MUNICH, GERMANY - APRIL 17: Mario Gomez of Muenchen shoots on goal during the UEFA Champoins League Semi Final first leg match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Real Madrid at Allianz Arena on April 17, 2012 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Bayern Munich Vs. Real Madrid: Mario Gomez Wins It In The 89th

An 89th minute goal handed Bayern Munich a 2-1 win over Real Madrid in a scintillating first leg.

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Bayern Munich Vs. Real Madrid, 2012 UEFA Champions League: Final Score, Mario Gomez Grabs Winner

Bayern Munich gave up an away goal to Real Madrid, but got the last laugh at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday. They're heading to Spain with a 2-1 lead in their UEFA Champions League semifinal tie, thanks to a late goal by Mario Gomez.

The first half featured chances for both sides, but only Bayern Munich were able to convert one into a goal. That opener came in the 16th minute, scored by Franck Ribery on a corner kick. Sergio Ramos should have been able to clear the ball away, but failed to deal with the corner and the ball fell to Ribery. From 12 yards out, he blasted a shot through traffic and past Iker Casillas to give his team the lead.

Karim Benzema had a couple of solid chances in the first half, but was never able to make Manuel Neuer make a save that wasn't routine. Madrid weren't as good as they usually were in the midfield, as Bastian Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos did a great job to control the game.

Bayern continued to look like the slightly better side to open the second half but got burned on the counterattack for Madrid's goal. In the 53rd minute, a free kick was dealt with by Los Blancos as Sami Khedira won the ball and then started a great counter down the center. Cristiano Ronaldo had the first crack at a goal, but Neuer made a save. Madrid got the ball back and worked the ball wide right for Benzema, who put a low ball across the face of goal. It eluded everyone, but Ronaldo chased it down and fed Mesut Özil for a tap-in.

The defending on the goal was truly poor by Bayern Munich, who should have been able to manage a clearance well before the goal was scored. For a team of their caliber to allow Özil to score a tap-in at the end of that sequence is shocking, and Jupp Heynckes won't be pleased about the defending.

In the 61st minute, Bayern substituted Schweinsteiger for Thomas Müller, moving Kroos deeper in midfield. Schweinsteiger looked frustrated to be substituted, but he has been frequently injured this season and it's understandable that Heynckes had concerns about him going a full 90 minutes. Additionally, a 1-1 draw would have made Madrid heavy favorites to advance and Bayern were in need of a second goal.

They almost managed to score that goal just a minute later. Gomez was sent through on goal and looked to have a great scoring chance, but Casillas went down to stop him and got all ball, while Pepe simultaneously made a very hard shoulder-to-shoulder challenge. The two simultaneous actions caused Gomez to hit the deck hard, but neither action was a foul.

Sensing that his team was losing the midfield battle even with Schweinsteiger out, Jose Mourinho replaced Özil with Marcelo, moving Fábio Coentrão to the center of midfield. It seemed like a sensible move at the time, but Madrid would not improve their position in the game or grab a better hold of the ball in midfield. Just two minutes after that, Gomez had a golden opportunity but blasted it over the bar.

It appeared that the match was destined for a draw until the 89th minute, when Gomez's hard work throughout the match finally paid off. He was denied a penalty appeal in the 88th minute, but answered in the best way possible, scoring a goal to give his team a lead heading to Estadio Santiago Bernabéu.

Real Madrid's defending on the goal was poor, and just like the first goal, Mourinho will be disappointed that his team did not do better. Coentrão's whiff on Philipp Lahm and Álvaro Arbeloa's inability to track his man was a let down. It also was the perfect cap to a very poor night for Ramos, who was caught defending no one.

Los Blancos didn't exactly finish the game in classy fashion. Substitutes Marcelo and Gonzalo Higuaín closed out the match by picking up yellow cards. Real Madrid will be disappointed to give away a late goal, but they head home with an away goal and a solid chance to win the tie.

You can find all of our previous live coverage of the game in our Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid, UEFA Champions League StoryStream. For more on the two teams, head over to Bayern Munich blog Bavarian Football Works and Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid.

