Real Madrid continue on dream European run by advancing to their 4th UCL Final in 5 years. A brace from the Karim Benzema helped ‘Los Vikingos’ to reach Kiev with an aggregate score of 4-3.
Published By: Dalipinder Singh Sandhu (Bliss)
The ‘European Clasico’ was full of suffering for both the sides. Bayern Munchen dominated the possession with 57% and tried 20 shots out of which only 8 managed to be on target. Real Madrid, on the other hand, managed to keep Bayern at bay while clinching their chances and taking the advantage at slightest of chance.
The open back and forth game made everyone sit on the edge of their seats as the game switched from attack in one box to the other in a matter of seconds throughout.
Bayern Munchen dreaming of a comeback started on high notes with an early goal by Joshua Kimmich in the 3rd minute of the game from Tolisso’s assist as Bayern took the advantage of the chaos in Real Madrid’s box.
Real Madrid responded shortly afterwards with a patient build-up of 28 passes leading to Marcelo’s cross which resulted in Karim Benzema’s header in the 11th minute which found the back of the net to equalize the scores.
Real Madrid played without a natural right-back as Carvajal and Nacho both were injured. The Spanish forward Lucas Vazquez filled in the role with help of Luka Modric who found it difficult to face Ribery and Alaba on the flank for first 25 minutes but later they started to coordinate well.
The 45th minute of the game is still under speculation as there was a handball from Marcelo which wasn’t penalized. The angle of the referee’s view can be argued. The only officiating gimmick of the game which has been ‘let go’ by the players of both the sides.
The 46th minute of the game right into the start of the second half made Bayern pay heavily for their defensive sloppiness. As Bayern midfielder Tolisso made a back pass to his teammate guarding the nets after being highly pressed by Ronaldo, Asensio, and Kroos.
Ulreich went on to collect the ball with his hands but immediately realized it is a back pass and he will be giving out a dangerous freekick to Real Madrid inside the box if he touches it. In the moment of confusion, he missed the ball which was immediately collected by Karim Benzema who found an empty net to put Real Madrid in the lead.
Sven Ulreich felt the pressure as it was his 12th Champions League appearance and these big matches are decided by the experience of the players.
Bayern now had to score at least twice for advancing and the match went pretty open with endless chances in favor of both the sides while Bayern looked more dangerous.
In the 63rd minute, the homecoming boy James Rodriguez came back to haunt Real Madrid by scoring off his own rebound shot which gave Bayern the hope to qualify. The Bavarians had a lot of attacks but none yeilding any result.
In the 83rd minute, Asensio picked up an injury and lay on the ground in pain as Bayern decided not to take advantage of the man down. The visiting team was under no obligation to stop the play but Real Madrid fans in the stadium were loud enough to convey their displeasure. The ball was passed to James and the Columbian international couldn’t help himself; out of respect for his former club and teammate, he kicked the ball out of play which wasn’t appreciated by his current teammates.
As soon the ball was kicked out of play Asensio received the medical attention and James was substituted by Javi Martinez. The Bernabeu fans applauded their boy on loan as he respected them by not celebrating his goal and kicking the ball out of play when Madrid were a man down.
The game remained intense until the final whistle. The defending champions advanced on the aggregate score and now look forward to completing their UCL hattrick. It would be their 4th UCL title in 5 years if they manage to win the final in Kiev.
The advancing team from the second semi-final tie will be decided tonight between AS Roma and Liverpool. The winner will play in final against Real Madrid in Kiev on 26th May 2018.
The tonight’s match between AS Roma vs Liverpool will be played in Rome and will be televised by the official broadcasting partners of UEFA. The kick-off is scheduled for 7:45 PM CET on Wednesday, 2nd May 2018.