Benefitting from a couple of outstanding Manuel Neuer penalty saves and Sergio Ramos attempting to be the first player to kick a ball from the Santiago Bernabeu directly into the Vicente Calderon, Bayern Munich put their domestic frailties to one side and dumped Real Madrid out of Europe’s premier competition. Bastien Schweinsteiger’s winning penalty had barely hit the net before cameras panned to Jose Mourinho trudging down the tunnel, he was attempting to win the Champions League with a third club but his team were largely overpowered with the whole second half and extra time belonging to the Bavarian giants.
Much like in Barcelona the night before Madrid stormed to a two goal lead before taking their foot off the gas, with a very harsh penalty decision going their way after the outstanding Bayern left back David Alaba was deemed to have handled when in reality the ball was rifled at his arm at ground level. Ronaldo away from the pressure cooker of a penalty shoot out calmly dispatched the spot kick before doubling his teams lead after being found in acres of space by Ozil. The German was Madrid’s star performer along with left back Marcelo, his unerring calm in possession and the ability to take teams apart with one shimmy or through ball all the while making every task look about as menial as brushing your teeth should see him retain Madrid’s number 10 jersey for years to come.
Robben was beginning to find space and when Mario Gomez felt a ‘shove’ in his back he crumpled in a heap to allow Robben the chance to score against his former club.
Bayern didn’t hesitate when given the chance to get back on level terms, Robben was beginning to find space and when Mario Gomez felt a ‘shove’ in his back he crumpled in a heap to allow Robben the chance to score against his former club. The Dutchman had a lively game but managed to further enhance his reputation as one of the more selfish footballers you’re ever likely to see, with Ribery offering next to nothing apart from charging into Real Madrid players all night the creative burden fell almost entirely on the ex-Chelsea man and Toni Kroos who used the ball excellently all night.
David Alaba put in a man of the match display with multiple forays into the Madrid half, rarely getting caught out at the back and lashing home his team’s first penalty. A midfielder by trade the Austrian teenager has been tasked to fill in at left back by Heynckes this year and his emergence in the first team has been a genuine positive for what has so far been a mixed season for Bayern. His burst from left back late in the game should have seen his team win in normal time, feeding Robben who squared for Gomez for an almost sure fire winner only for the striker to decide to take too many touches and fall over the ball.
Mourinho having predicted it wouldn’t be a Madrid Chelsea final was left to try and defend his players poor showing in the shoot-out citing the ‘brutal’ pressure
Mourinho having predicted it wouldn’t be a Madrid Chelsea final was left to try and defend his players poor showing in the shoot-out citing the ‘brutal’ pressure, the Germans weren’t infallible themselves with Phillip Lahm and Toni Kroos hitting surprisingly poor penalties. Manuel Neuer who was apparently described by Madrid president Perez as ‘the best goalkeeper in the world’ during the shoot-out out-performed his counterpart with two superb low saves from Ronlado and Kaka. The question after Sergio Ramos skied his effort was why Gonzalo Higuain had yet to take one, the centre back never looked set and it certainly wasn’t an uneven penalty spot which did the damage. “During the walk to the penalty area I lost my b******s but thank god I found them again” was Schweinsteiger’s description of his winning penalty, in truth it never looked in doubt for the German midfielder who is celebrating ten years in the Bayern first team.
Both Chelsea and Bayern have a host of first team players out of the final but the fact that it will be a home game for Jupp Heynckes men may prove too much for a Chelsea team shorn of Terry, Ivanovic and Ramires. Bayern haven’t won the Champions League for over a decade and there is a sense that Chelsea, although deserved finalists, may have used some of their nine lives at the Camp Nou on Tuesday night.
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