Champions League: Bayern Munich 1-2 Real Madrid
Real Madrid beat Bayern in semis first leg
Spanish La Liga holders Real Madrid enjoyed their 150th Champions League win away against Bayern Munich, making them the first club to reach the milestone. Real are attempting to become the first team ever to win three consecutive European Cups since Bayern Munich. Roma and Liverpool are still in the race for a spot in the finals. Real appear to be soundly on course to become the first team since Bayern Munich in 1976 to win a third successive European Cup. "Real weren't spectacularly special," said Chelsea winger Pat Nevin. "They have ridden their luck but Real Madrid somehow find a way to win and you don't know how they do it."
Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Bayern Munich goal: Kimmich (28' minutes)
Real Madrid goals: Marcelo (44' minutes), Asensio (57' minutes)
Real Madrid was dominant throughout the match in their Champions League semi-final away battle against Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena and won the first leg. Real attempting to win the competition for the 3rd season, struggled defensively as Marcelo and Marco Asensio scored goals on either side of the break. Joshua Kimmich opened the scoring to put Bayern in front when he slotted past Keylor Navas at the near post. Marcelo smashed home a half-volley equalizer from the edge of the penalty area before Asensio made the most of an error by Rafinha to score a breakaway goal. German champions Bayern Munich missed many chances in an error-filled 90 minutes. And superstar Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo had a goal ruled out for handball and his run of scoring at least one goal in every game of this year's competition ended. Looking ahead, Bayern must now score at least two goals at the Bernabeu next Tuesday to stop Real Madrid from reaching their 4th final in 5th years. Real got the result they needed to put them in striking range of their ultimate goal. The defensive issues which led to a 3-1 defeat in their dramatic quarter-final second leg against Juve resurfaced in the first half of the clash, but Marcelo scored to save them. Real manager Zinedine Zidane made a change in his squad at half-time as he replaced forward Isco with Asensio who scored. Rafinha gave the ball away near the halfway line, Lucas Asensio pounced and lifted the ball home. Ronaldo did not have a shot on target in the match, the first time he has failed to score in the Champions League since May 2017. CR7 sent a header wide and a shot from distance so wildly off target it went out for a throw-in and touched the ball 3 times in the Bayern Munich penalty area.
Of note, Asensio's past three Champions League goals have been as a substitute in knockout matches, two against Bayern and one against Juve in last season's final. No player has been involved in more goals for Bayern in the Champions League this season than Kimmich - three goals and three assists. Kimmich's goal was the 100th goal scored under manager Jupp Heynckes in the Champions League - 22 for Real Madrid, 78 for Bayern. Marcelo has scored 3 goals in his past 5 UEFA Champions League games. Vazquez has assisted 12 goals in all competitions this season. Bayern has not gone through to a Champions League final since they won the competition since 2013 and have lost 6 matches in a row against Real, their worst run against any side in the competition.
Bayern are missing key men Manuel Neuer, David Alaba, Arturo Vidal and Kingsley Coman, along with winger Arjen Robben and defender Jerome Boateng in the first half. But they had enough chances to take a commanding lead to Madrid. Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller and Frank Ribery missed chances. Popular Lewandowski's cross missed Muller. Navas mishandled Kimmich's opener but he saved well from Ribery in the second half. Marcelo had equalized, next Muller had a powerful volley blocked by Sergio Ramos, and Lewandowski headed straight at Navas and missed. In the 2nd halfLewandowski and Muller were at times in each other's way inside the six-yard box. After the final whistle, a few fans ran onto the pitch to confront the Bayern side. Real have won 6 consecutive Champions League matches against Bayern, their joint-longest run against an opponent in the competition's history, also winning 6 in a row against Ajax between 2010 - 2012.
Cristiano Ronaldo breaks Champions League record
Superstar Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo broke the Champions League victory record despite not scoring against Bayern. The Portuguese forward won his 96th game in Europe's premier club competition, passing a Madrid legend in the process. Cristiano Ronaldo's remarkable scoring run came to a close on Wednesday, but he still managed to set another Champions League record. With Real Madrid's 2-1 win over Munich, Ronaldo has now won more Champions League games than any other player with 96, passing Real Madrid’s legendary goalkeeper Iker Casillas. Triumphant. Marcelo and Marco Asensio got the winning goals for Madrid, who moved ahead toward the 2018 Champions League final with the win in the semi-final first leg. Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane's side also set a team record in the competition with the victory in Munich. The two-time defending champions won their 150th Champions League game, becoming the first side to reach the mark in the prestigious competition's history. Ronaldo and Madrid will look to add to their records in the Champions League second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday.
Ulreich, Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels, Rafinha, Javi Martinez, Robben, Muller, Rodriguez, Ribery, Lewandowski. Subs: Starke, Wagner, Sule, Thiago, Bernat, Rudy, Tolisso.
Navas, Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Lucas, Ronaldo, Isco. Subs: Casilla, Vallejo, Benzema, Bale, Hernandez, Asensio, Kovacic.
Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (Oldenzaal)
More about Robert Lewandowski
Robert Lewandowski has scored twice as many Bundesliga goals, 28, as any other footballer this season. No football player except Lewandowski before in the Champions League era had even scored a hat-trick against Real, nor had any player ever scored four in a Champions League semi-final. Lewandowski was the top scorer in his last three seasons at Dortmund, winning a Bundesliga title and scoring twice in the German Cup final win over Bayern Munich in 2012. His overall goal ratio was the second best in Bundesliga history, behind only Bayern legend Gerd Muller on 105. Lewandowski played for four seasons. His most efficient performance off the bench saw Guardiola clasp his hands over his head in disbelief, as Lewandowski scored 5 goals in 9 second-half minutes against Wolfsburg in 2015. This season Lewandowski is the division's top scorer. For the fourth season running, Lewandowski has been crowned as a German Bundesliga champion with Bayern, the club's sixth consecutive title. That was despite a poor start which saw Carlo Ancelotti sacked, but even for long periods since Jupp Heynckes returned, Bayern were winning without performances matching the impressive results. In the last month that has changed with Bayern beginning to defeat their opponents with ease, hitting 4 goals or more on 6 occasions. Lewandowski is the 2nd top goal scorer in Champions League semi-finals with 6 goals. Cristiano Ronaldo has 13 goals. Bayern will depend on an in form Lewandowski stepping up and scoring massive goals against Real Madrid. Lewandowski has missed 2 of a possible 4 games against Real since knocking them out with Dortmund in 2013. Last season, he missed Bayern's quarter-final first-leg defeat by Real with a shoulder injury and admitted that he wasn't fit for the second leg, even though he scored. In 2014 he missed Dortmund's 3-0 first-leg reverse at the same stage through suspension. "It doesn't matter how many goals I score. The main thing is that we go through," said Lewandowski.
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