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Champions League: Bayern are in the semi-finals

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Champions League: Bayern are in the semi-finals

FC Bayern is capable of great performances on a big stage. Now it’s against Real Madrid for a place in the grand final at Wembley.

Shooter to make it 1-0 for Bayern: Joshua Kimmich.

Ronald Wittek/EPA

(dpa) Joshua Kimmich has kept FC Bayern Munich’s last chance for the title alive – and German football’s hope of a repeat of the legendary Wembley final. One day after Borussia Dortmund’s furious semi-final entry, the outstanding Kimmich led the German record champions into the first semi-final of the Champions League on Wednesday with his powerful header in the 64th minute in a 1-0 (0-0) win against Arsenal FC since the last premier class triumph in 2020.

Chance for Tuchel

After the 2-2 draw in the first leg in London, the Munich team put on an extremely concentrated performance in the exciting second leg in front of 75,000 spectators. Eleven years after the Champions League final between Bayern and Dortmund with Arjen Robben’s 2-1 winning goal at Wembley Stadium in London, a new edition on June 1st has become realistic. Coach Thomas Tuchel still has the possibility of a glorious farewell to Munich even without a championship or cup.

In contrast to the furious first leg, a high level of surveillance developed in the first half, which was at the expense of the offensive power. Bayern only got really dangerous once in the first half, when Noussair Mazraoui broke through and his deflected shot went just wide of the goal (23′). Due to the defensive orientation, winger Leroy Sané, who, according to Tuchel, has to fight on due to his pubic bone problems, and striker Harry Kane were rarely in action. Jamal Musiala was also well delivered.

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But the same also applied on the other side. A long-range shot from Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard (29th) and an unplaced attempt by Gabriel Martinelli (31st) – national goalkeeper Manuel Neuer didn’t have much more work to do. The 38-year-old returned to goal as usual after Sven Ulreich played as a precaution against Cologne (2-0) at the weekend. Nevertheless, Tuchel disliked the fact that Bayern sometimes retreated too far from the sidelines.

For once “super Bavaria”

The game was full of tension, and in the second half there were finally some top-class chances. Bayern were now the more active team. After a cross from the eager Kimmich, Leon Goretzka hit the crossbar with a header, and Guerreiro’s follow-up shot hit the outside post. It was a signal for more Munich courage, which was rewarded after just over an hour. After a fine cross, Kimmich was there with his head and rewarded his strong performance.

Shortly afterwards, Sané could have even increased the score, but he put the ball over the goal (66th). “Super Bayern, super Bayern,” it echoed through the arena, which wasn’t always the case in this bumpy season. But this time the will, commitment and passion were right. The Munich team hardly allowed anything to happen, and German international Kai Havertz was also completely unregistered from the Gunners.

Thriller in a penalty shootout

Real Madrid eliminated defending champions Manchester City in another quarter-final thriller. After a flattering 4-3 win on penalties, the Whites are now challenging Bayern in the semi-finals. After regular time and extra time the score was 1:1 (1:0, 1:1) on Wednesday evening.

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Rodrygo (12th minute) initially gave Real the lead – but City then restricted the guests with almost permanent possession of the ball in their own half. Despite constant dominance, it was only enough for Kevin De Bruyne to equalize in regular time (76′). In the penalty shootout, Real goalkeeper Andrij Lunin saved two penalty kicks from the English team – before national player Antonio Rüdiger converted the decisive one for Real.

In contrast to the spectacular 3:3 a week ago, there was initially no furious game in Manchester. City controlled the ball as usual, while Real relied on quick transitions. In one of these, the ball landed via Vinicius Junior in the penalty area to Rodrygo, who first shot at goalkeeper Ederson and then used the rebound to take the lead.

As a result, the guests gave Guardiola’s team even more control of the ball and control of the game. Apart from a hit on the crossbar by Erling Haaland (19th), City initially did not create any compelling chances to score, but the hosts increased the pressure in the second half. Real were literally constricted in their own half and limited themselves almost exclusively to counterattacks.

This passivity was punished by De Bruyne, who shot the ball under the crossbar into the goal after an unsuccessful attempt to clear the ball by national player Antonio Rüdiger. Afterwards, both teams slowly ran out of energy, which is why it ultimately went to penalties.

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