The dream of matching Arrigo Sacchi’s Milan is all but over, with Bayern Munich’s bid to become the first back-to-back European Champions in 24 years dealt a near fatal blow in the first 20 minutes of today’s match at the Allianz, leaving Pep Guardiola’s side in need of five goals in 45 minutes. Thanks to 16th and 20th minute goals from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid took an early 2-0 lead in Bavaria, with Cristiano Ronaldo’s 50th career Champions League giving the Merengues a 3-0 (4-0, aggregate) lead over the soon-to-be former champions.
Both Ramos goals came via set pieces from the right corner, with the Spanish international — one of Real’s primary target on set pieces — left unmarked twice over course of four minutes. Finding a seem in Bayern’s zone on the first, Ramos headed home from the edge of the six-yard box to give the visitors a crucial away goal. On the 20th minute, Ramos completed his double, scoring from nearly the exact same spot after a flick from Pepe.
FOLLOW LIVE: Soccerly’s coverage of today’s semifinal
Eleven minutes before halftime, Ronaldo added his record 15th goal of the competition, completing a counter attack that saw Gareth Bale play a square ball at the top of the area, leaving only a oncoming Manuel Neuer between Ronalso and an abandoned goal.
The only disappointing note for the guests was a 37th minute yellow card for Xabi Alonso for taking down Bastian Schweinsteiger. Carrying a yellow into the match, the veteran midfielder will now miss next month’s final in Lisbon.
Our partners at Soccerly have ongoing coverage of a match that will end with either a historic comeback or the disappointing end for the favorites. After 45 minutes, Real Madrid look one step closer to its coveted 10th title, with Bayern needing five goals to keep its title defense alive.
In some ways absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it seems Sir Alex Ferguson‘s life after Manchester United has been filled with second guessing.
Whether the sales of Paul Pogba and Gerard Pique or the appointment of David Moyes, “Fergie” apparently can’t rest on his title-winning laurels.
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One thing that seems to bug him more than anything, though, is the idea that he hand-picked David Moyes to be his successor, and should be responsible for his failings.
In a new documentary, Ferguson both defends the appointment of Moyes and explains the process behind his choice.
From the BBC:
“I don’t think we made a mistake at all. I think we chose a good football man,” Ferguson says. “Unfortunately it didn’t work for David.
“Jose Mourinho was going back to Chelsea, Carlo Ancelotti was going to Real Madrid, Jurgen Klopp had signed a contract with Dortmund, Louis Van Gaal was staying with Holland for the World Cup.”
The article also makes another key point, according to Ferguson: the manager claims he only gave United a few months notice that he’d be stepping down. That certainly didn’t provide a lot of lead time to secure a big boss.
What do you make it of it? If your answer is, “When can we stop talking about Moyes and United?” I tend to be with you, but it’s a talking point.
Lionel Messi will not face charges that he and his father defrauded the government in millions of unpaid taxes, though his father is not so lucky.
Messi’s father, Jorge, could face 18 months in jail and an approximate $2.25 million fine despite a voluntary payment of $5.5 million in 2013 to “correct” the missed taxes.
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The Barcleona star had plead ignorance to the charges, something that failed to impress prosecutors. But, it apparently worked out in his favor on Tuesday.
From the BBC:
Prosecutors allege that Jorge avoiding paying tax on his son’s earnings by using offshore companies in Belize and Uruguay between 2007 and 2009.
Messi’s lawyers argued that the player had “never devoted a minute of his life to reading, studying or analysing” the contracts, El Pais newspaper reported.