FULL TIME: Bayern Munich 2-1 Sevilla FC. Bayern Munich score two crucial goals—at least one, maybe both own-goals—against Sevilla to take a 2-1 advantage back home with them to Munich. Bayern stepped up their game in the second half and were rewarded, while they can thank Javi Martinez for a stellar save and their lucky stars for Sevilla mistakes not to concede more than one goal.
(90’) Yellow card: Pizarro. The Sevilla man is carded for a rude tackle on Arjen Robben.
(85’) Yellow card: Thomas Müller. Let me simply quote our cranky British commentator on this particular card:
He touched you on your chest. GET UP! I hate it when I see players do that. So embarrassing.
(79’) Substitution: Arjen Robben for Franck Ribery. Ribery’s night is at an end. Bayern’s veteran right-winger takes the field, as Müller will shift inside, while James and Thiago roam out on the left.
(68’) GOAL BAYERN! THIAGO! A long cross from Ribery falls to Thiago as he runs in at the right post. Thiago dives and heads the ball in, as it is slightly deflected by Escudero, leaving the goalkeeper no chance to stop it.
Meanwhile in Italy... Javi Martinez just missed a great chance. Meanwhile, in a somewhat more eventful game, Cristiano Ronaldo just scored a brace with a spectacular bicycle kick, and Paulo Dybala has been sent off with a red card.
(49’) Last-man clearance: Javi Martinez. Bayern’s defense is hanging on, just barely: Ben Yedder makes an excellent run up the middle, but just as he receives the ball from Sarabia, Javi Martinez slides in to strip it away.
Second-half substitution: Rafinha for Juan Bernat. Bernat’s day has come to a premature end. After losing his man leading to Sevilla’s goal, Bernat will be replaced on the left flank by backup right-back Rafinha.
Halftime: Bayern are somewhat fortunate to be level with Sevilla 1-1. Sarabia missed an open goal, and a yellow card for simulation was called instead of a penalty for a foul (arguably by Vidal).
(37’) GOAL BAYERN! Talk about a difference-maker: James’s first touch leads to a goal. James finds Ribery making a run inside from the left flank. Ribery shoots and the ball is deflected of Jesus Navas into the net. Bayern level the score 1-1.
(36’) Substitution: James Rodriguez for Arturo Vidal. The Chilean warrior cannot soldier on any longer. James takes his place.
(34’) Yellow card: Juan Bernat. Juan Bernat takes out his frustration by earning a senseless yellow card. Kimmich and Correa also tussle on the pitch.
(32’) GOAL SEVILLA: Pablo Sarabia makes amends for his spectacular miss. Sarabia made a perfect run up the right flank just outside of Juan Bernat. Coming past Bernat inside the box, he picks up the ball from Sergio Escudero and fires it past Sven Ulreich for the goal.
(30’) James warming up: Since Ribery has a yellow card, it’s possible that Heynckes replaces him sooner rather than later.
Pretty much guaranteed that Ribery will be subsituted before 70 minutes with him on a yellow card. Maybe even earlier. James Rodriguez warming up.— Mark Lovell (@LovellLowdown) April 3, 2018
(20’) Chance for Sevilla: Bayern can count their lucky stars on this one: Hummels bocks a cross with a back-heel, but inadvertently gives the ball to Pablo Sarabia. Although he has an open shot on the goal before James Rodriguez closes with him, Sarabia somehow manages to shoot the ball just wide of the far post.
(15’) Yellow card: Joachin Correa. Sevilla’s attacker falls over Vidal’s leg without a nudge and is carded for simulation.
(13’) Yellow card: Ribery. A testy scene breaks out on the pitch. Mats Hummels rather rudely body-checked Franco Vazquez, but no foul was called. A moment later, another foul results in a minor tussle on the pitch. Franck Ribery sees the yellow card.
(10’) Arturo Vidal seems to have tweaked something, but is staying in the match. There was some communication between him and the bench, but he gestured to stay in. James is now warming up on the sideline.
KICKOFF! We are under way! The hosts are moving fast to press Bayern in possession. We’ll see how long they can keep it up.
Yellow cards: Robert Lewandowski, Joshua Kimmich, and Jerome Boateng all have yellow cards, so they will have to be on especially good behavior today to avoid a suspension in the 2nd leg.
5 minutes to kickoff: Almost time! Facebook Live is live, if you’re watching there (here’s a link). If you’re catching the game on Fox Soccer Matchpass (highly recommended!), you’re probably enjoying the atmosphere in Sevilla as the players prepare to come out. It’s a lively crowd.
Fun fact: Bayern has fired more shots in this Champions League campaign than any other team. Here’s to firing a few past Sevilla today!
25 minutes to kickoff: As Bayern intend to end their streak of losses to Spanish teams in the Champions League, here’a nice video of the top 5 goals scored by Spanish Bayern players in recent years:
¡Vamos Bayern!— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) April 3, 2018
The top five goals from Bavarian Spaniards down the years ⚽ pic.twitter.com/bAKMl3DmnT
45 minutes to kickoff: Bayern have confirmed Alaba’s injury:
David Alaba is suffering from an irritated nerve in his back and therefore has been sidelined this evening as a precautionary measure. We wish you a speedy recovery, David!
55 minutes to go: David Alaba reportedly is suffering from back pain and cannot play.
One hour until kickoff: The lineup is out and it has a few surprises: James Rodriguez is starting on the bench in favor of Thiago Alcantara. Perhaps the biggest move of all, though, is the fact that Arjen Robben also is on the bench. Kicker had speculated that this would be the case (kudos to them). Jupp Heynckes had stated, “I don’t want a result; I want a win,” and emphasized the need to field a balanced lineup capable of defending.
Another surprise: David Alaba is not even in the squad. Instead, Juan Bernat is starting at left-back.
All in all, it looks like a 4-1-4-1: Kimmich, Boateng, Hummels Bernat; Martinez; Müller, Vidal, Thiago, Ribery; Lewandowski, becoming a 4-2-3-1 if Arturo Vidal drops back into a double-pivot with Javi Martinez.
1 hour 40 minutes until kickoff: Some news for you to chew on while we wait for the game! Mats Hummels will take on the Vice World Champion in FIFA 18 for charity. Read all about it here:
Ahh, matchday! So exciting. Bayern Munich travel to Spain to take on Champions League underdogs Sevilla FC. While the Bavarians are considered favorites for this tie, Vincenzo Montella’s Sevilla are known for being unexpectedly tough opponents, as Jose Mourinho would likely attest.
Therefore, it us unlikely that Jupp Heynckes will take any risks in this game. Expect to see all of Bayern’s heavy hitters — Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, and James Rodriguez are all fit, while midfield general Arturo Vidal has returned from injury. Jupp’s go-to defenders are all ready to go, having put in a superlative performance against Dortmund, and Javi Martinez should be the man who steps on the pitch with them. It remains to be seen whether the Bayern manager will choose to field Thiago Alcantara, Franck Ribery, or Arjen Robben, but they all remain in the mix. One thing is for sure, Bayern Munich will go out to win the game.
It’s Bayern time.
Location: Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, Seville, Spain
Time: 8:45 pm local time, 2:45 pm EST
TV/Streaming: USA (ESPN Deportes+, SiriusXM FC, FOX Soccer Match Pass, ESPN Deportes), Germany (Sky Go Deutschland, TeleClub Sport Live, Sky Sport 1 HD, ZDF, Sky Sport 2/HD), Canada (TSN5, beIN SPORTS CONNECT Canada, TSN GO), India (Sony LIV, SONY TEN 1 HD, SONY TEN 1)
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