Madrid: The second leg of the first semi-finals concluded last night with the defending champions scrapping their way to the finals after being made to suffer by the German Giants.
Bayern Munich travelled to the capital of Spain in hopes to overturn the 2-1 loss they suffered at home. The Bavarians could not have asked for a better start as the goal scorer from the first leg – Kimmich started proceedings yet again with a goal in the second minute and Real responded in kind with a Benzema header at the 10th minute. The Real goal in practicality did not upset the Munich side as they would still need 2 goals to qualify for the Finals. The game went back and forth with Bayern having more of the possession and the sharper attack in the first half. If the first half had the ideal start for the side from Germany the second half started horrendously for them. A mistake from goalkeeper Ulreich from a back pass made by Tolliso saw Benzema with an open net and the Frenchman doubled his tally for the night. The visitors had nothing left to loose and started pushing men forward and became more ruthless in attack which finally paid off in the 62nd minute when Rodriguez volleyed his own blocked shot to level the game at night. Rodriguez who is on loan from Madrid had earlier said that he wouldn’t celebrate if he had scored and kept his word and even apologized to the home fans, most of whom still want the Columbian back at the end of the season contrary to the likely scenario where Bayern will purchase his service on a more permanent basis. ‘Die Rotens’ still needed one more goal to reach the finals and showed a determination like nothing we have seen in this edition of the UEFA. Real had 4 yellow cards dished out between then and the full time. A lot of time wasting stunts was employed by the Los Blancos to reach safe ground but the referee kept all in mind by adding 5 extra minutes and then some during the injury time despite the Madrid players and fans alike demanding the official to blow the whistle and when he finally did, the Spanish Giants saw themselves through to a 4th final in 5 years.
Eventhough the Germans controlled the majority of the match, they did miss 1 key player in each area – Boateng in defense, Vidal in midfield and Robben in attack. Cristiano Ronaldo was kept quiet during the entirety of the match and without Carvajal, Vazquez and Modric had to step in that role, the latter of whom was exceptional for the whites. A special mention must also be given to Navas at goal who saved two shots and kept Real in the game.