Created on 22-04-2010 at 00:00 AM
The stage was set for a gigantic European evening at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday. The players walked out to a stunning visual display in red, white and blue, orchestrated by the crowd holding up coloured cards, and star wingers Ribery and Robben were in the FCB team, aiming to steal a march on rivals Lyon in the first instalment of the battle for a place in the Champions League final.
While Arjen Robben emerged as the key figure yet again, it was to be a dismal night for Franck Ribéry. Clearly highly motivated for the meeting with his fellow-countrymen, he thrust and probed down the left flank from the off, creating chances and getting into shooting positions himself. But on 37 minutes, and after a mistimed but hardly ill-intentioned tackle on Lisandro Lopez, Ribery was shown a straight red card by FIFA referee Roberto Rosetti, to howls of dismay and anger from the 66,000 crowd. The punishment looked harsh, especially as it was the player’s first foul of the match.