MUNICH, GERMANY - APRIL 17: Luiz Gustavo (R) of Bayern Muenchen fights for the ball with Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid during the UEFA Champoins League Semi Final first leg match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Real Madrid at Allianz Arena on April 17, 2012 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alexandra Beier/Bongarts/Getty Images)
It was a disappointing outcome, that's for sure. Bayern was able to score in the 88th minute when the game was 1-1 and Real Madrid was already thinking about the second leg at the Bernabéu. The final 2-1 result isn't that bad thanks to that goal scored by Mesut Özil, but in comparison to that possible 1-1 it is really bad.
Mourinho chose to start Coentrao for Marcelo to stop Robben, and the Dutch player did nothing at all during the whole game. But the Coentrao did commit a mistake in the final play when he tried to tackle Lahm and the German dribbled him and assisted Gómez for Bayern's last goal. Nobody really stood up for the team other than Pepe, who was Real Madrid's best man.
Bayern didn't play that well neither, and the final result is probably unfair, but the German team did try to go for the win as they knew a 1-1 result wasn't sufficient to go to the Santiago Bernabéu. Schweinsteiger didn't shine at all, but he saw how Ribéry and Gómez dominated and created a lot of dangerous plays.
Real Madrid is not at their best to win neither La Liga nor the Champions League. That is a fact. These past two months have been horrendous (with Xabi Alonso and Özil's dip in form, more to come later) and I quite don't see the team ready to face the Camp Nou and other tough games in La Liga. It seems like it depends on Cristiano Ronaldo now. He was mediocre today and the team wrecked. If he's good enough to beat Barcelona and Bayern by himself in less than a week, we are talking about a legendary player. But no person is able to do that in a team sport.
Bayern started the game fighting for the possession. They wanted to have the ball and Madrid suffered finding a way through Özil, Di María and Ronaldo. The offensive players weren't making the right decisions and the German team was able to have the ball without creating a lot of danger thanks to Ramos and Pepe.
But the set-pieces came back to haunt Real Madrid's hopes in the 17th minute off a possible handball by a Bayern player. The ball went right back to Ribéry and the French player scored. Madrid finished the half even worse, but luckily enough for los blancos Casillas didn't have much work to do.
The team then found what was looking for when Özil scored after a chain of misses by Cristiano and Benzema. Then, the players stopped going forward and focused on defense. This isn't wrong if Cristiano, Di María and Benzema are being dangerous, but they were completely harmless. So now Bayern pretty much started to dominate Real Madrid. They were still ineffective, but one was hoping to see the team competing a little bit more. As I've stated before, it is great to defend when you are dangerous offensively, because Bayern wasn't great on defense, and it seemed like Madrid could've scored at least one more goal if they wanted to.
Mourinho's plan after he introduced Marcelo, Granero and Higuaín for Özil, Di María and Benzema was almost complete. It was the 88th minute and Madrid was going to start the second lef at the Bernabeu without having to score. But Phillip Lahm dribbled Coentrao in what was the first mistake by the Portuguese player and crossed the ball to Gómez, who scored after the ball went very close to Casillas. The Spanish goalkeeper is having a very bad season and he proved that today once again. Coentrao is dribbled, fine, but Casillas has to go after that ball, no question.
Marcelo still had time to do a silly foul on Muller that could've been a red card. Another worrying symptom.
Now, Real Madrid visits the Camp Nou to decide La Liga title. I'm inclined to think that this is the crucial game for the season. If Madrid loses, I don't see the team winning neither La Liga nor the leg against Bayern. But if somehow Mourinho's team is able to score a single point in that game, that would bring the player's morale up as La Liga would be on their hands.
But this was a tough loss to digest.
Who was Real Madrid's Man of the Match?
Pepe (99 votes)
Ramos (23 votes)
Other (44 votes)
166 total votes