Real Madrid is taking the minimal advantage to Germany after defeating Bayern Munich, Wednesday evening at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Next Tuesday, the second leg is scheduled at Bayern’s Allianz Arena. Real Madrid will start the match with a one-goal advantage. But definitely Carlo Ancelotti’s side will have a hard task in finishing off the previous champions.
Result: Real Madrid (1) vs. Bayern Munich (0), first leg, UEFA Champions League semi-final
Karim Benzema was the only scorer against the run of play as they are extending their 18 math unbeaten home record. Bayern Munich dominated possession. They held the ball almost 72 percent of the match, but struggled creating chances against Real’s organized defense. Real also spurned several chances. Even Cristiano Ronaldo missed a potentially vital opportunity for Real after returning from injury.
The first opportunity came in the 14th minute after Arjen Robben’s shot was deflected out for a corner and that was headed straight by Bastian Schweinsteiger. Real went ahead in the 19th minute with their first meaningful counter attack. This could be 2-0 later when Angel Di Maria picked out Ronaldo with a curling cross and Ronaldo directed his head straight to Manuel Neuer, Bayern goalkeeper. Ronaldo again failed to keep his effort from 15 yards from Benzema’s cross.
The second half started in similar way with Bayern keeping almost all of the ball but with Ronaldo getting a sight of goal which was saved by Manuel Neuer again. Both the teams made multiple substitutions as the match approached its final 15 minutes.
An immediate impact was nearly made by Muller in the 81st minute, curling a fierce shot. This time Bale also created a moment of danger, before attempting to cross for Benzema in the 83rd minute. But Dante intercepted and made a pivotal clearance. Then Muller claimed a late penalty when he was about to shoot and went down but English referee Howard Webb discouraged his appeal. Madrid were almost successful and now can hope that missed chances do not prove costly. They must be planning to repeat their sole semi-final success over Bayern in 2000.
Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid manager must be “happy” with his team’s performance. Ancelotti said,
“At the beginning we were a little shy, losing possession. But in the second half, Bayern were less effective. It’s a group effort. It was not easy.
The second leg is very difficult. We have a tiny advantage but we have to play with the same confidence and desire as we showed today.”
On the contrary Pep Guardiola, Bayern Munich manager called Real Madrid the world’s best counterattacking team. Speaking to German television Guardiola said:
“We did everything to win but you can always lose when you’re against great players like these. (Real Madrid) are the best team in the world on the break. The ball was going faster, faster returns and in that they are better.”
Bayern are the defending Champions and chasing a second straight treble of Champions League, German Cup and Bundesliga. They have lost only twice at home this season in all competitions scoring 42-13 against the opponents in Bundesliga matches. Meanwhile Real Madrid remain alive in their own thirst for a treble. They have also defeated Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final earlier this month. Currently they are six points behind the leaders, positioning third in La Liga.
None ever successfully defended the title and Bayern have work to end that record. The final will be held in Lisbon on 24 May against the winners of the other semi final.