Bayern’s 90th minute winner at the Allianz Arena has given them a firm belief that they can go on to defeat Real Madrid and book a place in the Champions League final to be staged at their home stadium. Mario Gomez prodded home the winner from a cross by Philipp Lahm to the delight of the home supporters and Mesut Ozil had cancelled out Franck Ribery’s opener.
Jose Mourinho will take comfort from the away goal and knows that a 1-0 home victory will be enough to send them through to a final clash with rivals Barcelona or his former club, Chelsea. Bayern, coached by Jupp Heynckes, will not be easy to break down at the Bernabeu. They are strong defensively, very much in the German tradition of building from the back. Heynckes was delighted with his team’s performance in the first leg in the light of a couple of disappointing league results that have effectively cost them their hopes of winning the Bundesliga.
The matches are coming thick and fast for Europe’s top teams at the moment and his immediate attention will have been turned to Sunday’s vital top-of-the-table clash with Barcelona in La Liga. This was clearly not the time to rest his star players and goals by Khedira and Ronaldo were enough to inflict a first home defeat on Barcelona for an incredible 54 matches. That result has given Real Madrid a seven-point advantage with just four games remaining in the domestic season. They will go into the semi-final second leg full of confidence.
Ronaldo has been in astonishing form and his winner against Barcelona on Sunday was his 54th goal of the season, a record forty-one of those coming in La Liga. Bayern managed to restrict his opportunities in the first leg but he will be the obvious danger man as Real go in search of the goal they need to edge ahead on goal difference. However, Mourinho will be well aware of the attacking force Ribery and Robben were a constant threat for Bayern in the first leg and their pace is clearly going to be a problem for Real to deal with. The pair allegedly came to blows at half-time in the first encounter following a disagreement about who should be taking a free-kick. Heynckes has refused to confirm or deny the incident but it will have been dealt with quickly by the club.
Bayern are capable of counter-attacking with deadly effect and an away goal would leave Real Madrid needing to score three. It could hardly be more evenly poised and both sides will believe they have an excellent chance of making the final. Mourinho, who has already won Europe’s most important club competition with Porto and Inter Milan, will be in buoyant mood following Real’s victory over Barcelona. He will expect his side to overcome the Germans and book their place in the final.