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Bayern Munich fall 1-2 to Real Madrid, setting up tough final leg

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Bayern Munich dominated early on, but a missed penalty and a double yellow to Javi Martinez nullified an early lead.

MUNICH, GERMANY - APRIL 12: Javi Martinez (R) of Muenchen and fouls Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Real Madrid CF at Allianz Arena on April 12, 2017 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by
MUNICH, GERMANY - APRIL 12: Javi Martinez (R) of Muenchen and fouls Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Real Madrid CF at Allianz Arena on April 12, 2017 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by
Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images

Bayern Munich brought the fight to the defending champions Real Madrid early in the match, but could not capitalize on that superiority, as a missed penalty kick by Arturo Vidal and the ejection of Javi Martínez for two yellow cards gave the Spaniards all the space they needed for a rare victory at the Allianz.

Bayern push relentlessly and are rewarded

Bayern pressed Madrid constantly in the first half with attacks down the right side of the pitch through Arjen Robben. The constant pressure translated into no fewer than seven corner kicks, one of them for a goal. Thiago and Arturo Vidal squeezed Real’s midfield relentlessly, dispossessing Los Blancos and driving the ball forward on the attack. Real responded chiefly with runs on the left, feeding the ball to Ronaldo and looking in vain for an opening.

A long pass by Toni Kroos nearly gave Real an early lead against the midfielder’s former club: Benzema headed the ball hard into the ground just before Bayern’s goal, sending it flying into the top corner. Incredibly, Manuel Neuer just managed to get his fingertips on the ball, deflecting it into the woodwork and out of harm’s way.

Real finally buckled under the pressure as Bayern won yet another corner off a brutally hard volley by Ribery. Thiago delivered a perfect corner kick in for Arturo Vidal, who broke away from Gareth Bale and headed the ball straight over Nacho and into the net. Real responded with long balls from Marcelo on the left, but stout defending by Bayern brought their efforts to naught.

Bayern came within a hair’s breadth of taking a 2-0 lead into the locker room at the half, Vidal again taking center stage. Franck Ribery, drifting into the center, outdribbled a parade of Real defenders before at last firing off a shot. The ball glanced off Carvajal’s shoulder, and the referee blew the whistle for a handball. Vidal took the penalty for Bayern, but sent the ball skyward, a missed chance that would soon come back to haunt him.

Real re-energized as Bayern beat themselves

The second half turned the game completely on its head, as Real first equalized and then took a 2-1 lead and defensive blunders put Bayern down a man against the defending champions.

Real opened the second half with a bolt from the blue. A deft pass from Casemiro set up Carvajal wide open far up the right side of the pitch. The ensuing cross was hammered off the volley by - who else? - Cristiano Ronaldo straight into the far corner. The missed penalty by Vidal had already come back to haunt the Bavarians.

Bayern attempted to collect themselves, but hope dissipated within the span of three minutes, as Javi Martínez collected two yellow cards in short succession - both for fouls on Ronaldo. Faced with the prospect of defending against Real Madrid a man down, Xabi Alonso made way for Juan Bernat, allowing David Alaba to move to center-back. A moment later, Douglas Costa replaced a largely absent Ribery.

Manuel Neuer single-handedly kept Bayern in the game. Early in the half he made a spectacular diving save against a fierce header by Bale. Later, as Real's man-advantage translated into multiple shots from short range, Neuer frustrated clear scoring opportunities by both Benzema and Ronaldo. But even Neuer could not check Madrid forever, as at last Asensio delivered a cross for Ronaldo - outpacing Bernat - that the Portuguese superstar converted for the decisive goal.

Bayern desperately fought to stave off a fatal third away goal as the second half wound down. In the second minute of stoppage time, Bayern dodged the fatal blow as Sergio Ramos headed in a free kick. But as Ramos had started from an offside position, the goal was nullified by the linesman. Bayern's hopes thus stay alive as they look ahead to the second leg in Madrid.

Match Details

Goals: Bayern Munich 1-2 Real Madrid
Bayern: Vidal (25’)
Real: Ronaldo (47’, 77')

Yellow Cards:
Bayern: Alonso (47'), Martínez (58', 61')
Real: Kroos (44’), Carvajal (45’)

Red Cards:
Bayern: Martínez (yellow-red, 61')

Bayern XI: Neuer; Lahm, Martínez, Boateng, Alaba; Thiago, Alonso (Bernat, 63'); Robben, Vidal, Ribery (Costa, 66'); Müller (Coman, 81')

Real XI: Navas; Carvajal, Nacho, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Casemiro, Kroos; Bale (Asensio, 59'), Benzema (James, 83'), Ronaldo