Real need Champions League triumph to salvage poor season

Annette Crawford
April 24, 2018

James joined Bayern on a two-year deal from Real last summer lacking confidence and fitness, but has rediscovered his best form in Munich.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice in each leg of the 2017 quarters, after Bayern had failed to capitalize on its chances at home, as Real won 6-3 on aggregate. What happened a year ago isn't on our minds.

"That should not happen on Wednesday. I hope it'll be an interesting match too and that at the end of the day we'll be happier than them".

An early goal by Franck Ribery and a late victor by Mario Gomez put Bayern ahead in the series, but Madrid rebounded with two goals by Ronaldo in the first 15 minutes of the second leg before Arjen Robben pulled one back for Bayern before halftime. The best team they've played this season since Heynckes took over was PSG, but even that was essentially a dead rubber in the final game of the group stage.

Appearing in the last four of the Champions League for an incredible eleventh time, Jupp Heynckes's men will nonetheless want to reverse a trend that has seen them fail to advance past their last three semi-finals.

It is easy to understand any nervousness in Bayern's ranks facing superstar Ronaldo.

"An attacker can not be more complete than him - left foot, right foot, head, he controls everything and in front of the goal, he's a machine".

The Dutchman has won seven Bundesliga titles with the German giants, as well as the Champions League in 2013, and recently followed Franck Ribery in signing a contract extension until 2019.

Bayern's 39-goal top-scorer Lewandowski knows his team must shackle the Portugal forward in order to be successful this year, but also believes the Spanish club pose plenty of other threats.

BC-SOC-Bayern-Real Madrid-History, 612Semifinal meeting between Bayern and Madrid rich in historyAP Photo 90, XHAN109, XHAN104, FS118Eds: With AP Photos.

The veteran manager, who came out of retirement in September to take over Bayern again, said despite Real's strength and their two consecutive Champions League titles there were no favourites.

Bayern Munich's Polish forward Robert Lewandowski reacts after the German football Cup DFB Pokal semifinal match Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs Bayern Munich in Leverkusen, western Germany, on April 17, 2018.

Wednesday's game should be Heynckes's last European night at the Allianz Arena, although that's a unsafe assumption with a man who has become like a reliable heavyweight champ, tempted out of retirement and into the red corner for just one more bout.

"I'm sure we won't be gifted anything, but there's something in the air right now". The 32-year old striker helps to disrupt the harmony of the opponent's defence.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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