1-2: Madrid come from behind to take first step towards the semi-finals

Real Madrid ran out deserved winners in Munich to take command of their quarter-final tie against Bayern. The Whites' victory came courtesy of a sublime second-half display, in which Cristiano Ronaldo netted both of the visitors' goals and played an instrumental role in the comeback. The Madrid win could have been all the more handsome had the madridistas not found Manuel Neuer in such inspired form.

Barring an opening five minutes of concerted pressure from the Germans, Real Madrid looked very comfortable and their game plan was evident until the halfway point of the opening period. Indeed, by that stage it was the visitors who had fashioned the game's clearest opening. On 18 minutes, Toni Kroos's cross found the head of Karim Benzema, with Neuer managing to get the faintest of touches to push the ball onto the crossbar and deny the Whites from drawing first blood. The visitors were dominating proceedings, but a rare Bayern chance saw the hosts get their noses in front. Thiago whipped a corner over on 25' and Arturo Vidal produced a towering header which got the better of Keylor Navas.

Chances at both ends
Madrid were tasked with having to come from behind and although no further goals were forthcoming before the interval, there was still time for more goalmouth action before the half was up. The first chance went the way of Bayern, when Arjen Robben picked out Vidal with a cross, who contrived to head over at the far post. Two minutes later, Cristiano Ronaldo looked to hit back, but his effort from the edge of the area was pushed behind by Neuer. Following the corner, Kroos picked the ball up on the angle and his strike whistled just inches wide of the hosts' goal. Right on 45', Rizzoli pointed to the spot after a Franck Ribéry effort struck Dani Carvajal on the chest. The resulting spot-kick saw Vidal blaze his effort over the bar.

The second half could not have got off to a better start. Real Madrid somehow managed to equalise within the first two minutes. Casemiro passed to Carvajal, who then crossed for Cristiano Ronaldo, who was patiently waiting at the penalty spot to poke home past Neuer. The game then took a dramatic twist in the 56th minute. Luka Modric sent in a ludicrous cross from the right and Gareth Bale smashed in a header only to be brilliantly denied by Neuer.

Javi Martínez sent off
The minutes went by and Real Madrid grew ever stronger at the Allianz Arena. They were all over the ball and from the 61st minute onwards had a man advantage after Javi Martínez was sent off for a second yellow. The visitors had more and more chances, with Ramos seeing his free-kick fly just over just five minutes later from the edge of the box.

The game went back and forth from then onwards and Real Madrid were insurmountable in their dominance. Marco Asensio, who came on for Bale, crossed in the 71st minute and it was Benzema who sent in a header which went over the bar. Three minutes later it was Asensio who struck from the edge of the box and Neuer smothered the ball. Neuer totally repelled the Whites’ many efforts while they were on top. The German shone yet again against Cristiano Ronaldo in the 75th minute.

Cristiano Ronaldo seals victory
The winning goal came in the 77th minute. Asensio looped in a cross and Cristiano Ronaldo was clever enough to beat the home defender and poke the ball beyond Neuer. The Whites had snuck in front and looked to get a third goal in order to go into the next leg with even more breathing space. They came close with a volley from Marcelo in the 80th minute, which he blasted wide and then in extra time Ramos struck with a header which was ruled out for offside. This was a richly deserved win for Real Madrid. The tie will be concluded next Tuesday at the Bernabéu.

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Cristiano Ronaldo ended a seven-month Champions League goal drought as holders Real Madrid came from behind to beat 10-man Bayern Munich in the first leg of their quarter-final in Munich.

Ronaldo, the Champions League's record goalscorer, scored twice in the second half to end an 11-hour wait for a goal and put the 11-times winners in charge.

Arturo Vidal had headed Bayern ahead but then wasted a chance to double their lead when he blasted a penalty over the crossbar.

And Ronaldo then twice clinically converted from crosses either side of Javi Martinez's red card to move to 97 Champions League goals.

Bayern were kept in the game after going down to 10 men by goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who saved brilliantly from Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Ronaldo.

But the Germany international will feel he should have done better for Ronaldo's winner as the Portuguese stabbed a shot through his legs from close range.

Real may also leave with regrets, as they could have taken a commanding lead into next week's second leg at the Bernabeu.

As well as Neuer's string of saves, captain Sergio Ramos had a last-minute header correctly ruled out for offside before Ronaldo lost his footing when seemingly well placed to meet a cross when unmarked four yards out.

Ronaldo was anonymous in a first half which was controlled by Bayern but the former Manchester United man dominated after the break to carry his side into a strong position.

The forward had not scored in the Champions League since a draw with Borussia Dortmund in late September but found space brilliantly 97 seconds into the second half to steer Dani Carvajal's precise cross into the bottom corner.

Real have now scored in each of their 53 games in all competitions this season.

Ronaldo was then the key figure as Martinez picked up two bookings in three minutes, both for needless fouls around the halfway line on the Real number seven.

