Offshore drilling, UEFA Champions League: at Bayern Munich 2, Real Madrid 1
Man of the Match: After a solid match that saw him hold down his side of defense, Philipp Lahm made is happened at the end. He skinned Fabio Coentrao and delivered a final ball through the six that Mario Gomez couldn’t miss. (Steve does rightfully point out that Lahm was one of the players culpable on the Real Madrid goal.)
Packaged for takeway:
- If you missed it, PST’s play-by-play of the match.
- It wasn’t the first time Fabio Coentrão’d gone to ground while attempted in ill-advised challenge. In the 90th minute when Philipp Lahm has the ball 30 yards from goal, just keep him in front of you. There’s no need to try that challenge.
- The goal tipped the scales on a match that was relatively even. Bayern was probably slightly better over the full 90, but 1-1 would have been a just result.
- But although Bayern grabbed a winner, they gave away that valuable away goal, getting caught in transition before Real generated an easy tap-in for Mesut Ozil.
- If I’m Jupp Heynckes, I’m still worried about how my central defense will hold up. The times Real Madrid tried to play through Karim Benzema were their best moments of the match. Bayern is lucky Real didn’t do that more often.
- Starting Toni Kroos over Thomas Muller was a small surprise, but it provided a great balance for Bayern. Having a man in the middle to help switch play (mostly over to Arjen Robben) may have been more valuable than somebody more apt to play forward.
- Franck Ribery was embarrassing. Four times he exaggerated fouls in the effort to win calls or penalty kicks. Credit to Howard Webb for keeping his cards in his pocket.
- However, there were two dangerous Real Madrid tackles that should have gotten great punishment. Marcelo chopped down Müller from behind with a kick to the ankle late in the match, while Sergio Ramos slid through the ankles of Thomas Muller attempting to play a ball from the wrong side. Nobody likes red cards, but these types of plays are too dangerous to be treated like professional fouls.
- For Bayern, it would have been a major hit had they not won today. Gomez’s late goal give them a boost ahead of next Wednesday. For Real, they may be temporarily deflated, but they got a road goal. They’re still in the driver’s seat for Munich, something they can worry about after Saturday’s Clásico.