Real Madrid came from a goal down to beat Bayern Munich 2-1 away from home on Wednesday evening. The holders went a goal down early, thanks to a fine breakaway strike from Joshua Kimmich. However, a sweetly hit shot just before the break from Marcello and a composed finish from second-half substitute Marco Asensio tipped the contest in the favour of Zidane's side heading into the second leg in Madrid.
It wasn't an ideal start for Bayern who saw both Arjen Robben and Jérôme Boateng limp off with injuries. Although it was the Bavarian side who looked slightly the better in the scrappy early exchanges. After soaking up several minutes of Madrid pressure, Bayern struck forward in devastating fashion to take the lead.
Three quick passes saw fullback Joshua Kimmich released into acres of space on the right-hand side. The German showed a quick turn of pace and composure to smash the ball past Real keeper Navas and into the bottom left-hand corner. Despite taking the lead, Bayern failed to push on and was made to rue their missed chances just minutes from half-time.
Marcello decisively pounced on a weak clearance from Bayern, and his rasping effort arrowed into the bottom corner. Asensio came on for Isco at half-time and it proved to be a masterstroke from Zidane.
Real Madrid broke away in the 56th minute, through Lucas Vasquez. The winger laid the ball to Asensio who took his time to calmly place the ball past Sven Ulreich. A mature strike from the Spanish attacker who is just 22-years old. Bayern pushed hard to get back into the contest, with Muller & Lewandowski getting in each other's way as they attempted to latch onto a James header across the goal.
Whilst at the other end, Ronaldo who was looking to score in his 12th straight Champions League game. Ronaldo thought he had grabbed it however his shot was rightly chalked off for handball. As the game came to a close, Real Madrid showed their experience slowing down the play, the experience of a side who has won two straight Champions League titles.
If Zidane's side can keep their composure in six days time, they may very well be in their third consecutive Champions League final.
Peep! Full time! A night to remember for Real Madrid, coming from a goal down to beat Bayern Munich 2-1 at the Allianz Arena. Goals from Marcello & a breakaway strike from Asensio did it for Los Blancos.
90+2 Real Madrid has been classy tonight, no sense of panic cool, calm and collected if they hold on they'll have a real chance of reaching the final in Kyiv.
90- Four minutes of football left!
89- Thiago gets a yellow.
87- Lewandowski with a crucial chance! The ball skips to the Polish striker, but it goes wide at the last! So, So close!
85- Bayern has kept the ball well. Ribery wins a dangerous free-kick from the right-hand side. Verane, who has been supurb today heads it away.
82- Casemiro is subbed. Kovacic replaces him in midfield.
80- Ten or so minutes left to play. Can Bayern make this pressure count, or will Real go up the other end and finish the contest off.
78- Sergio Ramos smashes the ball into the stands as a clearance. That is defending I can get behind.
77- Second yellow of the night! This one goes to Casemiro for a tasty challenge on James.
75- Final sub from Bayern Javi Martínez takes his leave, he is replaced by Tolisso.
70- Ronaldo! Goal! It's chalked off rightly for handball! Ronaldo pulls that sulky face that Ronaldo can. Play on!
67- Chance for Bayern! Muller and Lewandowski get in each other's way as they attempt to latch onto a James header across the goal! That should have been 2-2! Unbelievable!
63- Carvajal's evening is over. Karim Benzema comes on in his place. Vasquez will slot in at right-back.
61- Bayern need a goal and pronto! The Bavarians have started to see a little bit more of the ball since they conceded!
57- Ribery with a snapshot! Navas pulls off a fantastic save to keep Real in the lead.
56- Goal! 2-1 Real on the Break! A lightning-quick break from Real who pounces on a Rafinia mistake. Vasquez squares the ball to sub Asensio who shows plenty of composure to put the ball in the back of the net! Real have turned it around!
55- Lovely build-up play from Bayern on the break, Lewandowski heads just wide.
52- First yellow of the night! Ribery picks up a yellow for putting the boot on Verane.
50- Close for Bayern. Ribery dills the ball across the face of goal. Muller is coming in, but Verane gets the ball away somehow.
47- Asensio straight into the action, he lays the ball to Ronaldo who smashes the ball wide! Not the best shot from CR7.
Peep- Real Madrid get this party started!
Sub news! Isco is off! Asensio replaces the playmaker!
Peep- Halftime! 1-1 This is tight! Bayern took the lead through Kimmich before Marcello levelled the contest with a screamer. Whilst Robben & Boateng have already been subbed. The second half is shaping up nicely! I'm off for some tea!
45- Lewandowski should have made it 2-1. Rodrigez whips in a cross and the Polish striker gets a head to it, it falls into the hands of Navas. Close!
43- Goal! 1-1 Well against the run of play this! Marcello with a screamer. Bayern fails to get rid of the ball and Marcello latches onto it from just outside the box, it arrows into the bottom right corner. A fine strike! 1-1 game on!
