Ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous. After a tie like Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich, we should be talking about the quality of the game, not controversial decisions and officiating.
Real Madrid were the benefactors, but if Zidane’s side goes on to retain the Champions League, this will be the “what if” game. Barcelona’s 2008/09 treble-winning campaign had that semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge. If Real go on to retain the title, they will have this match at the Bernabeu.
2nd leg review
It was a struggle for control and rhythm as both sides went for it, creating chances upon chances. There were 45 attempts on goal on the night. Twice Marcelo cleared certain goals, Boateng equally cleared attempts off the line as the last man. Lewandowski’s penalty made it nervy for the Bernabeu faithful as the Bavarians pressed for that crucial second away goal.
But yet again, Cristiano Ronaldo was in the right place, at the right time in this tie to put away his third over the two legs. In the next minute, Real couldn’t have possibly thought they’d have the ball back in the centre circle. The ball bizarrely ricocheted off Sergio Ramos and rolled past Navas inside the near post. That own goal put Bayern ahead on the night, level on aggregate and set us up for a grandstand finish to the 90 minutes and another half hour of action.
The referee takes centre stage
That was however until the 84th minute when Arturo Vidal slid in on Sergio Asensio. It was dangerous because he was on a yellow, but he cleanly won the ball. Inexplicably, the referee gave the midfielder his marching orders and yet again, Ancelotti’s side was down to ten men. This time, the culprits were the officials, everyone watching the game could see that the Chilean won the ball.
From this point, there was only going to be one winner. It wasn’t a question of who, but when Real would strike. The Bavarians almost held out until half time in extra time. That was until an offside Ronaldo chested the ball down and hammered it past Neuer in the 105th minute.
Real rubbing salt into the wound
This was just the beginning as the brilliant Marcelo ran through a weary Bayern defence four minutes into the second half. He squared it to the Portuguese who yet again was (marginally) offside, who rolled the ball into an empty net. This historic moment made him the first player to reach 100 goals in the Champions League. At 32, he definitely has the time to get many more.
But there will always be a shadow over this tie due to the officiating, on which Carlo Ancelotti’s made his feelings perfectly clear.
Here are a few priceless quotes from his post-match interview: (BBC Sport)
“We had thought of everything going into this game – except the referee,”
“You can’t decide a semi-final spot like this. It shouldn’t happen at this level.”
“The referee probably wasn’t up to the task,”
“I don’t think Real Madrid have any influence on referees.”
The officials simply got it wrong.
“I had never been in favour of video technology, but I must admit it’s necessary now.”
The last statement says it all really when the man who was so against video technology, being converted in the space of 120 minutes.