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Bayern Munich Vs. Real Madrid, 2012 Champions League Semifinal: Mario Gomez Makes It 2-1 In Injury Time

And there's a third penalty shout of the night for Bayern Munich as Mario Gomez goes down under heavy pressure from a pair of Real Madrid defenders. Unlike Franck Ribery's two early claims, however, this one seems legitimate. Sergio Ramos got to the ball ahead of the striker, to be sure, but then Fábio Coentrão went in from behind and wiped Gomez out with the ball still in play. That's a clear-cut foul; Bayern should have a penalty and Coentrão should be off. Bizarre refereeing from Howard Webb.

But now it won't matter! A late attack means that Bayern have won this! Philipp Lahm breezes past Madrid's back line and fires in a low cross from which Gomez scores! He completely mishit that ball, but his movement was such that it came back to him and ricocheted past Iker Casillas anyway! It's Bayern Munich 2-1 Real Madrid, and we've only got a couple of minutes of injury time left!

You've got to say that Real were asking for it too, sitting back on their lead like that. Silly way to end a game, that.

We have live coverage of the game in our Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid, UEFA Champions League StoryStream. For more on the two teams, head over to Bayern Munich blog Bavarian Football Works and Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid.

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Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid, 2012 Champions League Semifinal: Mesut Ozil Makes It 1-1

Well that was odd. Real Madrid have got their away goal and are level, but goodness that goal was a mess. Bastian Schweinsteiger lost out to Xabi Alonso at the top of Iker Casillas' penalty box, and the visitors were able to unleash one of their trademark counterattacks when the midfielder fed Angel di Maria down the centre. The winger passed to Karim Benzema, who drew Bayern Munich's defenders away before slipping in Cristiano Ronaldo for a free run on goal.

At this point all seems normal. You'd expect Ronaldo to score from six yards, even against Manuel Neuer. Instead, however, he blasted straight at the goalkeeper's knees, and the chance seemed to have vanished because red shirts were back in force. In a hugely lucky break for Madrid, the rebound went straight to Benzema, who was able to skip around the defence and square back across the goal, with Ronaldo getting to the ball just before it went over the byline, and his cutback bounced off Mesut Ozil and in. Not the prettiest goal you'll see, but it's 1-1 and so Madrid won't care much.

In the aftermath, both Alonso and Fabio Coentrao are booked as they prevent the hosts from breaking up the pitch with a pair of rather cynical challenges. That's a wee bit exuberant.

We have live coverage of the game in our Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid, UEFA Champions League StoryStream. For more on the two teams, head over to Bayern Munich blog Bavarian Football Works and Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid.

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Bayern Munich Vs. Real Madrid, 2012 UEFA Champions League: Halftime Score, Franck Ribery Has Bavarians Ahead

UPDATE: Bayern Munich 2-1 Real Madrid Final Score

Bayern Munich are halfway to a massive result that could make them slight favorites to advance in the UEFA Champions League semifinals. After a brilliant first 45 minutes of play, they lead Real Madrid 1-0 off of a goal by Franck Ribery.

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes made one major adjustment from the team usually considered to be his first choice side, bringing in Toni Kroos from Thomas Müller. While Kroos doesn't have nearly the same nose for goal as the man he's in for, he is a natural midfield player and has been helpful so far in checking the runs of Sami Khedira. He's also passing the ball well, and Bayern's possession is a big part of why Madrid have been light on clear-cut chances.

Even though Madrid have struggled for chances, they did have the first big chance of the day. Mesut Özil slipped a brilliant through ball to Karim Benzema in the 7th minute and he put a decent effort on target, but he hit his shot towards the middle of the goal. Manuel Neuer made a very good save, but it was one that a keeper of his caliber will be expected to make every time.

Just before the Bayern goal, Ribery went down easily in the penalty area and protested for a penalty. Though Sergio Ramos did briefly grab his shirt, he took no action that would have caused Ribery to go down and Howard Webb was correct not to give a penalty. A minute later, Ribery took matters into his own hands and Ramos was mostly at fault for the goal.

