Created on 25-04-2012 at 00:00 AM
Bayern’s greatest dream has come true! The men from Munich will face Chelsea at their home Allianz Arena in the Champions League final after beating Real Madrid on penalties in a dramatic semi-final second leg. Bastian Schweinsteiger converted the decisive spot-kick in a tense shoot-out, after 120 absorbing minutes ended with Spanish champions-elect Real winning 2-1, levelling an enthralling tie on aggregate.
The 80,000 crammed into Estadio Santiago Bernabeu saw Jupp Heynckes’ men make a shocking start, missing two good chances and conceding a Cristiano Ronaldo double strike within the first quarter of an hour. But neither defence looked secure and Arjen Robben cut the deficit from the spot after 27 minutes of a remarkable, end-to-end first period.
The second half opened with a half-chance at either end, but the frantic action died down and the tension mounted as the sides probed for openings. The visitors finished normal time well on top, but Mario Gomez missed a fine opening with five minutes left and the game went into extra time. FCB picked up a couple of the yellow cards they had so dreaded in the goalless additional 30 minutes, sending the tie into a shoot-out.
Both sides were riddled with nerves in the decisive spot-kick confrontation, but Manuel Neuer saved twice, with David Alaba and Gomez both scoring before Schweinsteiger calmly applied the coup de grace. The Bavarians are next in action on Saturday in the final home Bundesliga fixture of the season against Stuttgart.