If you thought Chelsea and Barca hogged all of the Champions League drama last night, you were mistaken. Here’s our minute-by-minute report on a wonderfully entertaining night in Madrid.
After last night’s drama, we went minute-by-minute for an equally unmissable Champions League semi. Would Jose Mourinho set up an unexpected reunion with his old mates at Chelsea, or could Bayern make it through to a home final in Munich?
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Are we all fully recovered from last night’s Champions League madness? I think I am, but only just. No matter, it’s time for another footballing feast (warning: may not be a feast) as Real Madrid host Bayern Munich for the right to play Chelsea in the 2012 Champions League final.
Kick-off in the Santiago Bernabeu is in half-an-hour so you’ve plenty of time to stick the pasta on, or nip out to the offie, or do whatever it is you have to do. We’ll be here, don’t worry.
First things first, here are your teams starting with the hosts. Jose Mourinho makes just one change to the Madrid side which won last Saturday night’s Clásico — Marcelo comes in for Fabio Contrao at left-full. Otherwise, it’s as you were for the Spaniards.
Real Madrid: Casillas, Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo, Alonso, Khedira, Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo, Benzema. Subs: Adan, Kaka, Granero, Fabio Coentrao, Albiol, Higuain, Callejon
And if my memory does not deceive me, Jupp Heynckes has gone for the exact same Bayern starting XI and bench that snatched the late 2-1 win in the Allianz Arena last Tuesday night.
Bayern Munich: Neuer, Lahm, Boateng, Badstuber, Alaba, Gustavo, Schweinsteiger, Ribery, Kroos, Robben, Gomez. Subs: Butt, Olic, Rafinha, Pranjic, Muller, Contento, Tymoschuk.
For those of you who like to visualise these things, here’s how my good friends over at UEFA reckon they’ll line out this evening.
What’s that? You want some more pub trivia from the UEFA press kit? You got it..
The weight of history is probably on Madrid’s side, so.
How about some info that might actually matter? Here’s the list of players that are one booking away from suspension.
Madrid: Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso.
Munich: Philipp Lahm, Jerome Boateng, Holger Badstuber, David Alaba, Luis Gustavo, Toni Kroos.
Could be a long night for a few of those Bayern lads…
Here’s how we’re looking out in the bookmakers’ ledgers.
For 90 minutes — Madrid 8/15 Munich 11/2 Draw 3/1
To qualify — Madrid 4/6 Munich 11/10
Where’s your money?
Kick-off: Here we go, folks. Strap yourselves in.
Early chance for Madrid and Khedira has made a bit of a mickey of it. Alonso finds di Maria with a cross-field ball and the Argentinian skins Alaba before pulling back to the onrushing Khedira. Rather than put his foot through it, he sidefoots it into Neuer’s hands. A real chance.
PENALTY TO MADRID! I’m going to try to say this in as calm a manner as possible — that is the most ridiculous decision I’ve seen in a long time. Another searching pass to di Maria who strikes it first time, only to see it come back off Alaba’s hand as he throws himself at the shot. There’s no way in the world he even knew where the ball was, let alone meant to handle it, but Viktor Kassai heard the appeals of the crowd and gives the pen.
It’s C-Ron to take…
GOAL! Real Madrid 1-0 Bayern Munich (Ronaldo pen, 6′) … and he scores. Cool as you like, Ronaldo sends Neuer the wrong way and Madrid take the lead on away goals.
I’m appalled by that decision.
My oh my, what a start. Bayern come straight back down the pitch and very nearly grab the equaliser. Brilliant work by the man who conceded the pen, Alaba. He zips down the left and fires a cross into the six-yard box where Robben is unmarked. It bobbles just in front of him and, although you’d still back him 99 times out of 100 to score, he skies it. Bad miss.
Bayern are finding their way through without too much difficulty. Gomez has a pop from 20 yards out, Casillas spills it back into the path of Ribery but fortunately for the keeper, Khedira gets in the way just enough to put the Frenchman off.
GOAL! Real Madrid 2-0 Bayern Munich (Ronaldo, 14′) Cometh the hour, cometh the man. Much like last Saturday in the Nou Camp, we can all calm down — Cristiano is here.
There’s an element of luck about this one too as Khedira plays the ball off Kroos’s legs into the path of Ozil. From there, the German slides the ball through the defensive line to Ronaldo who finishes low into the bottom corner.
That’s a sucker punch for Bayern, and very much against the run of play in the last seven or eight minutes.
I’m not sure the pace of this game could be any faster. 100 mile an hour stuff is an awful cliché, and tonight, it doesn’t even do the game justice.
20 mins: A goal will still see Bayern through to extra-time though and they’re not short of committing men forward. The ball pings around the Madrid box for a bit before it’s hacked clear.
Bayern are starting to get the upper hand in the midfield battles at the moment and it’s giving them ample opportunity to try their luck from long range. Luiz Gustavo has a pop from outside the box but he doesn’t quite catch it and it never troubles Casillas.
