Bayern Munich v Real Madrid First Leg Review

UEFA Champions League 2023/24: Bayern Munich v Real Madrid First Leg Review

May 1, 2024

Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich was dubbed the contest to watch among the two semi-final fixtures from this year’s UEFA Champions League. This tie certainly did not fail to deliver as the two sides played out a 2-2 draw in the first leg at the Allianz Arena.

Bayern had the better opportunities in the opening exchanges, with Leroy Sané coming close to starting the scoring within the first minute from a tight angle. However, it was the visitors who nudged ahead after a magic ball from Toni Kroos found Vinícius Júnior through on goal. The Brazilian made no mistake as he calmly slotted the ball into the net in the 23rd minute to mark his fifth goal of the Champions League campaign.

Bayern searched for an equaliser before the break and saw Harry Kane place his freekick just wide of the upright three minutes to the interval. The Bavarians managed to bring the game back to parity in the second half, though, after Sané dispatched a thunderous strike from the right-hand side of the box and just within the area to find the near post (53’).

Just minutes later, things would go from bad to worse for Los Blancos, who ended up conceding a penalty after Jamal Musiala tried to wriggle his way into a goalscoring position. Kane made no mistake from the spot as he calmly placed the ball to Andriy Lunin’s right-hand side. 

The game was far from done, however, and Real Madrid would be awarded a penalty in the 83rd minute for a foul on Rodrygo by defender Kim Min-jae. Vinícius also was sure from the spot and struck the ball into the middle of the goal to level the proceedings before heading to the Santiago Bernabéu for the reverse fixture. 

On the whole, the home team edged possessions stats (52%), took more shots (14) and managed greater attempts on target (5) as compared to the visitors.

Going into the second leg, Real Madrid will want to continue playing a counter-attacking brand of football, allowing them to exploit spaces in behind to get the likes of Vinícius and Rodrygo to make the most of their pace.

Key points for Real Madrid

One worrying sign for the Madrid-based side would be Jude Bellingham’s fitness. The England international was withdrawn after 75 minutes, with fatigue being the primary concern. It was, however, confirmed by Carlo Ancelotti that the 20-year-old would return for the second leg on May 8. 

Another issue for Real Madrid is their centre-back pairing. Nacho partnered with Antonio Rüdiger in defence despite Éder Militão’s return from a lengthy absence. It will be interesting to see who plays the role in the upcoming leg. 

One positive is that right-back Dani Carvajal, who was suspended for this fixture, will be returning for Real Madrid in the next game.

Key points for Bayern Munich

Kingsley Coman was out injured for the first leg and is expected to miss the upcoming fixture as well. With Serge Gnabry making the bench for the completed tie, it will be interesting to see whether he will be part of the starting XI in the second leg.

Should the former Arsenal man start the next leg, Thomas Müller would have to make way, while Jamal Musiala may be deployed centrally to accommodate him.

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