Bengaluru, April 26: Real Madrid took a decisive step to making the UEFA Champions League final by beating Bayern Munich 2-1 in the first leg of their semi-final at the Allianz Arena in Munich on Wednesday night.
Joshua Kimmich's early strike was cancelled out by Marcelo's left-footed stunner in the first half, before Marco Asensio won it for the Los Blancos in the second half. With two away goals, Real Madrid have one foot in the final of the UCL already.
Here are the talking points of the match:
When all the eyes were on the centre-forwards of the two big teams, it were the two side-backs who scored for their respective sides. In the 27th minute of the match, James Rodriguez provided a brilliant through-ball between two defenders towards Joshua Kimmich and Keylor Navas had no answer to Kimmich's right-footed strike. In the 44th minute, Dani Carvajal's cross had gone straight towards Marcelo and his left-footed shot silenced the Allianz Arena. Both goals were scored against the run of play.
One of the key men in the Bayern Munich line-up, Arjen Robben, had to be taken off in the 7th minute due to an injury. It was a big blow for the German side to lose a playmaker like Robben at that early stage. After that, one of the their dependable centre-backs, Jerome Boateng, was subbed off because of another injury in the 33rd minute. These two unplanned substitutions in the first half were surely one of the causes for Bayern's downfall against Real Madrid.
The Spaniard is getting more and more involved with Real Madrid's winning percentage under him. He proved to be another super sub against Bayern Munich when he scored the winner in the 56th minute of the game. Asensio came on the field at the beginning of the second half in place of Isco. Eleven minutes after he was brought on, a poor back pass by Rafinha led to Real's second goal. Lucas Vazquez intercepted the pass at the centre of the field, dribbled along the field and combined well with Asensio, whose left-footed chip drooled past Bayern goalkeeper Sven Ulreich. The goal gives Real Madrid the edge ahead of the return fixture.
In a world where Mbappe and Neymar go for €400m+ ...— Soccer Memes (@SoccerMemes) April 26, 2018
Real Madrid bought Asensio for just €3.5m pic.twitter.com/ZozBNNSQ89
Gareth Bale was fit enough to play against Bayern Munich at Allianz Arena. But coach Zinedine Zidane kept him on the bench in the high voltage match of the Champions League and was not even called on as a substitute later in the game. It appears that Gareth Bale is not in Zidane's plans anymore, which could see him pack his bags in the summer. Bale is linked with Bayern Munich and many top English clubs for a possible move in the summer transfer window. Could this mark the last phase of Bale's career at Real Madrid then?
Bayern Munich missed several chances to score in the match. Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Mueller, who had clear opportunities to net, would be really upset and would hope to turn it around in the away leg at Santiago Bernabeu. The task, however, will be difficult for the Bavarians as they have to come back from two-away goal deficit at the Bernabeu. Yet, one cannot rule out a Bayern comeback against Real, who have been opened up defensively in the past by Juventus. Given they conceded three away goals against Juventus before a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty won it for them during their quarter-final, Zidane's men will be cautious not to commit the same mistakes again against Bayern.