PENALTY TO BAYERN! Referee Viktor Kassai isn’t done shaping this game just yet. Bayern break, Kroos sticks a tempting cross into the box towards Gomez. The striker worms his way through the gap between Ramos and Pepe, feels the latter’s hand on his back, and goes to ground. Penalty — Robben to take against his old club…
GOAL! Real Madrid 2-1 Bayern Munich (Robben pen, 27′) … and scores. Casillas guesses the right way and gets a hand to it, but it’s only enough to help it in to the side of the net. He looks very disappointed with himself.
It’s all square on aggregate. Bayern are right back in it.
From Cornelius Collins in the comments below:
what a game!!! end to end stuff…. makes some difference both teams coming out to try and batter each other….beats comin and just parking the bus….plenty more goals in this i think
I’d definitely agree with the more goals part. It could be 5-4 already.
Wonderful work by Benzema who almost has Madrid’s third of the night. He cuts back inside Boateng and from an awkward angle, curls a shot just outside Neuer’s left post. The keeper was beaten there for sure.
Does Mario Gomez miss from eight yards? Not usually, but then again, tonight is no normal night judging by this opening half. He’s one-on-one with Casillas and somehow onside but strikes his shot straight off the keeper’s legs.
Ronaldo stands over a 30-yard free — you know, the kind he loves — but Neuer gets his body behind the shot and makes sure not to spill it back out.
40 mins: Judging by the comments below and by my Twitter timeline, I think it’s fair to say that everyone is enjoying these two semi-finals as much as I am. I wasn’t sure last night could be bettered but, as a contest, tonight is every bit as enthralling. Five minutes to the break.
Robben nearly finds Ramos and Pepe napping with a quick throw as Gomez looks to get in behind them unnoticed. Pepe gets across to block just as the German is about to pull on it.
We’re into injury time. Bayern have a very dangerous free a yard outside the box. It’s Pepe’s challenge but Robben made sure that the referee was giving it with a rather theatrical fall…
Robben curls it around the wall and Casillas gets down to push it away. That’s the last action of the half — although the replays seem to suggest that it came off Pepe’s hand in the wall. As much of a peno as the one against Alaba then, surely?
HALF TIME: Real Madrid 2-1 Bayern Munich
Phew, what a brilliant 45 minutes. Gimme two minutes to catch my breath and we’ll get back on the road again. If you’ve any thoughts you want to share, stick them in the comments section below or pop them in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org — we’ll use them, don’t worry.
Here’s that Madrid pen. Get it before the YouTube police do
And Ronaldo’s second
And, last but not least, Robben.
Second half: Aaaaaaand we’re back. Hardly time to make a cup of tea and reflect on the first half, but such is life.
Bayern very nearly snatch an equaliser with the first meaningful attack of this second half. Lahm whips in a real tempter and Gomez gets up ahead of Ramos only to see his header drift a foot or two wide.
The story of the first half — from this:
Trivia time: If Bayern do win tonight, they will become the first club to play a Champions League final in their own stadium. The last club to play a European Cup final at home were AS Roma, who lost on penalties to Liverpool in 1984.
55 mins: The opening 10 minutes of this half haven’t been quite as frantic as the first half was but the game could explode back to life at any stage. Both sides are understandably reluctant to take too many risks now, looking to hit on the break where possible.
Quick thinking by Xabi Alonso who picks out Benzema on the right. Neuer has to be alert to parry his shot across the face of goal away from danger.
There’s a booking for Alvaro Arbeloa, known affectionately as “Bob” by Liverpool fans during his time on Merseyside. Ribery looks to scoot away down the line and the Spaniard steps across and clips his heels.
Wonderful ball by Alonso with the outside of his right foot to set Marcelo free but it’s flagged for offside. Which is ridiculous, because the last man was about three yards ahead of Marcelo when the ball was played.
65 mins: In an attempt to jolt this game back to life, I’m going to predict that we’re heading for extra-time and penos.
We’re back in CR7 territory –25 yards out, just to the left of Neuer’s goal.
Ronaldo catches it alright, putting that trademark dip on the ball, but again it’s straight at Neuer. Kein Problem as they say in Munich…
Cornelius Collins has been in touch again:
game could do with another goal to open it back up again…. gone a little flat and cagey at the moment…
Agreed 100%, but it’s still a really interesting contest.
Ronaldo has another one of those 25-yard frees — from almost the exact same spot as the last one, actually — but this one ends up high in the stand behind Neuer’s goal.
75 mins: Here’s the first change of the evening. Angel di Maria has played his part, Kaka comes on for the final quarter-hour plus whatever else we need to settle this bad boy.
The Bernabeu crowd are on their feet as Benzema outfoxes Badstuber in the corner, but Boateng is perfectly positioned to turn his cross behind. The corner comes to nothing.
80 mins: @samuelluckhurst tweets “Badstuber vies with Djimi Traore to be the worst defender to have ever played in a European Cup final.” Any thoughts on that slight?
Madrid look content to sit back and let Bayern have most of the ball and who’d blame them? Every time the Germans get within 25 yards, the Madrid defenders are proving to be their equals.
Robben looks like causing trouble every time he sets off down the right but so far, he hasn’t got too much change out of Marcelo.
