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Arturo's header not enough

Ten-man Reds fall to Real Madrid

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FC Bayern suffered a 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-final first leg at the Allianz Arena. Arturo Vidal handed the hosts the lead midway through the first half, but Real's Cristiano Ronaldo levelled the scores early after the restart. Javi Martínez was sent off on the hour mark, and Ronaldo soon scored his second to make Real's dominance count against the depleted Bavarians.

Bayern lined up with the returning Manuel Neuer in goal and Philipp Lahm, Javi Martínez, Jérôme Boateng and David Alaba in a back four. Xabi Alonso and Arturo Vidal anchored a midfield featuring Thiago in the playmaking role, flanked by Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry, with Thomas Müller acting as the lone striker.

Carlo Ancelotti made two changes to the XI that saw off Dortmund on Saturday. Neuer recovered from his foot injury, replacing Sven Ulreich between the sticks, whereas Robert Lewandowski was sidelined with a shoulder injury, giving way to Müller up front. After Martínez was sent off Ancelotti had to shuffle his deck, Juan Bernat and Douglas Costa taking over from Alonso and Ribéry before Kingsley Coman replaced Müller in the closing stages.

Arturo hands Bayern the lead

The 70,000 capacity crowd saw the Bavarians dominate possession at first. The hosts were awarded numerous corners in the first ten minutes, but failed to make them count. Both sides alternated pressure and patience, with a spell of Real in the driving seat to follow. Benzema was felled 25 yards out and up stepped Ronaldo, but his free-kick ended up in the south terrace.

The first gilt-edged chance fell to the visitors, and Bayern had to thank Manuel Neuer for keeping the scores level. The shot-stopper stretched out a hand to just deflect a Benzema header onto the crossbar and then gather. Bayern took over again and went on draw first blood through Vidal, who seemed to orchestrate everything, turning in a blistering display. 25 minutes had been played when the Chilean rose high to connect with a Thiago corner and blast past visiting 'keeper Keylor Navas, who got a hand to the effort but to no avail.

The home side were awarded a penalty after for handball shortly before the interval, and Vidal will have wished he could have headed that one too, as his spot-kick soared in the Munich night sky. By that time a perceptive Lahm throughball had found Müller in the box, the chance stifled by a last-ditch tackle before Vidal headed just over the bar and Ronaldo's 20-yarder drew a fine save from Neuer.

Ronaldo gives depleted Reds the blues

The second half began with a shock for the visitors with Carvajal's cross inviting an unmarked Ronaldo to score the equaliser against the run of play. A quarter-hour later Ancelotti's troops were in for the next shock when Martínez received his marching orders for two yellows after tactical fouls on Ronaldo. Bayern were left reeling, and only Neuer kept them in the game with a number of strong saves, but the day turned genuinely sour when Ronaldo rounded off his brace from an Asensio cross.

The Reds are back in action just three days from now, when they travel to face Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga. Bayern and Real will meet again in the second leg next Tuesday as the Reds look to overturn this deficit in the Spanish capital and reach the semi-finals for yet another year. 

Live match report for by Greg Salmen


FC Bayern - Real Madrid 1-2 (H-T: 1-0)

FC Bayern
Neuer - Lahm, Martínez, Boateng, Alaba - Xabi Alonso (Bernat 63), Vidal - Robben, Thiago, Ribéry (Costa 66) - Müller (Coman 81)
Ulreich, Rafinha, Kimmich, Sanches
Real Madrid
Navas - Carvajal, Nacho, Ramos, Marcelo - Modric (Kovacic 90+1), Casemiro, Kroos - Bale (Asensio 59), Benzema (James 83), Ronaldo
Casilla, Morata, Danilo, Isco

Nicola Rizzoli (Italy)

Attendance 70,000 (capacity)
Goals 1-0 Vidal (25), 1-1 Ronaldo (47), 1-2 Ronaldo (77)
Yellow cards

Alonso, Vidal / Kroos, Carvajal

Yellow-red card Martínez / -