On a corner kick, the ball fell to Ramos, who was unable to clear. In his attempt to bring the ball down, he appeared to actively use his arm to play the ball. Had the chance not been finished off, Bayern would have had a legitimate gripe at the lack of a handball call, but the ball fell to Ribery who hit a rocket of a shot past Iker Casillas and into the back of the net to give his side a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute.

Bayern looked extremely confident in the half hour of play following the goal and spent a solid portion of the period keeping the ball in their opposition's half. A 1-0 loss would not be a disaster for Madrid, but Jose Mourinho will not be happy if his side does not have an away goal heading back to Santiago Bernabeu.

We'll have live coverage of the game in our Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid, UEFA Champions League StoryStream. For more on the two teams, head over to Bayern Munich blog Bavarian Football Works and Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid.

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Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid, 2012 Champions League Semifinal: Franck Ribery Gives Bayern 1-0 Lead

And that Bayern Munich pressure pays off. The hosts win a corner against the run of play and some calamitous defending on Real Madrid's part has given them a 1-0 lead! Toni Kroos' delivery cannons off Holger Badsturber, who knows basically nothing about it, and with white shirts standing around in a state of no small confusion, Franck Ribery nicks in and slots part an unsighted Iker Casillas. Real Madrid are protesting offside, which is pretty funny.

Anyway, that's a good piece of revenge from Ribery after not being given his penalty call (because he dived). Advantage to the home side, and Real Madrid are going to have to mount some sort of interesting response to get back into this one. Cristiano Ronaldo attempts to provide it with a free kick after he was fouled by Phillipp Lahm, but he blasts well over Manuel Neuer's goal. Waste.

We have live coverage of the game in our Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid, UEFA Champions League StoryStream. For more on the two teams, head over to Bayern Munich blog Bavarian Football Works and Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid.

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Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid, 2012 Champions League Semifinal: Match Underway

We're underway in the Allianz Arena, where Bayern Munich are hosting Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League semifinals. Both sides will be attacking today - Bayern know they need a win here to have much of a chance of knocking their opponents out at the Santiago Bernabeu next week, and Los Blancos will be pushing hard for that critical away goal.

The home side, in red, have got us going and manage to keep the ball for almost a minute before Sami Khedira retrieves possession, which is immediately squandered thanks to a nice piece of pressing from Mario Gomez. A minor battle between Franck Ribery and Angel di Maria ensues, which the Argentine wins only to run into a thicket of red shirts and then immediately lose the ball. Not a whole lot going on so far.

We have live coverage of the game in our Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid, UEFA Champions League StoryStream. For more on the two teams, head over to Bayern Munich blog Bavarian Football Works and Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid.

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Bayern Munich Vs. Real Madrid, 2012 UEFA Champions League Semifinal: Lineups

Bayern Munich host Real Madrid at the Allianz Arena as Los Blancos attempt to reach their first UEFA Champions League final in ten years, while Bayern, 2010's losing finalists, will be attempting to get some measure of revenge on Jose Mourinho, whose Inter Milan side beat them at the Santiago Bernabeu two years ago.

Both teams are starting more or less their expected personnel and shape. Mario Gomez leads Bayern's devastating quartet of attacking players, while the visitors' dangerman is none other than Cristiano Ronaldo, who appears to be more or less single-handedly winning Madrid their domestic title. With Bayern holding home-pitch advantage, this one is pretty evenly matched. Let's see how it goes.

Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Manuel Neuer; David Alaba, Holger Badstuber, Jerome Boateng, Phillip Lahm; Bastian Schweinsteiger, Luiz Gustavo; Franck Ribery, Toni Kroos, Arjen Robben; Mario Gomez.

Substitutes from: Hans-Jorg Butt, Danijel Pranjic, Rafinha, Ivica Olic, Anatoliy Tymoschuk, Thomas Muller.

