Mario Gomez scored a 90th minute winner to give Bayern Munich a narrow advantage to take back to the Bernabeu in their Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid. Bayern dominated for most of the game their late winner was no more than they deserved. Real boss, Jose Mourinho is confident that his side can turn the result around in the return leg as a 1-0 victory would be enough to send them through to the final on the away goals rule. It sets up a thrilling encounter with both sides believing they can win the tie.
There was plenty of incentive for Bayern, knowing that a place in the Champions League final to be played at their Allianz Arena is at stake. But it was Madrid who started the sharpest with a shot from Karim Benzema being tipped over the bar by Manuel Neuer. Bayern found an immediate response and Franck Ribery felt he should have had a penalty when challenged in the box by Sergio Ramos. Referee Howard Webb waved away his appeals but the Frenchman did not have to wait long for another opportunity. After seventeen minutes he fired the Germans ahead from a little over ten yards out and Real were under pressure.
The Germans, led by Arjen Robben and an inspired Ribery, looked dangerous as they went in search of a second goal. Although the Madrid defence was not entirely convincing, they held out to half-time and were back on level terms shortly after the interval. Cristiano Ronaldo looked certain to score when he had only Neuer to beat but a weak effort rebounded kindly for the Spanish with the ball finding its way to Ozil to tap in from close range. It was harsh on Bayern, but they gathered themselves to push forward and Gomez was guilty of missing a glorious chance in the 71st minute when he contrived to spoon the ball over from under the crossbar. Bayern launched an all-out assault on the Spanish goal but it looked to have been in vain until the dying moments. Philipp Lahm fired in a low cross and Gomez slid in to poach a vital winning goal, much to the delight of the 66,000 home crowd.
The tie is very evenly poised and Bayern will be difficult to break down in the return leg. They also possess plenty of speed on the counter attack through Ribery and Robben. If Real Madrid cannot find an early goal at the Bernabeu, it could prove to be a very tense evening on 25th April when the two sides meet to decide who goes through to the final. The bookmaker’s favour Jose Mourinho’s side to overturn the one goal deficit but the late goal from Gomez has given Bayern a very good chance of causing an upset.