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Full-time: Bayern Munich 2 Real Madrid 1
Let’s do this. Football fans across Europe are settling down for the evening in anticipation of one of the continent’s great match-ups. And we’re amongst them. Bayern Munich and Real Madrid meet in one for the purists at the magnificent Allianz Arena with a place in the decider at the same stadium at stake. Get that kettle on.
The managers have just handed us their team-sheets. Danke, chaps.
Sky have already wheeled out the likes of Franz Beckenbaur to run through the colourful history between Bayern and Real… Gary Neville reckons Boris Becker is next. We took a look at one moment which marked this rivalry earlier today and it’s not for the faint hearted.
“The man on the ground is Bayern legend Lothar Matthaus. The man stamping on his back and then his face is Real Madrid’s Juanito.” As they say in Munich: ouchies.
The Guardian are reporting that the visitors have had their boots nicked from the away dressing-room. Others on Twitter are saying that seven pairs owned by Cristiano Ronaldo have been lifted. He won’t like that. As I type, we’re seeing shots of the Madrid players warming up and all are wearing footwear (pink in C-Ron’s case) so we will at least have a game despite this grand theft umbro.
Live pictures are starting to drop in from the Press Association. It’s no Sam Maguire, but this is what it’s all about…
The teams are on the pitch and the two managers are on those steep steps in the tunnel chatting like old friends. Ronaldo’s boots look the same as Ozil’s so hopefully is German pal nipped home and got him a spare set from his mam’s.
We’re up and running. And the volume is, as Spinal Tap warned, at 11. Jose’s sporting a championship haircut.
And there we have the first effort on goal. Ozil played Benzema through the centre with a neat, crisp pass. The Frenchman barrelled through but his well-struck shot was met with a strong hand from Neuer, who put it behind. Real have enjoyed the better of the opening minutes.
Penalty shout! Ribery is fuming as his claim for a spotter is ignored by referee Howard Webb. Alan Smith in the gantry reckons it was a dive but the English official isn’t going to book the winger. Sergio Ramos had made contact with Ribery but not enough to warrant a penalty admittedly. (15 minutes)
GOAL! Bayern Munich 1 Real Madrid 0 (Ribery 16′)
It’s a ‘goal from nothing’ we’re told. A corner is darted across the six-yard box and it bounces off a seemingly unsighted Ramos – first on the chest and then the arm – before that man Ribery arrives to dispatch it past Casillas. Game on now.
Ronaldo free kick, No 1: over the bar.
Schweinsteiger unleashes his first effort on goal but it fizzes wide. The German had been found by Ribery with a lovely little ball after some nice, tight midfield passing. The home side are now enjoying some possession have broken the deadlock 10 minutes ago while Real look flimsy at the back, particularly down the left. (27 minutes)
Ronaldo free-kick, No 2: deflected off the wall and into Neuer’s arms.
Badstuber is the first man in Howard Webb’s book tonight, having taken out Di Maria. The foul gives CR7 his second opportunity to try one of those set pieces of his but it belts off a defender and into the ‘keepers’ grateful embrace. (32 minutes)
Mourinho watch: I like Jose’s new coat. Wonder where he got it. Catalogue maybe,
The football? Well Benzema’s almost scored again, cutting inside and shooting straight at Neuer while moments later Casillas pushes the ball over the bar from a Gomez shot. It’s an enjoyable tussle this. (43mins now)
Half-time: Bayern trot in for their half-time oranges a goal to the good thanks to that Ribery strike and Ramos mistake. It’s been a pretty absorbing first 45; what did you make of it? I’m off to get the kettle on.
“It is half-time in most of the 1945 BST kick-offs. As it stands, Reading (who kicked off at 2000) won’t be going up as they are drawing and West Ham are 1-1 with Bristol City. Southampton’s 2-0 lead at Peterborough means they are putting pressure on the Royals at the top. Portsmouth are not going down as it stands thanks to their 1-0 lead over Crystal Palace and Bristol City drawing. Coventry are also currently not going down.”
Is that clear?
We’re about to get underway again with the same 22 players who started the first half an hour ago. And the same two readers. You’re both still there right?
“4 – Bayern Munich had 4 shots in the first half, as many as Cristiano Ronaldo alone. Halftime.”
‘If he could have just kept that down’ sighs Alan Smith as Robben drives a shot high over the bar, after Ribery cut inside and fed him.
