Champions League Semis

Who would have expected Bayern Munich to score 4 past Barcelona, and without reply? Or for Borussia Dortmund to soundly beat Real Madrid 4-1? These are not fantasy scores. Both results happened during the first legs of the European Champions League Semifinals last week.

Both German sides were playing at home for the first tie. Regardless, the scoreline and so was the remarkable ease with which the Spanish sides were dispatched.

here is, of course, a vital pair of second leg matches to play. Both will happen next week in Spain. And the two giants of Spanish football are expected to score a few goals in their own home turf.

But their tasks are made difficult by the fact that there are no fewer than 3 goals they need to score and also keep their opponents at bay to avoid going down on the away goals rule.

Jose Morinho’s Real Madrid have given themselves a glimmer of hope by scoring that all important away goal. While they still have to score at least 3 goals to overcome Dortmund in the second leg, that 1 goal away gives them a better hope of accomplishing a comeback.

No one can put it past the Spanish sides to stage a remarkable fightback and score the goals they need to go to the finals. But that would be a feat to surprise many who don’t expect the resurgent German sides to lay back and allow a complete overturn.

Germany have long been accused of playing for goals. For the longest time, their teams have been known for having an ability to sneak goals against the run of play. Lately, however, they have been displaying the skills to match their goalscoring prowess. This applies to the national team as well as their club sides.

While it remains to be seen what kind of a comeback the top two teams in the Spanish La Liga have up their sleeves, it is going to require a lot of discipline, skills (which they obviously have) and some luck to overcome the good lead the top two German sides have established during the home tie.

FC Bayern Munich have already wrapped up the Bundesliga title. They won the German first division well ahead of second place rivals Borussia Dortmund. FC Barcelona would have wrapped up their win of the Spanish La Liga with victory against Athletico Madrid. But the game on Saturday ended with a 2-2 draw which left the title undecided for yet another week. Real Madrid are expected to finish second.

All in all, next week’s Champions League semifinal second legs should be plenty exciting and maybe not for the faint of heart.

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