This past week saw one team playing for his pride while the other proved their determination to cherish the European dream. It was Bayern Munich vs Barcelona after a blistering performance by Lionel Messi in the past week to demolish the Bundesliga Champions. The Bavarians had a daunting task ahead of them, which was to overcome the 3 goal deficit to win the tie. Real Madrid vs Juventus was the second semifinal to be played after the Italian Champions edged by the defending Champions 2-1 at Turin.
Starting with Bayern vs Barca clash, it was bound to be a high tempo and a crunch battle between these two giants and the former needed to score 4 goals without conceding in order to qualify for Champions League Final. The Bavarians were missing Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery due to injuries which forced them to make changes in their tactics. They were entirely dependent on Xabi Alonso and Bastian Schweinsteiger whose through balls could have ripped apart Barcelona’s defence.
The game started well for the home side as they scored inside the first 5 minutes, thanks to Mehdi Benatia who was at the end of Alonso’s corner. It was all due to frantic defending inside the six yard box which led to goal. After this goal, the home side looked more on the attacking front which led to defence getting exposed all the time. This saw the magical trio of Messi, Suarez and Neymar combining pretty well to score two quick fire goals and dash all the hopes of an improbable comeback.
In the second half, Bayern looked more stable and threatening in front of goal which forced Ter Stegen with some wonderful saves. However, they struck in the hour mark with Robert Lewandowski scoring a goal with a precise finish. At the 74th minute, Thomas Mueller made is 3 for the home side, but it was too little too late for them. This made FC Barcelona qualify for the finals to be held in Berlin on June 6.
Coming to the next game, which was happened to be a close contest between the Galacticos and the Old Lady. Real Madrid needed to overcome the one goal deficit and they were boosted by the return of Karim Benzema in the front line. Juventus too started with 4-3-3 formation with the red-hot property in the upcoming transfer market Paul Pogba starting after an injury with kept him out of action for a long time.
Real Madrid started pretty well with quite a few chances coming in the first 20 minutes of the game. This was the first time where anyone would have seen Juventus disorganized in their defence, but their veteran goalkeeper Buffon ensured his team was still in the tie. Mid way in the first half saw a foul on James Rodriguez inside the penalty box which gave the home crowd a thing to cheer for. Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up to the occasion and scored from the spot. However, they should have scored more goals in the first half itself which could have killed the tie.
Their first half rued chances came back haunting as Juventus equalized thanks to Madrid reject Alvaro Morata scored from a set piece taken by another veteran Andrea Pirlo and assisted by Pogba. After this, Real Madrid launched a series of attacks on the visiting team, but they were unable to find the net throughout the game. This led to Juventus reaching the Champions League final since 1996.