Real Madrid 2 – Bayern Munich 1 (after extra time)


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France World Cup winger FRANCK RIBERY of Bayern Munich, who came on as a second half substitute to score a last-minute winner in the Bundesliga match with Werder Bremen last Saturday, dribbles away from Germany World Cup midfielder SAMI KHEDIRA (6) of Spanish side Real Madrid, who netted the vital first goal for Los Blancos in the decisive El Clasico match at the famous Nou Camp over the weekend, during the UEFA Champions League semifinal second leg match at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in the capital city of Spain.
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April 25, 2012
UEFA Champions League
Semifinal, second leg

2 – REAL MADRID (Spa) ——————— Ronaldo pen 6′, 14′
1 – BAYERN MUNICH (Ger) ————— Robben pen 27′

Two quick strikes by the home side were tempered by a defiant response from the visitors shortly before the half hour mark as Spanish La Liga giant REAL MADRID downed record German champion BAYERN MUNICH 2-1 in the second leg of a razor-tight semifinal tie that ended 3-3 on aggregate after a scoreless edition of extra time and would require penalties to decide.

Perhaps buoyed by the big victory at fierce domestic rival FC Barcelona this past weekend, Real Madrid raced out of the blocks wiped out its deficit to Bayern Munich from the first leg in Bavaria just six minutes into the rematch in front of 82,619 spectators at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. A volley from Argentina World Cup winger ANGEL DI MARIA struck Bayern Munich’s sliding 19-year-old Austria international DAVID ALABA on the arm and resulted in a spot kick for Los Blancos. Portugal World Cup winger CRISTIANO RONALDO, who currently leads La Liga with 42 goals this season, cooly dispatched the penalty and put Real Madrid ahead on the old away goals rule.

The Bavarians counterattacked quickly and probably should have equalized but Holland World Cup winger ARJEN ROBBEN, himself a former Real Madrid player on a return to old stomping grounds, failed from close range with the goal at his mercy following a nice cross from the overlapping Alaba.

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Energized by the thought of a second great triumph in as many matches, Real Madrid doubled its advantage on the evening and went ahead one goal proper on aggregate in only the 14th minute. Germany World Cup attacking midfielder MESUT OEZIL, who scored the lone goal for Los Merengues in the first leg against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in Bavaria, distributed a lovely diagonal ball into the box. Ronaldo ran on to casually slot a right-footer past approaching Germany World Cup goalkeeper MANUEL NEUER and score his 10th goal of the season in the UEFA Champions League.

Despite appearing shellshocked from the one-two punch of Ronaldo, the visitors reorganzied themselves and began to take a fairer share of the possession and chances. In the 27th minute, Germany international midfielder TONI KROOS floated a ball into the penalty area hoping for national team constituent MARIO GOMEZ but the Bundesliga’s leading goal-scorer only went down in a pile up with Portugal World Cup defender PEPE and Spain World Cup defender SERIO RAMOS. Thus, the match referee pointed to the spot for the second time in less than half an hour.

Robben, to review, had had a late penalty kick for Bayern Munich smothered in the disappointing loss to Borussia Dortmund only a handful of matches previously. Now, however, the Dangerous Dutchman had the glorious opportunity to make amends against, ironically enough, his former employers and haul his side level in the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League. Spain World Cup goalkeeper IKER CASILLAS of Real Madrid got his fingertips to Robben’s effort but placement and power helped the ball in off the base of post.

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The see-saw battle which European football history will remember fondly for its sustained level of intense drama and excitement would continue and went on into extra time, as well; both teams, in the end, managed to get nine shots on target, according to the official site of the UEFA Champions League.

Real Madrid made use of all three substitutions, including the introduction of Brazil World Cup midfielder KAKA with a quarter of an hour remaining in regulation. In contrast, Bayern Munich benefitted from trainer JUPP HEYNCKES having rested almost all of his starters for the Bundesliga match over the weekend and went to the bench only once. There would be no more goals, though, as the two in-form netminders were, by now, locked in a memorable duel as the opposing sides struggled mightily for the last remaining place in the Final of the continent of Europe’s most prestigous competition.

And so a penalty kick shootout, that unique test of nerve and skill despised by some, would be required to finally settle the issue in Spain and formally separate the two admirable contestants, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid …

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A pair of midfielders from Germany’s third place squad at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa tangle in the capital city of Spain, then, as Real Madrid talent MESUT OEZIL (10) shields the ball from Bayern Munich tackler BASTIAN SCHWEINSTEIGER (31) during the UEFA Champions League semifinal second leg match contested at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
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REAL MADRID : Casillas – Arbeloa, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo – Xabi Alonso, Khedira – Di Maria (Kaka 75′), Oezil (Granero 111′), Ronaldo – Benzema (Higuain 106′)

BAYERN MUNICH : Neuer – Lahm, Boateng, Badstuber, Alaba – Luiz Gustavo, Schweinsteiger – Robben, Kroos, Ribery (Mueller 95′) – Gomez

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