

Bayern short of inspiration


That was a rare breakthrough, however, as the German record champions found it difficult to get past the deep-lying home defence as the game progressed. Los Che, looking to hit their guests on the counter-attack, had the first half's best opportunity on one of their few forays forward at the half-hour mark, when Feghouli capitalised on a defensive error, but Manuel Neuer brilliantly palmed the midfielder's close-range attempt away.

Valencia were then reduced to ten men after right-back Antonio Barragan's harsh tackle on David Alaba (33'). Curiously, the hosts improved and before the interval Roberto Soldado and Feghouli fired efforts over. Bayern striker Claudio Pizarro, back in the starting eleven after hitting three in the 6-1 win against Lille in the previous Champions League fixture, responded with a shot from the edge of the box, but was denied by Guaita.

Dramatic ending


As for most of the first half, Jupp Heynckes' men seemed very much in control in the opening minutes after the restart, but they continued to lack ideas in the final third. Dante headed another chance wide, while both Müller and Ribery gave the ball away too easily when Bayern had breakaways of their own.

At the other end of the pitch, Soldado twice gave Bayern a warning, as Neuer saved his header and the Valencia captain then shot over with only the keeper to beat. The guest defence was worryingly disorganised on the odd occasion they were put to the test, and shortly after Bayern substitute Mario Mandzukic hit the post, Feghouli did better, firing Valencia into an unlikely lead in the 77th minute with the aid of a deflection off Dante.

Battling Bayern needed only five minutes to level matters though, as Müller's deflected shot from close range set up by fit-again sub Mario Gomez left Guaita no chance. The visitors upped the pressure in the final minutes against a tired looking Valencia side, with Bastian Schweinsteiger coming close, but their final offensive was to no further avail.

Line-ups:

Valencia: Guaita - Barragan, Rami, R. Costa, Cissokho - Tino Costa, Parejo (75' Jonas) - Feghouli, Banega (80' Albelda), Guardado (86' Valdez) - Soldado

Bayern: Neuer - Lahm, Dante, Badstuber, Alaba - Martinez, Schweinsteiger - Müller, Kroos (66' Shaqiri), Ribery (79' Gomez) - Pizarro (66' Mandzukic)

Goals: 0-1 Feghouli (77'), 1-1 Müller (82')

Red card: Barragan (33')