Real Madrid has the upper hand in the star-studded Champions League quarterfinal vs. Bayern Munich.
Cristiano Ronaldo's two goals in the second half gave Real Madrid a 2-1 lead over Bayern, with the host side reduced down to 10 men for the final 30 minutes when Javi Martinez was sent off at the Allianz Arena.
Robert Lewandowski (shoulder) was out for Bayern in the first leg of the highly anticipated quarterfinal, though Manuel Neuer made his return to goal from injury and was sensational in keeping Bayern alive in the face of intense second-half pressure.
Article continues below ...
Karim Benzema nearly struck first for Real Madrid in the 18th minute, with his header hitting the bar as Neuer went into a full-extension dive to keep it out by getting a fingertip on it.
Vidal nearly got his second in the 41st minute, with Arjen Robben's cross finding the Chilean star, only for him to head his opportunity wide of the upper left-hand corner of the net.
On the other end, Neuer remained sharp, denying Ronaldo with an all-out dive to his right to keep Real Madrid scoreless.
Bayern missed yet another chance to go up 2-0 through Vidal at the end of the first half. Franck Ribery's shot was ruled to have hit Dani Carvajal's arm in the box (replays showed it came off the defender's shoulder), but Vidal skied the ensuing penalty way over the bar to keep the score 1-0 and give Bayern a first-half regret.
That regret grew even greater moments into the second half. Ronaldo finished with a superb run into the box and volley off a cross from Carvajal, snapping a six-game goal drought in the competition. That the goal came away from home is key for Real Madrid.
Things continued to unravel for Bayern Munich at the hour mark, when Martinez was sent off for his second yellow card in quick succession. It forced Bayern down to 10 men at an inopportune time and ensures that Martinez will miss the second leg in Madrid next week.
Neuer came up with his fifth save of the night in sensational fashion to keep Bayern level, denying Benzema again, this time with a kick save from the Frenchman's close-range effort in the 72nd minute.
Neuer continued to stand on his head with another close-range save, this time on Ronaldo. He stood in on the goal line and outstretched his fist to keep out the goal.
He could only handle so much pressure, though, and Ronaldo finally broke through again in the 77th minute. Of all the shots to beat Neuer, this one trickled in off his own leg following the cross from Marco Asensio, giving Real Madrid a deserved 2-1 advantage.
Ronaldo gets another past Neuer for his 100th goal in all European competitions! More importantly, Real up 2-1. #UCLhttps://t.co/qP47mxISTO
The goal was Ronaldo's 100th in UEFA club competitions and 97th in the Champions League, and the only thing that ruined his night was him appearing to tweak something at the final whistle, when going for a third goal that would've given Real Madrid a greater feeling heading home.
For one of these powers, one Champions League streak will end. Real Madrid has reached the semifinals in the last six seasons, while Bayern has made it the last five. The return leg will be played next Tuesday in Madrid to determine which one keeps its streak going.