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News Archive

Champions League, semi-finals, first leg

Real Madrid 1 - Bayern Munich 0

The long awaited “Decima” may be a little bit closer after Real Madrid beat Bayern Munich 1-0 in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final. The defending champions got off to an electrifying start, and it looked as if they were going to over-run Ancelotti’s side in the opening minutes. However with just under twenty minutes gone Pepe blocked a shot from Kroos, and on the resulting counter-attack Coentrao crossed in for Benzema to open the scoring. Ronaldo and Di María both wasted good chances to add to the lead before the break, and Neuer had to be at his best to turn a shot from Ronaldo around the post after the restart. But Casillas had to be on his toes to save from Ribèry and Robben, and Kroos fired a shot over the bar as Guardiola’s side continued to have the better of possession. With twenty minutes to go Ancelotti replaced Ronaldo (still recovering from a hamstring injury) with Bale (still suffering from a bout of flu), and the Welsh winger caused a couple of problems with his incisive runs. Müller fired a shot just wide though and then had a late penalty claim turned down, and Casillas made the save of the night to deny Götze the equalizer. But the locals had their clean sheet, and they go in to next week’s second leg with a slight edge over their rivals. That “all-Madrid” final is still on the cards! (23.04.14)

Atlético Madrid 0 - Chelsea 0

No goals in the first leg tie between Atlético Madrid and Chelsea, leaving everything to be decided in Stamford Bridge in eight days’ time. The Premier League side suffered an early set-back when keeper Cech had to go off with only a quarter of an hour gone after injuring himself keeping out an inswinging Koke corner, but neither his replacement Schwarzer not their opposite number Courtois (himself a Chelsea player on loan at Atlético) had much to do throughout. Cahill headed a corner wide and Ramires missed the target on a quick breakaway, and Mario Suárez curled a free kick just past the post later in the first half, and Courtois made comfortable saves from Lampard and Fernando Torres soon after the restart. For the last half hour though Chelsea sat back to defend, leaving Torres a sole figure up front, and Schwarzer was called upon to keep out a Gabi free kick and a couple of efforts from Diego Costa and Raúl García. Substitute Arda Turan also headed another good chance just past the post, but in the end the scoreline remained unmoved, and Atlético now have to score at least once next week if they are to make it in to the final. (22.04.14)