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European final in sight as Bayern beat Madrid

The Local · 18 Apr 2012, 07:58

Published: 18 Apr 2012 07:58 GMT+02:00

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After France winger Franck Ribery gave Bayern an early lead, Real's Mesut Özil equalised before Bayern striker Gomez sealed the deal just in time.

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes was delighted with his team's performance, as “Madrid started well, but we took command and played very cleverly.”

"All in all, we deserved to win," he added. "I had said we would play with passion for 90 minutes and the players did just that.”

But Real coach Jose Mourinho is backing his team to turn things around in the second leg in Madrid and said he felt confident that if his team won at home next week, they too could have the Allianz area in sight.

"We have the second leg to come and it's not like we have to make a historical comeback, what we have to do is very achievable," said the ex-Chelsea boss, adding that although it was the first defeat for Real in this Champions League, it had not left him feeling negative.

The Bavarians preserved their remarkable record of having never lost at home to Madrid, with nine wins and a draw in their 10 meetings in Munich since 1976. They are now in pole position to return to Munich for the final on May 19, when they will face either cup-holders Barcelona, or Chelsea.

Both teams started at full-strength, with wingers Ribery and Arjen Robben either side of Toni Kroos behind Gomez in Bayern's attack.

Mourinho opted to start with France's Karim Benzema as striker in front of Özil, who was flanked by Argentina's Angel di Maria and Portugal star Cristiano Ronaldo.

After Ribery’s penalty appeal was rejected, he fired past Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas from close range on the 17 minute, after Madrid failed to deal with a Kroos corner.

The goal gave Bayern a confidence boost and as midfielders Kroos and Luiz Gustavo pushed forward, while Bastian Schweinsteiger forced Casillas into a diving save.

But the visitors got back on level terms just seven minutes into the second half as

when Benzema fired the ball back across goal sunk Real’s first and only goal.

Then, having squandered several chances and had a penalty appeal turned down, Gomez finally found the net in the ninetieth minute after Bayern captain Philipp Lahm squared for him to bundle the ball home from close range.

Story continues below…

There was a melee in the dying stages after substitute Thomas Müller was heavily fouled by Madrid replacement Marcelo, who was shown a yellow card, but Bayern now have everything to play for in the return leg in Spain.

The match was preceded by drama in the changing rooms, when a few Real players’ boots were stolen. In total, the thief managed to snatch six pairs of boots and some shirts from Real's dressing room in the stadium.

Spanish media reported that Germany’s Özil may have been one of the targets and that Ronaldo definitely had three pairs stolen. A complaint has been lodged by Real to European football's governing body UEFA.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:12 April 18, 2012 by Johnne
FC Bayern for life!!

Munich is unique ;-)
10:52 April 18, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Reading this you would think they were practically assured of reaching the final. This is not the case by a long way. Having to go to Madrid with a 1 goal lead is far from meaning a final appearance. It is well within RM's capability to turn that arround at home.

Why must this arrogance always surface whenever Bayern win? Same thing happened when they were ahead against Man Utd in the CL final all those years ago and were celebrating before the match ended.
15:53 April 18, 2012 by Bigfoot76
I am confused, I thought the parade was on Saturday and they were going to drive the championship to Marienplatz in a shiny BMW with the top down. Is this t-shirt I bought that says 2012 UEFA Champions a fake?
15:55 April 20, 2012 by Ro1dosher

It was actually a reporter who wrote this article, not Bayern Munich. No arrogance, no celebrating. Yet.
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