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Asencio shoots Real Madrid close to another UEFA Champions League final

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Real Madrid’s Spanish midfielder Marco Asensio scores a goal during the UEFA Champions League semi-final first-leg football match FC Bayern Munich v Real Madrid CF in Munich in southern Germany on April 25, 2018. Christof STACHE / AFP


Real Madrid youngster, Marco Asencio yesterday ensured that the defending champion reached its third final of the UEFA Champions League; his second half goal helping the record title holder to a 2-1 defeat of Bayern Munich at the Alianz Arena.

Bayern Munich flattered to deceive in the first half with defender Joshua Kimmich giving the German champion the lead early in the first half.The Spaniards, with a design to become the first team to win the title three times in a row since Bayern Munich achieved the feat from 1974 to 76, were behind for a short time as Marcelo leveled scores before the break.

The wind was taken off the German kings’ sail early in the game when talisman, Arjen Robben hobbled off injured in the eight minute, but Bayern still managed to take the lead when Kimmich struck from a supposedly impossible angle in the 29th minute. The going further became tedious for Bayern when defender, Jerome Boateng followed Robben to the treatment table midway into the game.

Those forced substitutions seemed to galvanise Real Madrid, who started finding holes in Bayern’s defence.The second half started evenly, but in the 57th minute Madrid completed the turnaround. Rafinha gave the ball away just inside the Madrid half as Asensio made an interception, and the break was on. Asensio fed Lucas Vazquez, who then played the return ball to him and the striker expertly lifted a shot past the onrushing Ulreich.

Ribery was guilty of trying to do things alone and although he managed to put himself on scoring positions severally, he always came short when faced by Real Madrid goalkeeper, Keylor Navas.

Cristiano Ronaldo was unusually quiet in the game, but he still managed to put the ball in the back of the net in the 71st minute, but the referee disallowed because he controlled the ball with his hand before shooting past Ulreich.

The second leg comes up next week at the Bernabeu with the winner likely to face Liverpool, who on Tuesday beat Roma 5-2 in the first leg of their tie at the Anfield.The Liverpool versus Roma tie will also be settled next week in Rome.


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