The first legs of the Champions League semi-finals were played on Tuesday night and last night. Both matches were full of drama and intrigue….
Real Madrid travelled to Germany to face Bayern Munich as slight favourites in the tie but knowing that Bayern are a dangerous side. This proved right as Bayern won 2-1 and earned an advantage ahead of the second leg. It was a deserved win for the Bavarian side- they had a number of good chances whilst Madrid barely reached the heights that they are capable of. Franck Ribery scored a contested goal (Real argued that there was an offside involved) inside the first ten minutes to put Bayern in front and they continued to have the best of the chances in the rest of the first half without adding to their tally. Real Madrid equalised fairly early in the second half through Mesut Özil; Cristiano Ronaldo and Karima Benzema were involved in the build-up. Mario Gomez had a few good chances to put Bayern back in front that he missed before taking his last chance in the 90th minute after fantastic work down the right by Phillip Lahm. Gomez has now scored 40 in 46 games this season- and you would think it very possible that he will get another one at the Bernabeu.
Last night’s game saw Chelsea playing Barcelona at Stamford Bridge in a tie that many considered to be a done deal before a ball was even kicked. Chelsea were out to prove the doubters wrong though and managed to grab a superb 1-0 win thanks to a goal from Didier Drogba and some outstanding defending. As is always expected, Barcelona dominated possession but they failed to take the chances that came their way in the first half. Alexis Sanchez almost scored early on after going one-on-one with Petr Cech but seeing his lob come back off the bar. Cesc Fabregas then missed two glorious chances before Frank Lampard robbed the quiet Lionel Messi and launched a great pass upfield to Ramires. The Brazilian produced a great cross for Drogba who tucked the ball home past Valdes. The second half saw more chances come and go for Barcelona but thanks to a bit of luck and more brilliant defending, Chelsea held on to secure the win. Pedro hit the post in the final moments and from the rebound, Busquets smashed over to see the holders go home empty handed.
Both ties are very finely balanced and there is still a whole game to play in each. Bayern are in a great position and it would be a big ask for Real to get a clean sheet- if Bayern can score then the pressure is very much on Real. However, Real only need to win 1-0; the team that scores first will be in the best position. Another performance from Chelsea like last night’s might be enough to see off Barcelona but it is a huge task to keep them scoreless in two matches. I would think Chelsea will need to get a goal to be able to give themselves a real chance- then Barca would need 3 goals to go through and that will be tough if Chelsea are as disciplined and committed as last night.
What do you think will happen? Let us know what you think