Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace as defending champions Real Madrid came from behind to beat Bayern Munich 2-1 in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night.
The home team suffered a big setback before the crunch clash when their in-form striker Robert Lewandowski missing the game after failing to recover from a shoulder injury in time. However, they were boosted by the return of Manuel Neuer and should thank the goalkeeper for keeping them in the tie with a string of brilliant saves in the second half.
After a slow start to the proceedings at the Allianz Arena, Real Madrid made the first attempt in the 18th minute when Karim Benzema’s downward header was tipped onto the bar by Neuer before the goalie claimed the rebound. That effort sparked the home team into life as David Alaba hit one wide of the post before Arturo Vidal fired them to the lead in the 25th minute with a bullet header from an Arjen Robben corner. Vidal had the chance to hit a hat-trick before the break but he failed to guide Robben’s brilliant cross into the goal before missing a penalty in the first-half stoppage time when Dani Carvajal was penalised for handling Franck Ribery’s goal-bound effort.
The hosts had to pay a hefty price for it as Ronaldo directed a Carvajal cross past Neuer two minutes into the second-half. A few minutes later, Gareth Bale was denied by a superb save from Neuer as the Germany international tipped Bale’s close-range header over the bar. Bayern soon found themselves into a spot of bother as Javi Martinez was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Ronaldo. The reigning European champions kept on pressing but failed to find a way past the brilliant Bayern custodian. The visitors were finally rewarded for their perseverance when Ronaldo poked home the winner from Marco Asensio’s fine cross in the 77th minutes.
Sergio Ramos then had a goal ruled out for offside in the closing stages as Bayern held on to keep alive their slim hopes of making it to the next stage.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the match:
We'll miss @Cristiano Ronaldo when he retires. What a player.
— Jonny Gould (@jonnygould) April 12, 2017
Cristiano Ronaldo against Bayern Munich in the #UCL
5 Games = 6 Goals
Can't score against big teams they said ????????? pic.twitter.com/G4UgTVZtgb
— OMAR ? (@Omar__cr7_) April 12, 2017
I will say this for the last time Cristiano Ronaldo is the greatest player of all time ain't nobody better than him #RealMadrid
— Tyler?? (@thamsanqa_tyler) April 12, 2017
Vidal's penalty was as bad as his haircut #BayernReal
— Carl Lewis (@lo_carl) April 12, 2017
I wonder what could happen if Sergio Ramos discovers he's allowed to score before the 90th minute 😮 #BayernReal
— Frederatormusic (@frederatormusic) April 12, 2017
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) April 12, 2017
No player in the history of the Champions League has scored more goals against German teams than Cristiano Ronaldo. ??⚽️ pic.twitter.com/e3Ham8m0ao
— Footy Memes (@FootyMemes) April 12, 2017
Shout out to Manuel Neuer for keeping Bayern in the tie. He was the only Munich player to show any resemblance of desire in the second half.
— Bayern Strikes (@BayernStrikes) April 12, 2017
Tonight was Bayern Munich's first defeat at home since Ancelotti was appointed.
— Real Madrid Stats (@RMadrid_Stats) April 12, 2017
BREAKING NEWS: Arturo Vidal's penalty has finally landed. Astronauts just found it ??? pic.twitter.com/orLpYqks2h
— Osas Cruz (@OsasCruz) April 12, 2017