Real Madrid starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Iker Casillas; Fabio Coentrao, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Alvaro Arbeloa; Xabi Alonso, Sami Khedira; Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Özil, Angel Di Maria; Karim Benzema.

Substitutes from: Kaka, Raul Albiol, Gonzalo Higuain, Marcelo, Antonio Adan, Esteban Granero, Raphael Varane.

We'll have live coverage of the game in our Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid, UEFA Champions League StoryStream. For more on the two teams, head over to Bayern Munich blog Bavarian Football Works and Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid.

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Bayern Munich Vs. Real Madrid, 2012 UEFA Champions League: Bayern Too Predictable?

At times this season, Bayern Munich have seemed like the only team capable of touching the same sorts of heights as Barcelona and Real Madrid. When Bayern are on, they're on, scoring basically at will through the potent front four of Mario Gomez, Franck Ribery, Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben. However, those heady days seem to come in random bursts, and in between the doldrums of mediocrity (by Bayern standards) set in.

The reason (ok, Bastian Schweinsteiger's injury problems are another reason) that Bayern are second in the Bundesliga instead of first is that they combine the unfortunate attributes of being both inconsistent and completely and utterly predictable. Teams know how to shut them down, and all too often there's not a thing Bayern are able to do about it. So, it's no surprise that Phil Pierson over at Bavarian Football Works thinks that, well, there will be no surprises:

No need for rotation at this point, this one's for all the marbles. It's conceivable that Jupp Heynckes could make a change to protect one of the several Bayern players one yellow away from suspension while we're at home, but that's very unlikely. Bayern will bring our "A" line-up, which is pretty much assured except for the question of whether to put Kroos in the midfield or to leave him on the bench for a late burst of offense and start with Gustavo's toughness and tackling power.

My prediction:

Starting lineup - Neuer; Alaba, Badstuber, Boateng, Lahm; Schweinsteiger, Gustavo; Ribery, Mueller, Robben; Gomez.

Substitutes from - Kroos, Olic, Tymochuk, Rafinha etc..

This would be the standard and most predictable line-up. Any chance Heynckes has been cooking up some secret new formation and is ready to bust it out at this most-urgent time? Hmmm ... nah, although that would make for an interesting scene.

Surely Bayern will have to adapt in order to stand much chance of being Real Madrid, who are led by one of the best tacticians in the world. Right?

We'll have live coverage of the game in our Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid, UEFA Champions League StoryStream. For more on the two teams, head over to Bayern Munich blog Bavarian Football Works and Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid.

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Bayern Munich Vs. Real Madrid, 2012 UEFA Champions League: History Weighted Against Los Blancos

With recent form - and on-paper talent - seeming to indicate that Real Madrid should be heavily favoured over Bayern Munich, you might not be expecting Madrid fans to be worrying over their opponents. After all, it's not like they're facing Barcelona and the combined might of UNICEF (according to some). They're going up against a team that's second in the Bundesliga and one which just drew to 12th-place Mainz. At home.

And yet, the weight of history is bearing down on Los Blancos. They don't have a strong record against German sides (especially on their travels), and Bayern in particular have been very tricky opposition. As Dennis from Managing Madrid points out, his side have been knocked out at this stage of the competition by their current antagonists three out of the four times they've been drawn together:

Cue the ominous music as long-time Madridistas can certainly corroborate the fact that Germany is one place where los blancos have struggled throughout their illustrious history, winning only once in 22 attempts. More to the point, Madrid are also winless in their nine previous visits to Munich, losing three of the four previous semifinals ties against Bayern.

Madrid do, of course, have a trump card. Several, in fact. Disregarding the fact that they're the better side in most areas of the pitch, they also have a coach in Jose Mourinho who has what it takes to beat Bayern in big games - his most recent Champions League triumph came against this very side. Oh, and they have Cristiano Ronaldo too. I hear he's pretty good.

For more on Los Blancos, check out SB Nation Madrid blog Managing Madrid. For their opposition, visit Bavarian Football Works. We'll have more pre-game updates, as well as live coverage of the match, in this story stream, so stay tuned!

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