The semi-final round of the UEFA Champion’s League is underway, and the two German teams are attempting a coup d’état of the Spanish soccer dominance.
On Tuesday, Bayern Munich took a commanding lead of the series when they defeated Spanish powerhouse Barcelona 4-0 in Munich. Then, on Wednesday, Borussia Dortmund almost duplicated Bayern’s dominance with a 4-1 home win over Real Madrid.
With his team trying to secure their third trip to the Champion’s League final in the last four years, Bayern’s Thomas Müller got the scoring started with a goal in the 25th minute and then added another in the 82nd minute. Attackers Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben added their names to the scorers sheet in the 49th and 73rd minutes, respectively. Barcelona, a four-time Champion’s League winner, was able to hold possession for 63 percent of the game but could only muster two shot attempts on target. On the other hand, Bayern had nine shot attempts on target and eleven corner kicks.
The good news, if there is any, for Barcelona is that they did get Lionel Messi back into the starting lineup after his injury. He didn’t score, but his presence on the field commands so much respect that it opens space for Andres Iniesta and David Villa. The second and final game for this match up will be on May 1, at Camp Nou in Barcelona.
In Borussia Dortmund’s win on Wednesday, the formula was no secret. Real Madrid was beaten by Robert Lewandowski. Whether it be the toughness around the net on a corner set piece or his shifty footwork followed by a beautiful top shelf shot, each one of his four goals put a particular scoring trait on display. Although Christiano Ronaldo did score a valuable away goal in the 43rd minute, Dortmund shouldn’t be too worried because they are now 2-0-1 this year against Real Madrid.
In order to overturn the momentum and beat Dortmund, Real Madrid will have to play a much better team game the second time around. Even after they were up by three goals, Dortmund kept on the offensive attack because they had so much confidence in their team play. Real Madrid was just trying to set up Ronaldo with a long pass or out run them up and down the field. We will find out whether Madrid can score three goals and move on to the finals on April 30 at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid.
While these deficits are imposing, Real Madrid and Barcelona are certainly capable of re-capturing their magic and turning it into a ticket to the championship round.
This article is an online exclusive and did not appear in the print edition of the Daily Nexus.
Photo courtesy of gtrt.org