Real Madrid appeared to be cruising to the UEFA Champions League final easily in the first 15 minutes, as they scored twice without Bayern even putting up a fight. Improbably, Bayern got back into the game thanks to a poor decision by Pepe in his own area, gifting a penalty to Bayern. They converted, and Madrid lead 2-1 on the day at halftime. That was the exact score of the first leg at the Allianz Arena, so the teams will head to extra time if the score stands.
It would be stunning to see that score stand, though. There have been chances galore, and it's incredible that each team doesn't have a couple more goals. Neither team's finishing has been terrific, while both Manuel Neuer and Iker Casillas look very sharp in their respective goals.
Real Madrid were gifted the opening goal just five minutes into the game, via a handball by David Alaba. The Bayern left back went down to block a shot by Angel Di Maria, but inadvertently blocked it with his arm. The referee pointed to the spot and Cristiano Ronaldo converted without a problem to put his side ahead 1-0 on the night and ahead on away goals in the tie.
Madrid struck from open play just under 10 minutes later as the Bavarians fell asleep in defense. Phillip Lahm, normally one of the most composed and focused defenders in the world, completely lost track of Cristiano Ronaldo on the edge of the penalty area. Mesut Özil sipped a pass into the unmarked Madrid star and he finished calmly to double Madrid's lead on the night. Crissy, going beast mode.
Much like when Andres Iniesta scored for Barcelona on Tuesday night, many viewers probably presumed the tie to be over when Ronaldo's second goal went in, but Bayern Munich fought back. Even though their willingness to attack and their ability to get into the Madrid box was impressive, they didn't exactly score the equalizer in stunning fashion. Instead, it was gifted to them when Pepe shoved Mario Gomez in the box. Toni Kroos' cross into Gomez was nowhere near the Bayern striker, and Pepe had absolutely no reason to do anything but let Gomez run by. Gomez might have gone down a bit easily, but it's hard to feel bad for Pepe, who should have just kept his arms off Gomez in the first place.
Arjen Robben stepped up and converted the penalty easily, locking up the tie on aggregate. The 15 minutes that followed were spectacular, with lots of attacking play and not a whole lot of either team sitting on the ball in midfield. Robben had a chance to put his side ahead in first half stoppage time with a free kick from the edge of the box, but Casillas made a fantastic save to keep things level.
We have live coverage of the game in our Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich StoryStream. For more on the two teams, head over to Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid and Bayern Munich blog Bavarian Football Works.