Champions League Semifinal Preview: Bayern Munich At Real Madrid
Anything can happen, right? That’s what Bayern Munich will be telling themselves tonight as they set to go into one of the toughest places to play a football match, Estadio Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid, Spain. Bayern more than knows they can do it, one day after Chelsea stunned Barcelona in the other semifinal.
Bayern comes in with a 2-1 lead, but Real Madrid has the all important away goal in case of a tie after the second leg tonight. It should be an entertaining game, and I highly encourage everyone to watch. For now, let’s get to a quick recap of the game last week.
Real Madrid started the game quickly, with opportunities being created by Karim Benzema, Christiano Ronaldo, Sami Khedira, and Mesut Özil. However, it would be the home side that would strike first when Frank Ribéry smashed home an open chance from the corner in the 17th minute.
The match would go back and forth as Real Madrid was continuing to gain confidence, and finally broke through when they outnumbered the Bavarian defense, leaving an easy goal for Özil. Bayern, not to be denied, kept pushing forward. Mario Gomez had a plethora of great chances, and finally, in the 90th minute, Gomez puts it home, giving the German side a 2-1 victory heading into tonight’s match.
Looking at tonight, one cannot expect Real Madrid to test Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer. The back line of Bayern will have to be in top form again, as Real will be creating chance after chance. Bayern might need to score twice to move on, as I expect Real Madrid to score two or three tonight.
This game will come down to how well Bayern defends. They have the offensive fire power to hang with Madrid, but must defend fervently. Neuer more than bailed out his teammates on multiple occasions when runners were streaking clear of the Bayern defense. Bayern, as evidenced in the first leg, can create a lot of pressure on the counter-attack. Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos, Mario Gomez, Arjen Robben, and Ribéry can score from anywhere. When Phillip Lahm also keeps pushing forward, the team had a lot of quality opportunities.
I highly encourage everyone to check out the match if you can. It is going to be a fantastic game with a lot on the line. If Bayern advances, they play the Champions League Final at their home stadium, Allianz Arena in Munich.
Follow Paul Troupe on Twitter @gamin4HIM