MADRID, SPAIN - APRIL 25: Kaka of Real Madrid reacts during a penalty shoot out during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final second leg between Real Madrid CF and Bayern Munich at The Bernabeu Stadium on April 25, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Two hundred and ten minutes for a penalty shootout. It all came to that.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaká and Sergio Ramos missed their penalties and Bastian Schweinsteiger dug a grave for Mourinho's team in Bayern's last try. Neither Bayern nor Madrid played great, but the German team got the lucky edge in the shootout. Minutes before, the referee could have called a penalty when Manuel Neuer pushed Esteban Granero inside the box, but the official thought that it wasn't enough to make Granero fall that way.
The game was played like it was already the Final, with both teams afraid of conceding too much space defensively, especially after Real Madrid scored its second goal so early.
Mourinho decided to start Marcelo instead of Coentrao. The rest of the team was the same that started against Barcelona, and not a single player performed as well as in Saturday's game. Di María and Kaka' were terrible, Özil looked tired and Benzema couldn't hit a single shot. Cristiano scored twice, but he missed when it mattered the most.
Just after this goal, Real Madrid stepped back and let Bayern dominate. Robben and Ribéry got tons of touches and Real Madrid's midfielders weren't able to stop Bayern's flow and rhythm. Alonso and Khedira weren't enough, and the team could have used Granero's presence in the midfield instead of Di María's systematic chaos. The Argentinian player wasn't lucky and missed in almost every decision he took.
Pepe was probably Real Madrid's best player alongside Iker Casillas but he committed a silly penalty in the 27th minute. Casillas was able to touch it but the ball still went in. The scoreboard didn't move for the rest of the game, and the teams started to speculate a lot more.
The first half concluded with Bayern pressing a lot more and Real Madrid being lucky at times. Mourinho's team needed to react if they wanted to prevent the German team from scoring.
The second half started and Real Madrid showed little improvement. The players kept possession a little bit more and didn't try to go for long balls as much. Kroos and Schweinsteiger weren't getting as many balls as in the first 45 minutes, but it still wasn't enough for los blancos to score any other goal. Even so, Bayern did not create much danger.
The strikers did not take advantage of Bayern's poor center backs. Both Boateng and Badstuber completed a good game overall.
The last 10 minutes of regulation were all Real Madrid's. Kaká joined the game in the 75th minute and barely influenced the game. Bayern looked really tired, but Heynckes didn't make any substitutions in these first 90 minutes. Cristiano Ronaldo had a good counterattack in the last play of the game, but Bayern's defense stopped him and the referee sent the game into extra time.
There has been some big controversy on this website surrounding Kaká. What I'm going to say won't be easy to accept by a hardcore Kaká fan, but we have to tell it like it is.
If you plan on disrespecting my opinion, be careful (though of course you can disagree). I think Kaká is done at this club. He joined the game in the 75th minute and failed to even press a tired Bayern Munich's squad. Everybody can miss a penalty in the shootout. That's not a problem. But whenever you show an attitude-related issue, then you either need to wake up or leave. And the Brazilian player has had many chances already.
The next 30 minutes were pretty superfluous. Mario Gómez had a very good chance but he failed when he tried to gain control of the ball. Özil and Benzema left the field for Granero and Higuaín, and Ribéry went out as well and let Thomas Müller in. One bad thing about the team's attitude today is that the players didn't really go for the third goal. It's true that Bayern is really dangerous when they're able to counterattack, but Madrid had reason to go for the third goal.
In the shootout, Bayern scored their first shot, while Ronaldo missed. Then, the German team scored once again and Kaká also missed from the spot. Iker Casillas stopped Bayern's next two shots and kept Madrid fighting for the game, while Xabi Alonso scored Real Madrid's only penalty of the shootout. Then Ramos shot his penalty like it was a one-point American football conversion. He is a good penalty shooter and even scored against Athletic Bilbao from the spot in last season, but he showed a lack of concentration. You need to shoot the ball inside. If Neuer stops it, that's fine, but you just can't miss it that way.
The 2011-12 season will be over after these next four games. Mourinho has already confirmed his presence at Madrid's bench for 2012-13 (great news). Real Madrid still needs to win two games out of four in order to ensure la Liga title. They will receive Michel's Sevilla next Sunday (12:00 CET). Their mentality will play a big role in this upcoming game. The players will surely feel tired after today's 120 minutes, so they will have to put it all together.
Who was Real madrid's best player?
Iker Casillas (187 votes)
Pepe (31 votes)
Ronaldo (131 votes)
Other (39 votes)
388 total votes