Bayern Munich will fight Chelsea for the Champions league trophy on home soil after knocking off Real Madrid in Spain in a penalty shoot-out. It was a thrilling game full of skill, speed and controversy, and rounded out the semifinals in superb fashion. Here’s six key men from the game:
Cristiano Ronaldo, F, Real Madrid
Two chances, two goals. If the storyline had stopped there, he’d be a hero. It didn’t: he had his penalty kick in the shootout saved well by Manuel Neuer and utterly disappeared in the second half. Credit Bayern for throttling him, but CR’s habit of fading under pressure remains a killer.
Sergio Ramos, F, Real Madrid
The Real Madrid defender has a lot to answer for. He booted his penalty attempt into the stands and was suspect over the two legs. Often out of position, he looks more comfortable trying to go forward than he does doing the dirty work in back. A very costly performance.
Mesut Ozil, MF, Real Madrid
Deserved better. Was tireless and set up Ronaldo’s second goal. Was very good tracking back on defense tonight and was easily Real’s most influential player over the two legs. Made several superb passes including a 50-yard beauty that Luis Gustavo had to sprint to clean up.
David Alaba, D, Bayern Munich
The young left back had a nightmare start, after he was harshly called for a penalty kick when a shot from Angel Di Maria hit his arm as he was falling down. He was truly at fault on the second goal but grew in confidence from there and was a force as the game went on. He capped it by stepping up and taking the first penalty kick in the shootout, and sunk it well.
Mario Gomez, F, Bayern Munich
The frustrating Mario Gomez had all kinds of chances tonight, and fluffed all but one: he sunk his attempt from the spot to pile the pressure on Real. It was some redemption for a night when he often looked unsure what to do on the ball, and step slow once he figured it out. He got in good positions, but some of his whiffs were unforgivable.
Arjen Robben, MF, Bayern Munich
The Dutchman’s miss in 7th minute was painful but his penalty kick to give Bayern that precious away goal was just the tonic. He was far better tonight than he had been in Munich, giving Real’s back line all they could handle for the better part of an hour before the game became static.