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Waiting, watching, hoping

Match-winner Mario brings up the dozen

The reward for an exceptionally hard-working display by Mario Gomez came in the dying seconds. “I just did what a striker has to do and got on the end of it," he said, recalling the 90th-minute goal which electrified the Allianz Arena. Philipp Lahm delivered a low cross, and the striker sealed the 2–1 victory over Real. “I just charged in blind, because I sensed it was coming. I have no idea which body part I used to put it in," Mario said. Replays suggested a knee.

The 26-year-old now has a dozen goals in the Champions League this season, a total which has always been enough to finish top scorer in the competition since it assumed its current format in 1992/93, and which was the record for a long time. Ruud van Nistelrooy scored 12 for Manchester United in 2003, a figure matched by Lionel Messi for Barcelona last season. The three-time World Player of the Year has already set a new record this term, and goes into his club’s semi-final clash with Chelsea on 14 goals. “But I'm not crazy enough to compare myself with Messi," insisted Gomez.