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.