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The crippling injury crisis that may have cost Bayern Champions League glory

02 May, 2018, 01:37 | Author: Sylvester Abbott
  • Karim Benzema scored twice on Tuesday to fire Real Madrid to the Champions League final

Joshua Kimmich scored for Bayern in the third minute to set the stage for another comeback at the Santiago Bernabeu, like the one Juventus almost pulled off in the quarterfinals.

But two goals from Karim Benzema, the second following a horrendous error by goalkeeper Sven Ulreich, turned the tie on its head.

Real Madrid have the aura, a formidable history and they will be shooting for immortality when they go for a modern-day hat-trick of Champions League wins but, beneath all that, Liverpool have nothing to fear if they do reach the final. Real showed real spirit in the first-leg in Germany coming from a goal behind to seal a 2-1 win, with the return in the Spanish capital on Tuesday.

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Ronaldo's 15 goals in this year's competition have certainly been key, but it was Zidane who made the fearless call to leave out Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema at the Allianz Arena against Bayern.

Keylor Navas produced a heroic performance as Madrid narrowly saw off Bayern Munich
Keylor Navas produced a heroic performance as Madrid narrowly saw off Bayern Munich

Real Madrid captain, Sergio Ramos has confirmed Real Madrid will not offer Barcelona a guard of honour at the Nou Camp as both sides clash in the La Liga next week. Asensio or Mateo Kovacic could start if Isco is unfit. Madrid conceded twice more but eventually advanced thanks to Ronaldo's injury-time penalty.

In the last five head to head matches between these two sides, Bayern Munich won one game and lost four games to Real Madrid. Benzema might not always get the credit he deserves, but his work rate, tenacity and goal contributions are crucial to this Madrid team.

The visitors pressure paid off in the 63rd minute when James' shot rebounded back to the midfielder and he slotted home from what looked like an impossibly tight angle against his parent club, to give Bayern a lifeline.

"We had the upper hand, we had chance after chance, but we didn't take them and that cost us", Bayern defender Mats Hummels said. Then down the other end Cristiano Ronaldo missed the target badly with his first chance of the game on a platter from Marcelo.

"The key for us is think about winning the game and to go on to the pitch wanting to do that". We will need to play like never before this year to be able to advance.

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