MUNICH: A week after Lionel Messi became the first player to score five goals in a Champions League match, Germany striker Mario Gomez came close to equalling the feat on Tuesday when he led Bayern Munich into the quarter-finals.
Instead, he became the eighth man to hit four goals in a single game as the four- time European champions demolished Basel 7-0 to overturn a 0-1 first-leg deficit. Although he fell short of the Argentinian's landmark haul, he did match Dado Prso's 2003 feat of scoring four in just 23 minutes.
'Maybe this will make other teams take notice of us,' Bayern winger Arjen Robben said. 'Maybe you can say that you don't want to play Barcelona or Real Madrid, but let's see what happens.'
Robben also scored twice for Bayern, hosts of the May 19 final, who were joined in the next round by Marseille despite the French club's 1-2 defeat at Inter Milan.
Inter striker Diego Milito levelled the aggregate score at 1-1 and the second-leg match at the San Siro was heading into extra time before each team scored in injury time to draw 2-2 overall - taking the visitors through on away goals.
Marseille's progress to their first quarter-final since they won the Champions League in 1993 was down to an outstanding performance from goalkeeper Steve Mandanda and a stoppage-time goal from substitute Brandao, who somehow controlled a hopeful punt from Mandanda, swivelled and scored past goalkeeper Julio Cesar.
'I didn't see the ball when it bounced off my back,' Brandao said. 'I just saw it was in my path and stroked it past the goalkeeper.'
Mandanda was sent off moments later for conceding a penalty that Giampaolo Pazzini converted but it was not enough for Inter. The Italian club's president, Massimo Moratti, absolved under-fire coach Claudio Ranieri of any blame, saying all the luck was on Marseille's side.
Ranieri was appointed in September but has endured a roller-coaster season, as Inter climbed away from the relegation places before a dreadful run where they failed to win in nine games.
The coach, however, seems safe until the end of the campaign at least.
'I don't feel like taking any action,' Moratti said. 'I don't see how Ranieri is to blame, it's more to do with the luck French counterpart Didier Deschamps had. If we had lost 0-4, I might have seen things differently.'
Inter will not win a trophy this term for the first time since 2005, given that they are out of the Italian Cup and seventh in Serie A, struggling to even qualify for the second-tier Europa League.