Zinedine Zidane leaves Real Madrid exposed but Bayern Munich fail to take advantage

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Real Madrid reached their third straight Champions League final as they drew with Bayern Munich 2-2 on the night and won 4-3 on aggregate.

The visitors opened the scoring in the third minute through Joshua Kimmich who scored for the Bundesliga champions in the first leg as well.

However, Karim Benzema bagged a brace, taking advantage of a howler from Sven Ulreich for his second before James Rodriguez equalised for Bayern but Madrid were able to hold on.

STATS

Real Madrid

Goals – 2

Shots – 9

Possession – 41%

Tackles – 18

Dribbles – 12

Bayern Munich

Goals – 2

Shots – 21

Possession – 59%

Tackles – 16

Dribbles – 11

30-SECOND REPORT

Zidane

The Madrid boss set his side up in a 4-4-2 formation. Right from the start, they looked weak down the right with Lucas Vazquez and Luka Modric down that side. However, they always posed a threat in attack.

Gareth Bale and Casemiro were introduced in the second half to shore up the midfield and make them more potent on the counter. In the end though, Madrid were holding on for dear life.

Heynckes

Heynckes deployed a 4-1-4-1 system with Thiago anchoring the midfield. The full-backs played advanced roles as they tried to take advantage of Madrid’s defensive woes and early on, it looked as if they could run away with the game.

Bayern bombarded Madrid’s defence but were denied on several occasions by some poor decision-making, brave blocks and fine goalkeeping. The aerial threats of Javi Martinez and Sandro Wagner were thrown into the mix in the closing stages.

Franck Ribery had the beating of Lucas Vazquez.

Franck Ribery had the beating of Lucas Vazquez.

TACTICAL TALKING POINTS

Zidane

WEAKNESS LEFT EXPOSED

The full-backs were blatant areas of weakness for Madrid and Zidane did nothing to compensate. Vazquez started at right-back and was all over the shop, often needing Luka Modric to try and fail to cover for him. Franck Ribery and David Alaba ran riot on the left but lacked the final ball.

Meanwhile, Marcelo didn’t defend the cross for Bayern’s goal but his delivery set up Benzema and Ronaldo should’ve scored from another one of his crosses.

Heynckes

THIAGO ANCHOR

Heynckes’ decision to start with Corentin Tolisso instead of Javi Martinez raised a few eyebrows but it appeared to be the right call given the visitors were chasing the tie. The Frenchman brought more energy and attacking impetus to Bayern’s midfield with Thiago playing as the anchor.

The Spaniard was excellent in possession, dictating play for the away side but was also impressive from a defensive aspect, tracking runs and terminating counter attacks.

Thiago shone for Bayern.

Thiago shone for Bayern.

VERDICT

Zidane

Sometimes it’s better to be a lucky coach than a good one. Zidane looked tactically found out but Real’s quality, last ditch defending and sheer belief saw them through.

Rating – 5/10

Heynckes

Set his side up perfectly who had 21 shots on the night and were easily the better team. Ultimately undone by Ulreich’s stunning howler at the start of the second half.

Rating – 7/10

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Liverpool have to be ready for Stadio Olimpico storm and other tactical talking points

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Di Francesco and Klopp pit their wits against each other again.

Liverpool‘s Jurgen Klopp will be the more relaxed manager going into the second leg of their Champions League semi-final against Roma, thanks to their 5-2 lead from the first leg.

Eusebio di Francesco will have plenty on his mind as he tries to plot another comeback, after Roma overturned a 4-1 deficit in the quarter-finals against Barcelona.

Here’s a look at the key tactical talking points ahead of Wednesday’s second leg.

LIVERPOOL FACE TEST OF FORTRESS OLIMPICO

There’s a reason teams prefer playing the second leg of European ties at home. Roma might be three goals behind, but they know what they’re capable of in front of their home fans. They have yet to concede a goal at home in the Champions League this season, having hosted Chelsea, Atlético Madrid, and Barcelona.

More than that, however, it’s the fearsome atmosphere that the Stadio Olimpico has. It inspired Roma’s players in their comeback against Barcelona, and the fans will give the players belief again. Can Liverpool hold their nerve in this daunting arena and breach Fortress Olimpico?

Roma's fans make Stadio Olimpico a daunting place.

Roma’s fans make Stadio Olimpico a daunting place.

WILL ROMA DITCH THE 3-5-2?

Di Francesco insisted he didn’t get his first-leg tactics wrong, instead saying his players hadn’t performed well enough. He’s entitled to believe that, on the basis of the first 20 minutes when Roma were utterly dominant, not to mention the fact that the same 3-5-2 formation and XI pulled off the 3-0 win over Barcelona.

But there’s no doubt that the high back line was suicidal against Liverpool’s electric front three. If Roma are to pull off another miracle, they can’t allow Mohamed Salah and company that much space. Will Di Francesco revert to a back four to avoid that?

Will Di Francesco go back to his favoured 4-3-3?

Will Di Francesco go back to his favoured 4-3-3?

LIVERPOOL NEED TO KEEP THEIR COOL

Liverpool have history of letting leads slip – they did so in both group games against Sevilla, including the infamous 3-3 draw where they had a 3-0 lead at halftime. More recently, they saw a 2-0 lead against West Brom, the Premier League’s lowest-placed side, evaporate in the last 15 minutes of that game.

The Reds did perform admirably against Manchester City in the previous round, when they went into the second leg with a 3-0 lead and won 2-1. But City battered them in the first half of that game, and it only takes one goal to send nerves jangling.

A Roma goal will send nerves jangling in the Liverpool camp.

A Roma goal will send nerves jangling in the Liverpool camp.

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Asensio

Don’t miss a single minute of action from Real Madrid‘s Champions League clash against Bayern Munich at the Bernabeu.

The Madridistas hold a 2-1 advantage from the first leg of the semi-finals.

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