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Vinícius Júnior gives Real Madrid edge in semi-final after Kane rouses Bayern | Champions League

These are the principles of Real Madrid, and if you don’t like them…well, there are other principles as well. Carlo Ancelotti’s team were under a prolonged onslaught from Bayern Munich, running from side to side, getting confused, colliding with each other and almost falling over. And yet – of course – thanks to a magical right-footed player in Vinicius and his Junior, they still survive, even if they are close favorites for the championship.

Thomas Tuchel and Bayern were on the verge of reversing the game four minutes into the second half, but Vinicius’ penalty kick saved the game in the final stages. Tuchel’s half-time substitution prolonged and changed the game, sparking two deserved goals from Harry Kane and the superb Leroy Sane and canceling out Vinicius’ early effort. As the Bayern manager prepares to take a break, this serves as a reminder that there are few coaches in the world better at tailoring a game plan for this important game. Ta.

As a result, Madrid were forced to play multiple games instead of just one. A defensive rearguard early on, gradually taking control thanks to the domineering Toni Kroos, and then picking up the pace in the closing stages after the disappointing Jude Bellingham left for Brahim Dias. Ancelotti trusted the bench, trusted the individual and trusted himself.

Just before half-time, he headed Kroos’ corner kick at the near post. And his 44th pass of the night was the first that failed to find its target. In his careful recycling of possession, his deft touch and, of course, his wonderful assist for Vinicius’ opening goal, Kroos embodied the disdainful efficiency that characterized Madrid and once characterized Bayern.

Vinicius’ goal came right after the start, when Bayern were dominating not only in terms of territory and chances, but also in terms of energy and color. The Allianz Arena roared magnificently at kick-off, and the noise level hardly let up, engulfing the whole stadium in a bright, bright noise. Kane created several early chances, slipping between the lines and turning with ease, releasing Sane with a cheeky dive from the halfway line.

Meanwhile, Madrid’s famous midfield four struggled to advance the ball with enough pressure from Bayern. Before long, Ancelotti was waving his arms impatiently on the touchline, as if trying to read the preface to a poetry textbook that Tuchel had already torn up.

Harry Kane celebrated scoring a penalty to put Bayern in the lead in the second half. Photo: Michaela Starsch/AFP/Getty Images

But of course Madrid will always support themselves. They went back from 20 yards so I was very happy to have the ball 40 yards from goal. Vinicius is more than happy to wander around the final third like a man who has been to a baptism gone wrong and is trying to make amends with it. Because he relies on the fact that you can’t suffocate him all night.

And it was proven. Kroos, perhaps stung a little by the criticism he was receiving from his former fans, roamed his infield and released Vinicius. A devilishly clever run from Vinicius, who feinted and dropped deep, raped Kim Min-jae, then turned and sliced ​​through the field for an absolutely sure finish.

Tuchel had to react on the break. Leon Goretzka was sent off, Rafael Guerreiro…well, Bayern scored twice while Madrid were still trying to embarrass that one goal. First, Konrad Reimer slipped the ball to Sane on the right side. Sane went outside at halftime to stretch to keep his injured pelvis from getting cold. Now, still in a daze of eternal movement, he cut inside and fired a brilliant low finish at the near post.

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    Reimer, who was preferred to Aleksandar Pavlovic here, played with authority in midfield. In possession, he was a scythe-like threat on the rise, and from there he was quick and sharp. He was helped by the arrival of Guerreiro, who overloaded the left flank, causing chaos in unpredictable areas and creating more space at the back. Three minutes later, Jamal Musiala ran towards Fede Valverde, the Uruguayan stuck out an awkward back hoof and Kane beat the penalty.

    But of course Madrid was never going to be quiet at night. With Kroos and Bellingham sent off, Manuel Neuer forced into two sharp saves from Vinicius and Luka Modric staggering off the bench, Madrid slowly picked up the tempo. Finally, with seven minutes remaining, Vinicius limped into the penalty area, waited for contact from Kim, and after a long wait sank a kick from 12 yards.

    Certainly Bayern will see this as a game they could have made up for with a little more composure in key moments. But this is how Madrid always play. He coordinates his efforts and emotions, sees the game deeply, and sits back and waits for the moment to attack. Bayern can still crush Madrid’s main force within a week. But their best chance may have passed.

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