REAL MADRID 2 vs BAYERN MUNICH 1
3-3 ON AGG AET, BAYERN WIN 3-1 ON PENS
BAYERN Munich dramatically rewrote the Champions League script by eliminating Real Madrid on penalties to deny Jose Mourinho an emotional final against former club Chelsea.
Two goals in the opening 14 minutes from Cristiano Ronaldo gave Real a commanding lead which looked unlikely to be overturned until Arjen Robben, managed by Mourinho at Chelsea and formerly of Real, equalised just before the half-hour mark to force extra time and penalties.
Goalscorer Ronaldo, a dead-ball specialist of steely determination, saw his, and Real’s first, penalty saved by Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, whereupon a display of Bavarian bottle inspired the away side’s 3-1 penalty victory.
Mourinho misses the chance of a record third Champions League title with a third different club but, with the stars dangerously close to alignment, his side simply failed to overpower their determined opponents.
In victory, Bayern avenged their 2010 final loss to Mourinho’s Inter Milan and now have the chance to finish the season with a major trophy after falling behind in the Bundesliga, a source of great pressure for manager Jupp Heynckes. Though without the suspended Holger Badstuber, David Alaba, and Luiz Gastavo against Chelsea’s own redemption seeking squad, Bayern will begin as favourites.
Alaba was incredibly unlucky when conceding the sixth-minute penalty for an accidental handball on Angel di Maria’s shot. When Ronaldo scored that and then doubled his side’s lead with a stroked finish inside Neuer’s near post, Mourinho’s men appeared set to push on – though not in the vein that Pepe eventually did.
The defender bundled striker Mario Gomez to the ground for a penalty which Robben slotted to goalkeeper Iker Casillas’s right, forcing extra-time.
In the shootout, Neuer saved from Ronaldo and Kaka, and Sergio Ramos fired well over the bar, as Alaba, Gomez and Bastian Schweinsteiger converted to seal Bayern’s route to the final round.