GOAL! Bayern Munich 1 Real Madrid 1 (Özil 53 minutes)
So, the German playmaker cancels out the Bundesliga side’s advantage. Real broke quickly through Benzema, Ronaldo was put through for a one-on-one with Neuer but, unusually, saw his shot saved. Benzema then dragged an attempted shot across the goal, Ronaldo got another chance at it but squared for Özil (I’ve been warned to use the correct German spelling by Gavan in thejournal) and he dispatched from point blank range. Phew! (55 minutes as I type)
We’re a pretty big deal you know. Ian Dempsey just tweeted: “I’m not watching the match but according to theJournal.ie José’s got a new coat”. He’s also has a haircut and an equaliser.
Casillas reminds us why he’s one of the best in the world. Gomes gets off the shoulder of the last defender, Pepe, and looks to be about it lift it over ‘keeper but Spain’s skipper gets there first. Gomes gets up, limps away and affords himself one of those wry smiles. Sebastian Schweinsteiger’s off for one of my facourite players Thomas Müller, meanwhile.
Our pal Oooooh-zil is off for Marcelo with 70 minutes now on the clock.
Mario Gomes has missed another one. I played a lot like Sergio Ramos at my weekly 6-a-side last night; a second too late to every ball, unable to deal with anything. Having been at fault for Ribery’s opener, he left another quick ball into the box bounce off him and Gomes had the goal yawning but pegged it over and wide. Let-off. (72 minutes)
You want a Championship catch-up? You gotta Championship catch-up. Here’s the BBC’s latest:
“Brighton captain Inigo Calderon has scored to bring Gus Poyet’s side back into their game with Watford – who lead 2-1 now. Cardiff are looking good for another crack at the Championship play-offs and they now lead Derby 2-0. Centre-half Mark Hudson has scored from his own half, a la David Beckham, after spotting Frank Fielding way off his line. Incredible strike.”
In Munich, Ramos has been booked for jumping in to tackle Müller.
Ribery shows his best and worst in an instant. He first nips the ball around the corner and seems to have wriggled through on goal but squares rather than shoot. The decision allows a Real Madrid defender to intercept but the ball is driven against Pepe; Ribery peels away and gesticulates for a hand-ball at a bemused looking official behind the goal. Replays show it came off the defender’s chest anyway.
Higuain is on for Benzema meanwhile. Not a bad sub.
Gomes is getting closer — the normally clinical striker has just headed into Casillas’ gloves from the six-yard box. He might live to regret these missed chances.
BIG, BIG call. Gomes is on the turf pounding the Allianz Arena pitch like Kuffour at the Camp Nou in ’99. Howard Webb is back pedalling away from the scene of the crime, having waved away the home side’s penalty claims. Pepe and Ramos challenged the Bayern striker, who went to ground, but Ramos looked to have got his studs to it.
GOAL! Bayern 2 Real Madrid 1 (Gomes 89′)
Gomes get his goal! He’s been knocking on the door all night and that, his 40th of the season we’re told, looks like being the winner tonight. Skipper Lahm got down the line. His cross was perfect and Gomes crashed in to push it over the line indelicately.
Marcelo is booked after a tough tackle on Müller and a bit of a kerfuffle afterwards. The home fans and the German midfielder reckon he’s lucky to get away with it.
Full-time: Gomes wins it for Bayern and next week’s return leg in Madrid is poised wonderfully. What did you make of that then?
Souness, Neville and Salgado are picking apart Real’s defending here with Gaz looking frustrated in his chair and not in control of the knobs. No sign of any player or manager reaction quite yet. Hopefully Jose Mourinho and Trevor Welsh are sharing a packet of custard creams, as we speak.
Jose looks in good form, in fairness. When asked what he made of his side’s performance, he says: “Okay. Okay. Enough for a 1-1 draw, which would be a very good result. The second goal came a little out of context, we were the better side in the first half, in the second the play was a bit broken. That’s football and we have to go to the second leg and play at home with a different atmosphere for sure and let’s go for it. It was a great semi-final, I cannot say a great football match. Everybody did their job. The lino made a mistake for the first goal but that’s football.”
So, after an intriguing clash of two of the game’s aristocrats, that’s your lot. Chelsea host Barcelona tomorrow night of course, a game which promises no less drama. Do join us.
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