We're back! After more than a week of suffering from flu like symptoms that left me prostrate, weak as a kitten, and delinquent with blogging. A week away from the world's game is like being away for a lifetime. But thankfully, it was to this game that we make our return.
It was all Bayern in the second half. Phillip Lahm was immense skipping aside Fabio Coentrao, presently being decked by the Madrid media machine for his pathetic performance, to send in that low cross into traffic which Mario Gomez skillfully evaded to slide the ball into goal in the 90th minute.Obviously all that cigarette smoking has left Coentrao short of breath because Lahm cut through him with ridiculous ease all day and night. The Allianz Arena was rocking to "Seven Nation Army". Bayern 2 Real Madrid 1.
How Howard Webb missed giving a penalty when Gomez was gang tackled in the box in the 85th minute plumb before his eyes one can never know. Actually, one doesn't know why UEFA entrusts any more English referees with officiating matches after what has gone on in the Premiership/ FA Cup. There was Martin Atkinson whose incompetent display against Spurs in the FA Cup semi-finals saw him re-write the definition of a ghost goal. Goal line technology can only help those who are wrongfully done by referees or linesmen who don't see the ball cross the line. What about imaginary goal lines? The ghost goal line?
Madrid did get that all important away goal after Cristiano Ronaldo missed an absolute sitter but on the follow up Mesut Oezil made no mistake linking with CR7 to make this an evening of goalscorers with former and present Bundesliga connections. Franck Ribery shot Bayern into the lead after Sergio Ramos flubbed a clearance from a corner. The goal was questioned by Jose Mourinho who thought it was offside. On replay he does have a point and in addition, Badstuber might have handled the ball.
Pepe was quite well behaved for most part of the match but this being Real, there is Ramos and Marcelo, his understudies in the fine art of skullduggery. Webb should have sent off Ramos and Marcelo for their terrible from behind fouls instead of just booking them. Once again, Mourinho chose a familiar "park the bus" routine after the equalizer. This was proven woefully wrong against a Bayern side with no shortage of attacking options.
The action now moves to the Santiago Bernabeu for the second leg next week. Real will have to improve their performance dramatically just as they did against Barca in the second leg of the Copa Del Rey quarterfinals. But before that they face their nemesis on April 21st in an El Clasico return that could decide Liga supremacy. Mourinho has his hands full.