Bayern Munich must overcome a 2-1 first leg deficit if they are to reach this season’s Champions League Final. And, in what looks like a fairly obvious takeaway, the betting markets don’t exactly favor the Bavarians’ chances to advance to the Champions League final. Once again, it appears that a Spanish side will be knocking the German giants out of the Champions League. And for the second year in a row, Real Madrid appear to be getting the better of Bayern.
On Wednesday, Joshua Kimmich put Bayern in front when he slotted past Keylor Navas at the near post. Up to this point, Bayern looked like the more menacing side, but Madrid took control of the tie when Marcelo and Marco Asensio scored either side of half-time, giving Madrid two devastating away goals. Afterward, the German champions missed a host of chances, while Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo had a goal ruled out for handball as his run of scoring in every game of this year’s competition ended.
Bayern must now score at least twice in Spain next Tuesday to prevent Madrid reaching a fourth final in five years. Amazingly, Bayern managed this feat in last year’s quarter-final meeting between the two sides, although Madrid eventually won the tie in extra-time.
With key men Manuel Neuer, David Alaba, Arturo Vidal and Kingsley Coman already on the sidelines, Bayern lost veteran star Arjen Robben and Jerome Boateng to injury during the first-half on Wednesday. Robben’s vast top level experience could be crucial in the return match and manager Jupp Heynckes will be desperate for the 34-year-old to recover in time. However, the news got worse for Bayern after the game as Heynckes confirmed that Javi Martinez left the pitch in the second half because of a concussion.
Madrid also suffered an injury setback as Dani Carvajal fell to the ground clutching his hamstring and was replaced by Karim Benzema. Los Blancos are priced at 1/4 to progress to the final, with Bayern on offer at 11/4, but the German side will take heart from Juventus’ performance at the Bernabeu in the quarter-finals. Trailing 3-0 from the first leg, the Serie A side roared back to level the tie, only to be defeated by Ronaldo’s controversial penalty late in the game. Madrid certainly don’t look as dominant as in the past two seasons, but Bayern will have to significantly raise their game in the second leg if they are to derail the Spanish club’s bid to win the trophy for the third year in a row.
Bayern have not reached a Champions League final since winning the competition in 2013. They have now lost six games in a row against Madrid, their worst run against any side. The German club have won four out five away matches in this season’s competition, with three of those coming by a 2-1 scoreline. The can be backed at 11/1 to do that for a fourth time and take the tie to extra-time.
Madrid have secured three victories and a draw from their five home games in this year’s Champions League, but a record of just one clean sheet suggests Bayern are not yet out of this tie if they play to their potential.