Munich: If the first semifinals between Liverpool and Roma were end to end attacking and full on pace, the one played yesterday between defending champions Real Madrid and Bayern Munich was a tactical master class. Both teams played to their strengths and shut down the oppositions moves with near perfection.
Bayern Munich made a constant effort to slow down the tempo of the game with calculated and less risky passes and was not worried about passing the ball back to the defense on more than one occasion. They pressured the Real’s defense line by pressing them high up the pitch which worked to their favor of winning more balls in the midfield. We will never know if Jupp’s initial tactics would have worked to perfection as before the end of the first half the German Giants lost both Robben and Boateng to injuries but that didn’t stop Kimmich from opening the score lines from a perfectly placed shot from the right flank. Real went on to equalize at the 44th minute from a spectacular volley from Marcelo whose absence in the left back spot had given Bayern that initial lead. In the second half it was the side from the Spanish capital that was plagued with injuries as Isco took a knock and had to be substituted by Asensio in the beginning of the second half but that turned out to be a blessing in disguise as Vasquez lead a counter attack and gifted Asensio the ball with only Ulreich to beat and Asensio dispatched the goal with ease giving Real 2 away goals to take to the Bernabeu next week. Real had to then take out Cavarjal and surprisingly had him replaced by Benzema. Bayern had a plethora of chances spitting distance from the goal which to the fortunes of the Los Blancos was not met correctly.
Bayern did their best in containing Ronaldo with the Portuguese having hardly any time on the ball. Although it needs to be said that the only shot he took ended up in the back of the net but was disallowed as the referee intimated that he had controlled it with his hands, replays however showed otherwise. Ronaldo tracked back on few occasions to help out in defense as well. The Bavarians will be hoping they can do what Juventus did at Madrid and score 3 away goals to put the game to bed but will need to worry about the unstoppable counter attacks Real Madrid is most famous for.