85 mins: Was that Bayern’s chance? Robben rolls the ball to Gomez seven or eight yards out and, if he hits it first time and it’s on target, it’s a goal. Instead he dawdles, taking about 32 touches before his shot, by which time Ramos is back to block.
**Pepe Alert** He’s rolling around on the ground, even though there’s nothing wrong with him. Just another night’s work so.
90 seconds to play…
90 mins: Robben is booked as the fourth official puts up the board. Two additional minutes to find a winner…
Oh, Bayern. The ball is nicked away from Ramos, Bayern break in numbers, but Kroos’s touch is a tad heavy and he sends Robben too wide. Chance wasted.
FULL TIME: Real Madrid 2-1 Bayern Munich (3-3 agg)
Extra time it is.
Who’s your money on now? Bayern looked to have the upper hand in the last 15-20 minutes of normal time; Madrid are looking a little bit tired following their Clásico exertions.
ET Kick-off: We’re back again.
There appears to have been an ITV outage somewhere, so if that’s where you were watching, welcome to our wonderful liveblog family until the nice men get the football picture back for you. Words are fun too, you know…
ET 5mins: Bayern make a change — Muller on for Ribery.
Another nice piece of trivia for you stats nerds out there. This is the third Champions League semi-final to go to extra-time; the other two were Liverpool v Chelsea in 2007 and 2008.
ET 10mins: As you might expect, an awful lot of tired legs out there now. If we’re going to have a winner in extra time, it’s going to take a moment of brilliance or an appalling mistake. So it’ll probably involve Cristiano Ronaldo then…
Luis Gustavo picks up a booking and, if Bayern do make it through to the final, he’ll play no part. That’s an accumulation of seven or eight little fouls rather than one really nasty one.
Badstuber flies in on Benzema and picks up a booking for his trouble. He’s out of the final too. At this rate, I might even get a call-up. You have my number, Jupp.
ET HALF-TIME: Real Madrid 2-1 Bayern Munich (3-3 agg)
ET2 Kick-off: No time to waste. Let’s get this show on the road again so we can all go home.
If you’re still keeping track, Higuain came on for Benzema during that little half-time pause.
@NickSzczepanik tweets: “Perhaps the suspended players on each team can play a six-a-side game as a curtain-raiser for the final …”
I know how you feel, Cris
ET 20mins: Granero is for Ozil. Mou holds up 10 fingers to his men from the line — either he’s telling them how long is left or that’s the universal symbol for “park the bus”.
In comparison to what we’ve seen so far in extra-time, that was a real chance for Madrid. Granero plays the ball into the box, Kaka steps between Gustavo and Boateng to chest it down. He tries to hook it to Khedira at the back post but he can’t get his cross past the first Bayern defender.
25 mins: A massive call by referee Viktor Kassai. Neuer comes way off his line to challenge Granero, who shields the ball from him before crumpling in a heap and looking around for a pen. Instead, all he gets is a booking. There was definite contact from the keeper but it was minimal and probably not enough to put Granero off balance.
27 mins: A snifter for Bayern as a stumbling Gomez nearly plays Muller in inside the box. Marcelo intercepts for Madrid and sets off a sprint of his own. He looks to put Higuain through one-on-one with Neuer but the Argentinian has strayed a yard off.
A minute of normal time to play.
FULL TIME ET: Real Madrid 2-1 Bayern Munich (3-3 agg)
Penalties it is.
Not to jinx Bayern or anything but German sides don’t lose on penos, do they?
Here we go. Munich to go first.
Ronaldo… SAVED! (Bayern 1-0 Real)
Gomez… SCORES (Bayern 2-0 Real)
Kaka… SAVED BY NEUER (Bayern 2-0 Real)
Kroos… SAVED! (Bayern 2-0 Real)
Alonso… SCORES (Bayern 2-1 Real)
Lahm… SAVED! (Bayern 2-1 Real)
Two saves each. Real need this next one to draw level after four pens each…
Mourinho on his knees. Ramos… SKIES IT (Bayern 2-1 Real)
Schweinsteiger with a pen to win it for Bayern…
Schweinsteiger… SCORES!!! (Bayern 3-1 Real)
BAYERN MUNICH WIN 3-1 ON PENALTIES — THEY’RE IN THE 2012 CL FINAL
So it’s Munich in Munich — Bayern set up a Champions League final against Chelsea on their own turf, the Allianz Arena, on 19 May.
Yet again, Jose Mourinho falls in the semi-finals. He’s straight off down the tunnel as soon as Schweinsteiger’s penalty hits the net.
The Germans on penos, eh?
Kildare’s Emmet Bolton has his say:
What a remarkable night of football… again! Just like Chelsea last night, the Bayern fans are being kept in the ground but they couldn’t care less — the place is absolutely bouncing.
A few quick stats if you’re interested.
Here’s the video of the shootout. I’m off to watch that Ramos pen again.
And so, with Twitter inundated with every Sergio Ramos joke under the sun, I think it’s time for me to say goodnight.
If you ever needed two evenings to reaffirm your faith in the beautiful game, last night and tonight were perfect. Two completely different games, played out in completely different manners, with completely different climaxes. Wonderful stuff.
We’ll see you in the morning. Thanks for reading and for your comments.
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