Cristiano Ronaldo scored the deciding penalty in the shootout at the San Siro to win Real Madrid an eleventh Champions League, and elevate Zinedine Zidane to the pantheon of the six other coaches who have won the European Cup as both a player and a manager. A classic match, however, it most certainly was not, with both teams struggling in key areas of their game.
Large improvements on last week and one of the most dominant 1st halves of Bayern under Pep were not enough to overcome Simeone’s Atlético. After edging the first leg, the side from the Spanish capital held on against an excellent Bayern side who were on top for large periods.
Diego Simeone’s Atlético Madrid are arguably the form team in the world currently. After overcoming Barcelona over two legs, they were faced with a worse-performing Bayern Munich in the semi-finals. Hosting the first leg, Cholo’s men made yet another great defensive performance to keep Bayern goalless after Saul Niguez opened the scoring early with an excellent solo run and finish.
Bayern Munich travelled to the Estadio da Luz last night looking to advance to their fifth consecutive Champions League semi-final. Carrying a 1-0 victory from the first leg in Munich, the table-topping Germans took on a Benfica team also leading their domestic league, hoping to avoid a repeat of their last trip to Portugal, which ended in a 3-1 hammering at the hands of Porto.
This was a match between two teams in similar long term situations but have had very different recent history. Both sides have been trying and failing to achieve European success since Middle-East investment a few years ago. However PSG are a side that have dominated domestically this season, winning the Ligue 1 title early last month while City have been on a dreadful patch of form since announcing that Pep Guardiola this season. With just one point between them and their cross-city rivals in fifth, winning the Champions League may be their only chance of making sure they’re playing in the tournament next season.
After winning his first clasico on the weekend, Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid travelled to Germany and faced Dieter Hecking’s Wolfsburg.
After falling short to a strong defensive performance by Real Madrid on Saturday, Barcelona hosted the best defence in the world in Simeone’s Atlético Madrid in last night’s Champions League first leg.
A 2-2 draw in Turin in the first leg set up a decisive second leg between two of the biggest clubs in the history of world football. With Bayern carrying two away goals into the game, Juve chose to play aggressively, offering Bayern something very different from what they face week-to-week in the Bundesliga and resulting in a match that was breathtaking for the spectator and a fascinating for the analyst.
Paris Saint-Germain had the advantage of a 2-1 home win over Chelsea going into the second encounter between both teams on Tuesday evening. Chelsea, however, needed only one goal to turn things around. With the Stamford Bridge crowd behind them, the Blues tried to stay cautious but were forced to intensify their efforts in defence.
After going 2-0 up through a trademark Robben goal, momentum shifted in Turin as Juventus pulled back two goals to get a draw in the Champions League first leg clash. For the first 60 minutes Bayern exercised great control through strong play in possession and an effective man-oriented press yet as the rhythm changed and Juve improved, they displayed less stability both with and without the ball.