41- More pressure from Bayern, Rafinia with a cross that reaches Muller, his first-time shot rebounds out for a corner!
40- A golden chance missed by Hummels! Completely unmarked at the corner, he throws a boot at the cross that scuffs wide. He should of done better there.
37- Amazingly we have not had a yellow card in the game yet, as Carvajal cynically cuts down Rafinia. A final warning for the Spaniard.
33-Süle replaces Boateng. You've got to feel for the defender, he could be out for the World Cup. Bayern has one sub available now.
31- That doesn't look good for Boateng looks like a pulled groin. He'll have to be subbed.
27- Goal! 1-0 Bayern on the breakaway! Three quick passes and Bayern break Kimmich smashes the ball into the left corner! 1-0 to the Bavarians!
23- Real have had the better of things in the last five minutes. The ball drops to Carvajal, his snap-shot is comfortably saved by Ulreich
21- Isco with a 50-yard ball towards Ronaldo. Ulreich reads it and is out quickly to gather the ball.
19- Ronaldo cuts down the right wing. His shot is cleared for a corner, that's more like it Madrid!
16- Isco digs out a shot, Bayern hoofs the ball away.
15- It's been a scrappy first 15 minutes as both teams get a feel for the contest. I'll give it to Bayern on points. Just.
12- Vasquez knocks down Rafinha on the left wing. A dangerous free-kick for Bayern here. Ramos nods it out for the first corner of the game.
9- Lewandowski & Ramos come together with a thunderous challenge, both players seem to be okay.
7- The race is run for Robben, he limps off the pitch. Former Barca man Thiago come on in his stead.
4- Robben seems to have taken an early knock. It's not looking good for the flying Dutchman.
3- Ribery knocks the ball against Carvajal, screaming for a penalty for handball. The referee waves away the claims.
2- Kroos scrambles down the left wing. He knocks the ball across the goal, no Real player can latch onto it. Some start this.
1- Chance within the first minute Lewandowski hooks the ball to Muller who can't quite control the ball. An early signal of intent.
Peep- Bayern get us underway!
Minutes away from Kick-off in Munich! You can watch all the action Live & Exclusive on beIN SPORTS CONNECT.
Ronaldo has scored in every match in the Champions League this season. I wonder if he'll find the net again? I think we all know the answer to that question!
What a stat from Opta Franz! How important is Muller going to be for Bayern tonight?
The teams have arrived! We are 25 minutes away from Kick-Off. As ever you can watch the action via beIN SPORTS CONNECT.
A closer look at the Madrid dressing room ahead of Kick-off!
Real Madrid team news is in! Bale & Benzema drop to the bench. Isco & Lucas Vasquez replaces them.
We have team news! First up Bayern Munich! Ribery & Robben to start on the wings.
European football royalty face off on Wednesday evening when Bayern Munich welcome Real Madrid to the Allianz Arena. This will be the 25th times that the two European giants will take on each other, which is a record for the Champions League. As ever, you can watch all the action Live & Exclusive on beIN SPORTS CONNECT.
Bayern Munich has already been crowned Bundesliga champions, and caretaker boss Jupp Heynckes rang in the changes ahead of Wednesday’s game at the weekend against Hannover. Despite starting from the bench both Robert Lewandowski & Thomas Müller came on to score second-half goals, with the Bavarians eventually going on to win 3-0.
Heynckes is set to leave the club in the summer, with Bayern already announcing his replacement in the form of former midfielder Niko Kovac. The veteran coach will be aiming to bow out of Munich with another Champions League crown, having guided Bayern to the crown in the 2012-2013 season. More impressive is the fact that Heynckes has reached the final of the Champions League in every campaign he has coached in.
In team news, Bayern will be without midfielders Arturo Vidal & Kingsley Coman who are out with long-term knee & ankle injuries. Keeper Manuel Neuer returned to training this week but is likely to be rested for this game.
Predicted team- Bayern Munich
Ulreich; Kimmich, Hummels, Boateng, Alaba; Martínez, Thiago; James, Müller, Ribéry; Lewandowski
As for Real, they needed a late second strike from Ronaldo as they drew 1-1 at home against Athletic Bilbao. Los Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane went with a strong side for the game, with the aim of building momentum ahead of the tie in Munich.
Cristiano Ronaldo has been on fire in the Champions League for Real this season. The Portuguese attacker has scored in the last 11 Champions League ties, including a stunning overhead kick away to Juventus in the quarter-finals. Zidane’s side always tend to raise themselves for this crucial Champions League ties and have won the last two Champions League crowns, you wouldn’t put it past Los Blancos to pick up a third.
Predicted team- Real Madrid
Navas; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Kroos, Casemiro, Modrić, Isco; Benzema, Ronaldo
It certainly promises to be a fascinating encounter when two European giants in Bayern Munich & Real Madrid face off in the first leg of a Champions League semi-final. As ever, you can watch all the action Live & Exclusive via beIN SPORTS CONNECT.