Bayern beat Real Madrid on penalties
Bayern Munich will face Chelsea in the Champions League final in Bucharest on May 19 after beating Real Madrid on penalties at the Bernabeu.
The Germans took Jose Mourinho’s men to extra-time with the game finishing 2-1 to the hosts after 120 minutes of pulsating football, making it 3-3 on aggregate, but it could have been so different for the Spanish team after an electric start.
David Alaba handled Angel Di Maria’s shot in the box after just six minutes and Cristiano Ronaldo made no mistake from the resultant spot-kick, with the Portuguese doubling Madrid’s advantage eight minutes later when he beat Manuel Neuer following Mesut Ozil’s precise pass.
However, Arjen Robben reduced the arrears from the penalty spot in the 27th minute, Pepe adjudged to have pulled back Mario Gomez as he tried to reach Toni Kroos’ cross, and chances continued to come thick and fast at both ends. Karim Benzema saw an effort curl past a post and Gomez and Robben both went close as the first-half ended with the tie all-square.
Both sides were more cautious after the break and chances were harder to come by, but Benzema should have done better with a shot he blazed over the bar and Gomez could have wrapped things up towards the end of normal time but dithered in the area before the ball was cleared.
Extra-time was a pretty tense affair as expected, with neither side able to achieve the breakthrough, and it was Jupp Heynckes’ team that held its nerve under pressure in the penalty shootout as Ronaldo, Kaka and Sergio Ramos were all guilty of missing from 12 yards.
What they said...
Iker Casillas: “It won’t be easy but we now have to think about the league. I want to thank the fans for their support. Penalties are what they are, a lottery, and there is no getting around that. We played well but Bayern are a good team and I have to congratulate them”
Emilio Butragueno: “We must be proud of our players, having done so well in La Liga and only being knocked out of the Champions League semi-finals on penalties, which are the toss of a coin.”
Jose Mourinho: “I am sadder for the players than myself. That’s football and you have to be equally the same whether you win or lose. The lads were fantastic against a team that was on holiday last weekend and played to their maximum in this competition.”
Jupp Heynckes: “If we look back on the 120 minutes we deserved to reach the final. It was marvellous the way we reacted after being first 1-0 and then 2-0 down. To win as we have done in the Bernabeu is something great. It wasn’t a surprise we reached the final. That was yesterday in the Camp Nou.”
Pepe: “It was frenetic and luck was on Bayern’s side. We played a great game but it was difficult after the match against Barcelona and perhaps we were a little tired. But we worked for 120 minutes and have nothing to reproach ourselves for.”
Real Madrid 2-1 Bayern Munich (After extra-time, Bayern won 3-1 on penalties)
Scorers: Ronaldo 6 (pen), 14 (RM) Robben 27 (pen) (BAY)
Real Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Khedira, Xabi Alonso; Di Maria, Ozil (Granero 111), Ronaldo; Benzema (Higuain 106).
Bayern Munich: Neuer; Lahm, Boateng, Badstuber, Alaba; Luiz Gustavo, Schweinsteiger; Robben, Kroos, Ribery (Muller 95); Mario Gomez.
Referee: Viktor Kassai (Hungary)