Real Madrid and Bayern Munich face off in the second leg of their Champions League semifinal just one day after 10-man Chelsea stunned Barcelona with an improbable result at the Camp Nou. Like their Catalan rivals, Cristiano Ronaldo and los Blancos return to Spain with ground to make up. Unlike Barcelona, Madrid is not entering the game on the heels of a dispiriting defeat.
Just days ago, Madrid traveled to Pep's place and produced a hard-fought triumph that -- barring an epic collapse -- locks up the domestic title. Not only did Madrid earn that win on the road but Ronaldo struck the fatal blow.
Bastian Schweinsteiger admits the he expects an onslaught from the Spanish side. Can Munich withstand the attack? Can they secure a spot in the final being played in their home stadium?
Given the suspensions facing Chelsea in that final, both Madrid and Munich would likely fancy their chances. Will one team get caught looking a step ahead?
STAY TUNED FOR LIVE UPDATES THROUGHOUT THE MATCH:
What were the odds on this matchup when the final four of the Champions League was set? Neither Spanish team. Also missing, will be several players from both teams competing. But that is for another today.
Tremendous efforts by both goalkeepers. Neuer denies Ronaldo and Kaka at a full stretch low and to his right. Casillas comes right back and gives his team a chance to pull even. But Ramos airmailed the poorest effort of the PK session. Schweinsteiger steps up and seals it.
And Bayern have reached the final!
A terrible miss well over the crossbar. Horror miss!
Iker denies Lahm straight down middle.
With a slight delay he strokes it in for Madrid.
Kross rolls it to the left and Casillas handles it with a dive.
Neuer stops Kaka the same spot that he denied Ronaldo.
He finally finds the back of the net. It's 2-0 to Bayern.
Neuer goes low right to turn away CR7!
He beats Iker low left.
|@ fcbayerncentral : Now I'm nervous.|
|@ MatthewHLeach : PKs are a lousy way to decide a winner, BUT... Neuer and Casillas is a pretty sweet matchup if you're going to do it. ~ #AufGehtsBayern|
Coming up shortly....
Boateng is down and appears injured (or perhaps a cramp). Bayern have subs to make.
Marcello snuffs opportunity for Robben and then turns up the field. He picks out Ronaldo wide left but Higuain thinks it for him and nips in front... from an offside position. Ronaldo was free and clear if that had been left for him.
Kaka making himself a presence, whips a cross to Granero. Its trouble as defense had shifted out to Kaka well left. Neuer comes charging out at him. Granero goes to ground. WHISTLE... DIVE CALLED.. YELLOW ISSUED..
A bit of coherence for the visitors all of a sudden. They're rebuffed but come back again.
He gets the ball in a very dangerous spot after controlling cross with his chest. Rather than try quick-turn strike, he holds it up, hoping to pick out Ronaldo. But his pass is cleared.
Or not. Kaka skins Lahm but Boateng stops him (and puts it off him). Madrid was acting like it was heading to corner flag but referee corrected them.
Granero In. Madrid has the fresher legs.
And Ronaldo goes down amidst some defenders. Lost balance? He didn't seem to looking for a whistle. He is, however, looking a bit knocked and knackered, slight limp, heavy breathes.
It could easily be exhaustion, but Robben has been less noticeable on the left side. Before Muller comes in, he was controlling play up the right.
But Robben fouls Marcello out wide and Madrid will have a free kick. Taken short to Ronaldo and he twists and dekes and then fires well wide.
Madrid seems to have the possession advantage early on here. They've been revitalized since the end of the 2nd half.
And no whistle as Lahm got the ball off him cleanly.