Bayern, who had won their last 16 Champions League games at the Allianz, were forced into survival mode by the red card and only Neuer's excellence prevented the Spanish side from forging ahead.

But Ronaldo found the winner Real deserved when he poked substitute Marco Asensio's cross through Neuer's legs with the studs of his right boot.

Vital miss from Vidal?

Without injured striker Robert Lewandowski, who has scored 38 goals in 40 appearances this season, Bayern were reliant on midfielder Vidal to carry a goal threat as they edged a scrappy first half.

The Chilean powered in a header to open the scoring and was on the end of Arjen Robben's clever cross to head their next best chance over the top.

But perhaps the key moment of the night came right at the end of the half. Referee Nicola Rizzoli awarded a penalty when Franck Ribery's shot hit Carvajal at the top of his arm, but after a lengthy wait Vidal fired it well over the top.

Carlo Ancelotti's side barely registered after the break, managing just two attempts on goal in contrast to their 11 in the first half, and they must hope that Poland goal-machine Lewandowski can recover from a shoulder problem to lead the line in Madrid next week.

Man of the match - Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)

Ronaldo's double turned the game on its head but without Neuer's show of defiance Real would already be assured of a place in their 28th European Cup semi-final.

In the first half he touched a Benzema header onto the underside of the crossbar before, in a matter of minutes, turning Bale's header over from just four yards out, saving from Benzema with his legs and then making a superb one-handed save to keep out Ronaldo's drive from eight yards out.

Four superb saves - but then he was beaten by Ronaldo's second from close range.

'Third goal would have been a bonus' - what the managers said

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane: "It's a big result, it isn't easy to come here and win.

"It always comes down to small margins, you have to believe until the end and we did that. When they went down to 10 men we created plenty of chances and it was a shame that we didn't get the third. Their keeper was in top form.

"A third goal would have been a bonus."

Bayern Munich boss Carlo Ancelotti: "It will be difficult in 90 minutes in Madrid but we are still alive. We missed the penalty which would have put us 2-0 up and then within three minutes it was 1-1."

659 and out - the key stats
  • Cristiano Ronaldo ended a run of six Champions League games without scoring, ending his drought at 659 minutes.
  • Ronaldo has scored six times in five previous Champions League games against Bayern.
  • Ronaldo's second was his 100th goal in Uefa club competitions (97 Champions League 1 CL qualifier, 2 European Super Cup).
  • Arturo Vidal has scored three times in his last two Champions League games, as many as he had in his previous 29 appearances in the competition.
  • Thiago Alcantara has more assists than any other Bayern player in the Champions League since the start of last season (7).
  • There were 173 seconds between Javi Martinez's first and second yellow cards in this match.
  • Only Juventus (22) have received more red cards in Champions League history than Bayern (18, level with Arsenal).


CRISTIANO RONALDO MAKES HISTORY AS REAL MADRID BEAT BAYERN MUNICH 2-1 IN UCL

Cristiano Ronaldo's double inspired Real Madrid to a 2-1 victory over 10-man Bayern Munich in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday as the Spaniards hit back from a goal down to steal an away win.

Arturo Vidal's thumping header steered manager Carlo Ancelotti's side into the lead before Ronaldo equalised early in the second half and added a late winner after Javi Martinez's 60th-minute sending off.

Robert Lewandowski missed out with a shoulder injury, per the Independent, leaving Thomas Muller to deputise in an attacking role. Meanwhile, Bayern now need Mats Hummels back from injury if they're to survive Martinez's suspension after he was sent off on the hour mark in Bavaria.

Der FCB came into Wednesday's encounter as favourites to take a first-leg lead, but even that tag may not have prepared the Allianz Arena hosts for the freedom they enjoyed raining down on Real's goal in the opening exchanges.

As a result of Muller's move into attack, Vidal was active in a more attacking midfield position while Xabi Alonso tucked in alongside Thiago Alcantara in midfield.

It was fitting, then, that the South American general was the one who found the space necessary to penetrate a Real back line that had looked suspect at times.

Thiago's corner found its way to the rising Vidal, who kept up his fine recent record in this competition of late, as illustrated by OptaPaolo:

Vidal came close to adding a second not long before the interval, too, when Arjen Robben squirmed his way down the right flank and to the goal line before his cross was headed just wide of the net by his Chilean team-mate.

Even with that disappointment, however, Bayern could count themselves as the clear winners of the opening 45 minutes, even if the scoreline still read one goal to nil in their favour at the break.

Los Merengues were swift in notching their equaliser after the break when Dani Carvajal's darting run down the wing resulted in a well-timed cross to Ronaldo, who made up for previous misses with a smart volley past Manuel Neuer.

And after leaking that goal, Bayern's evening went from bad to worse thanks to Martinez's sending off, with the Spain international showing little by way of common sense, picking up two yellow cards in three minutes.

Real might have gone ahead for the first time in the fixture were it not for the fact that five-time UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year Neuer was protecting Bayern's net, and he did so with aplomb over the next 15 minutes or so.

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