In years past, Cristiano Ronaldo has always been a thorn in the sides of Bayern Munich. On Wednesday, that trend continued as the Portuguese forward netted a brace in Real Madrid’s 2-1 first-leg victory at the Allianz Arena.
Ronaldo’s 77th-minute finish, his 100th goal in European competition, proved to be the match-winner for Zinedine Zidane’s side on the road. Despite numerous standout saves from Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer, Real Madrid overturned a first-half deficit.
Arturo Vidal opened the scoring in the 25th minute as the Chilean headed home Thiago’s cross. It was Vidal’s third goal of the competition, and his seventh in all competitions.
Ronaldo’s 42nd minute long-range effort was the best offensive chance for Real Madrid in the opening half. Vidal had the opportunity to double the hosts lead before halftime, but saw his stoppage-time penalty kick soar over the goal. Dani Carvajal was whistled for hand-ball, even though the ball deflected off the defender’s chest.
Ronaldo leveled the score at 1-1 early in the second-half, finishing off Carvajal’s cross to the bottom-left corner. Bayern were reduced to 10-men in the 61st minute as Javi Martinez was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Ronaldo.
After a slew of offensive chances, Real Madrid got their winner as Ronaldo’s right-footed effort beat Neuer for a 2-1 scoreline. Neuer was huge for Bayern making 10 saves in the defeat. With the absence of striker Robert Lewandowski, Bayern only recorded three shots on goal, which will need to increase for any chance of advancing.
The Santiago Bernabeu will be the venue for April 18th’s second leg, with Real Madrid looking to eliminate their German opponents for the third time in six years.
MBAPPE MAGIC LIFTS MONACO PAST DORTMUND
Monaco received a brace from Kylian Mbappe to defeat hosts Borussia Dortmund, 3-2, in Wednesday’s rescheduled first-leg.
The 18-year-old forward netted twice while an added own-goal off of Dortmund’s Sven Bender earned Leonardo Jardim’s side a much-needed first-leg victory at Signal Iduna Park. The forward’s first involvement came in the 17th-minute as he drew a foul from Sokratis which earned Monaco a penalty-kick.
However, Fabinho ‘s left-footed effort was missed to the left which kept it scoreless. Mbappe’s 19th-minute opener went off the forward’s knee and in past Roman Burki for a 1-0 lead. Sven Bender turned into his own-net in the 35th-minute for a 2-0 Monaco lead.
Ousmane Dembele’s 57th minute finish cut the Monaco advantage to 2-1, which was the 19-year-old winger’s second goal of the competition. Mbappe extended Monaco’s lead to 3-1 in the 79th minute as he pounced on a Dortmund turnover and rifled home from outside the box.
Shinji Kagawa brought the score to 3-2 as he finished home Nuri Sahin’s assist in the 84th-minute. That would be the closest Dortmund got to leveling the score, as Monaco ran out 3-2 winners.
Despite dominating a good amount of the possession, Borussia Dortmund only had four efforts on goal. Monaco return to the Stade Louis II for the April 19 second leg knowing they are 90+ minutes away from a semifinal appearance.
ATLETICO MADRID HOLDS OFF LEICESTER
Last season’s finalists Atletico Madrid edged past defending Premier League champs Leicester City, 1-0, in Wednesday’s first-leg at the Vicente Calderon.
A 28th-minute penalty-kick winner from Antoine Griezmann was all Diego Simeone’s side needed to win at home. However, Atletico missed some early chances as Koke struck the left post, while Fernando Torres’ saw two efforts saved by Kasper Schmeichel.
The turning point came in the 27th minute as Griezmann was bundled over by Leicester’s Marc Albrighton on the edge of the box. Griezmann stepped up and netted the spot-kick, which was the Frenchman’s fifth goal of the competition.
Leicester, who were on the backfoot most of the match, only had five efforts in total, with zero on goal. Riyad Mahrez’s second-half shot was the closest Leicester came to scoring, while Schmeichel made two saves in the defeat.
After losing their last two matches under manager Craig Shakespeare, Leicester return to the King Power Stadium knowing they have a slim deficit to try and turn around. The Foxes entertain Atletico Madrid in the second-leg on April 18.