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Champions League: Real Madrid Pounces on Bayern Munich’s Mistake

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MADRID — At the end, Sven Ulreich sat on his haunches, the steep stands of the Santiago Bernabéu looming over him, real madrid vs bayern live stream Breakout
alone. One by one, his Bayern Munich teammates lifted themselves off the ground, out of their reveries and regrets, caught their breath, and sought him out to offer condolences and hugs.real Madrid vs Bayern Munich live streaming

As he walked toward the sideline, the club’s coaching staff greeted him warmly, leaning in close to bellow a few words of encouragement, trying to make themselves heard above a noise so loud it buzzed and hummed. real Madrid Bayern live stream
It was the sound of a swarm, Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich live Breakout
as Real Madrid’s fans celebrated a 2-2 draw that gave them passage to yet another Champions League final, that annual fixture on their calendar.real Madrid Bayern live +4,550%

When Ulreich reached the dressing room, Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich stream Breakout his teammates and coaches did what they could to lift his spirits: They reminded him that he had had a fine season since being drafted in as Bayern’s goalkeeper when Manuel Neuer, the usual starter, was ruled out for the season — and possibly the World Cup — with an injury. real Madrid vs Bayern Munich live stream free +4,650%

They told him, as players always do, that no individual bore sole responsibility: Bayern had created a host of chances — not just here, but in the first leg of this semifinal back in Munich last week. real Madrid vs Bayern Munich live stream Breakout It created enough to have made what Bayern Manager Jupp Heynckes called a “blackout” by Ulreich completely irrelevant. It did not finish those chances: not Robert Lewandowski, not Thomas Müller, not Franck Ribery. Everyone shouldered a portion of the blame. real Madrid vs Bayern live +5,000%

Mats Hummels, for one, pointed out that Ulreich had not cost Bayern a place in the Champions League final, not really, not literally. “We still needed a third goal,” he said. “Without that, there would still have been extra time.”

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These are not platitudes; it is all absolutely true, and yet none of it, you suspect, will do much good, will provide much solace, not immediately. Ulreich’s mistake will live with him for some time yet: It was too public, too high-stakes, too ready-made for a GIF format to evaporate quickly.

It came two minutes into the second half of what was — apart from those few seconds — the Champions League as it is intended to be, as it advertises itself: a game between two of Europe’s genuine super-heavyweights, in one of its greatest arenas, glittering with stardust, played out against a backdrop of deafening noise and unbearable tension, soccer at the highest level, on the greatest stage.

At the start, Real led 2-1 on aggregate. Within three minutes, it was 2-2, Joshua Kimmich scoring for Bayern. Inside 10 minutes, Real led again, Karim Benzema restoring the reigning champion’s advantage. The pace slowed, but only a little. Both teams seemed to cast caution aside, as has been the theme of this competition this season; once characterized by ducking and dancing and jabbing, these games now are opportunities to throw haymakers, seeking a spectacular and emphatic knockout. real Madrid Bayern Munich live stream Breakout

The speed was dizzying, the quality dazzling. Benzema missed another chance; Bayern had an opportunity that should have been a penalty. And then, after the break, came the moment, the one that will haunt Ulreich — and his teammate Corentin Tolisso, too — for weeks, certainly, and possibly for months and years. “When you are at home alone,” Hummels said, sadly, sympathetically, “you think about these things from time to time.”

Tolisso made the error first, aiming to play a simple pass back to his goalkeeper, but misjudging the weight of the pass. Benzema, lurking on the edge of the penalty area, sniffed opportunity. He chased after the ball.

At that point, it is not entirely clear what happened. Hummels suggested Ulreich may have thought Benzema had touched the ball, meaning he could gather it with his hands instead of kicking it clear. Heynckes said he got “confused” and “nervous.” “It is a terrible thing for a player to live through,” he said.

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The result, though, was that Ulreich neither picked the ball up nor booted it clear. Instead, he wafted a leg over it, watching it skid underneath his body, unable to rearrange his limbs. Benzema, doubtless surprised, wandered through, tapped home, and celebrated as though it was the greatest goal of his career.

Bayern drew level again, through James Rodríguez, to return the game to its customary knife-edge, but the damage was done. By Ulreich here, and by Rafinha in Munich: Real’s second goal there came from a Bayern mistake, too. The third goal, the one that would have taken Bayern through, that would have atoned, did not arrive; as time went on, it looked less, not more, likely to come. “It’s on us tonight,” said Hummels. “If you have the chances we had, you have to get to the final.”

Even Real seemed to acquiesce to that logic. Toni Kroos, the Real midfielder, accepted that Bayern had been the superior team over 180 minutes. Real was simply more “effective,” he said.


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