In today's Champions League 2014 first leg semifinals, Spanish Football's La Liga hosts Real Madrid defeated German Football's Bundesliga visitors Bayern Munich 1-0, with the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
Madrid, playing a 4-4-2, having a clearly not-match-ready Cristiano Ronaldo, and benching the still-recovering-from-the-flu Gareth Bale, were outplayed by the visitors your entire first half. Bayern maintained 72% of possession, beating Real to divided balls and pressing them on the half of the pitch.
But Madrid seemed approximately the task of stopping Bayern and also the middle was well defended by Isco, Xabi Alonso, Luka Modric, Angel di Maria, and also the Real defense, how the wings seemed the only option for the Munich team. Ironically, Arjen Robben, perhaps their utmost offensive weapon, found himself double-teamed whenever he became Bayern's wide offensive outlet. Time after time the Madrid defense stopped Bayern--sometimes cold, other tines with last gasp lunges or blocks, but never requiring a genuine save from goalkeeper Iker Casillas. Thus went the initial 18 minutes.
Then came part a couple of Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti's strategy. The counter, a Madrid specialty since Jose Mourinho's days, what food was in full gear and with the 19th minute Fabio Coentrao found Ronaldo at regarding the midfield line. The striker, incapable of do his usual sprints received, held and after that delivered a perfect lead pass to his Portuguese teammate around the left wing. Coentrao's cross found Karim Benzema open at the far post to the easy put away. The resulting score line, Real 1, Bayern 0, was truly contrary to the run of play.
But then this goal inspired Real and at the 25:46 mark another counter saw Ronaldo the people receiving a bouncing cross from Benzema, just in regards to the penalty spot, along with the Portuguese star miss-hit it in the crossbar every time a simple downward touch would've ensured the second score.
At the 40:29 minute mark di Maria was the person receiving the final give another nice counter but he sent the ball skyward from very close range with only Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer to overpower.
It was clear by half-time that Ancelotti had played all his pieces well while Bayern coach, Pep Guardiola, had assumed his superior forces would simply appear and carry your day. Real's formation must have been a surprise as was Ronaldo's walk out onto the pitch.
As the 2nd half began what each coach could caused by out-fox the other seemed the question to reply to, players had already shown they can follow each leader's directions to some tee.
The first chess move was Ancelotti's because he substituted Gareth Bale for Ronaldo to wide applause. Then Guardiola countered bringing in offensive players for midfielders and taking Frank Ribbery out. The gamble, adding numerous attacking players rescued Bayern from an impending Real possession restore. And it also provide Bayern with many different more scoring opportunities.
At the 83rd minute Bayern's golden chance came. Mario Goetze was open in the box, just to the right of goal contributing to two yards check here away from goalie's box, and took a spot blank shot at goal going directly to left. But the best keeper inside the world, the individual that always reacts so quickly even when not contacted all game long, made the save and kept the score line intact to the Real Madrid win.
It may have been too little for Madrid. Bayern is obviously worth two goals in your house. But Ancelotti is counting on both of his stars being healthy and ready for extended play in the second leg in Munich. It should be a game worthy of a championship final and not a semifinal.