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Bayern Munich moves into the semi-finals of the Champions League

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Bayern Munich moves into the semi-finals of the Champions League

The spectators in the Munich Arena had to wait a long time on Wednesday before Thomas Müller’s promise was fulfilled. The FC Bayern player announced that it would be cracking for this quarter-final second leg in the Champions League. But the duel with Arsenal London was a very subdued affair for a long time.

Only after the break did the game reach premier league level – with the better end for Munich. Thanks to Joshua Kimmich’s header in the 63rd minute, FC Bayern are in the semi-finals of the Champions League – for the first time in four years. There the Munich team will now face record winners Real Madrid, who prevailed against Manchester City after a penalty shootout in the evening.

This means that the Munich team has at least managed to make a small international statement in this sobering national season. And the journey isn’t over yet – even a repeat of the 2013 final against Borussia Dortmund at London’s Wembley Stadium is possible.

Tuchel’s personal success

FC Bayern continued their good home series in the Champions League with the narrow but ultimately deserved victory. They are now undefeated in their home stadium for 15 games in a row. And for Tuchel, this advancement is a special success. He is only the second coach to reach the semi-finals with three different clubs.

Tuchel had decided against Thomas Müller in the starting line-up and had Raphael Guerreiro start on the left, supporting Noussair Mazraoui in defense against the fast Bukayo Saka. “You have to do a lot of defense on the side,” Tuchel explained to DAZN before kick-off. “It’s not Thomas’ role to play half left-back here.” Mazraoui replaced the suspended Alphonso Davies on the side he was not used to.

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With the third club in the semi-finals of the Champions League: Thomas Tuchel (l.) has every reason to celebrateAFP

Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta was able to rely on the ailing Martin Odegaard and only changed his team in one position compared to the first leg. Instead of Jakub Kiwior, Takehiro Tomiyasu played in the back four.

Both teams risked little

The game was completely different than the first one eight days before. Both teams started cautiously, risked little and were concerned first with protection. The Londoners seemed to get into the game a little earlier, had more possession of the ball and had more presence in the opponent’s penalty area, but the first actions that caused a murmur in the Alliance came from Bayern. A counterattack via Guerreiro and Mazraoui in the 23rd minute only resulted in a corner, and Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya was just able to parry Jamal Musiala’s long-range shot a minute later.

These first chances for Munich apparently aroused the English’s desire to attack. After half an hour, Martin Odegaard tested Manuel Neuer with a deflected shot from 23 meters. The Munich captain fended off the difficult ball. Afterwards, Bayern were disorganized in defense, but Arsenal did not finish the attack well.

And Gabriel Martinelli also finished too hastily shortly afterwards when he had a free shot from thirteen meters (31′), the ball landed safely in Neuer’s hands. In general, this first half was characterized by a lack of precision in the build-up, which is why the spectators only saw a few well-played offensive actions.

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Shortly after the restart, Tuchel seemed to shiver a little on this cold, wet April evening. He zipped his down jacket all the way up, almost over his chin. And while he was still busy, Leon Goretzka almost made sure that his coach could celebrate. However, his header landed on the crossbar and not in the goal.

The chance was the start of a somewhat more intense game. Both teams dared more than before the break, and shortly afterwards Neuer had to head clear well in front of the penalty area after a long ball from Arsenal. In almost all game data counted by the statisticians, the game was evenly matched; Bayern were only ahead in corner kicks, 6-0 after an hour.

Kimmich with brains

And shortly afterwards at least 1-0 after goals. The ball landed via Leroy Sané on the left side to Guerreiro, he had plenty of space and time to think about where to cross – and decided on the center of the penalty area, where Joshua Kimmich rushed up and headed the ball into the net to make it 1-0. Two minutes later, Leroy Sané could have increased the score to 2-0, but the ball slipped over the national player’s foot and instead of heading towards the goal, it sailed far over.

Arsenal coach Arteta now substituted, among others, Leondra Trossard, the attacker who scored the equalizer in the first leg. But this time the Joker didn’t sting. Arsenal tried everything in the final phase, but Bayern fought their way into the semi-finals with passion and a good team performance.

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