Real Madrid follows Barca to the exit door

[VIDEO PICK] Like Barcelona the day before, Real Madrid blew a 2-0 first-half lead that would have been enough to send it through to the UEFA Champions League final. Instead, it will be Bayern Munich playing at home on May 19 against Chelsea. Bayern got a penalty kick from Arjen Robben to even the series 3-3 on aggregate after two early Cristiano Ronaldo goals, and Bayern won 3-1 on penalty kicks after Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Sergio Ramos missed their shootout attempts. For video highlights ...

TRIVIA. