Champions League: Real beat in semi-final 1st leg

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Champions League: Real beat in semi-final 1st leg

Munich (Germany), April 26 (IANS) Real Madrid came from behind to beat FC Bayern Munich for the third straight time at the Allianz Arena here, a 2-1 victory that brings the title holders’ quest for a third consecutive Champions League title one step closer to success.

The holders will take not only the lead, but a pair of valuable away goals, back to Madrid for next week’s second leg of the semi-final tie, reports EFE news agency.

Bayern, who are running away with the Bundesliga title, started Wednesday’s contest eager to avenge last year’s Champions League quarter-final loss to Real Madrid.

The hosts were forced to use one of their three substitutions barely five minutes into the match after Arjen Robben went down with an injury and Thiago Alcantara came on as his replacement.

Just as the visitors were enjoying more of the ball, Joshua Kimmich scored on a counter to make it 1-0 for Bayern in the 27th minute.

The goal lifted the home side and Real Madrid keeper Keylor Navas found himself virtually under siege, but Franck Ribery, Thomas Müller and Mats Hummels squandered chances and Bayern suffered another setback with an injury to Jerome Boateng in the 34th minute.

With two minutes left in the first half, Marcelo Vieira took advantage of the Bayern defenders’ focus on Cristiano Ronaldo to deliver a low blast to level the score at 1-1.

Ribery started the second half determined to be the hero for Bayern and his repeated assaults down the left flank wore out Dani Carvajal.

It looked to be just a matter of time before Bayern got a second goal, but Rafinha’s giveaway in the offensive zone spurred a Real Madrid counter that culminated with strike by Marco Asensio to put the Spanish club ahead 2-1 in the 57th minute.

Bayern fought on, though with more intensity that skill, and Navas was sharp was he needed to be to defend the lead.

The Blancos looked to have extended their advantage to 3-1 when Ronaldo scored, but the goal was called back for a handball, making Wednesday’s contest the first match of the current Champions League campaign not to include a goal by the Portugal international.

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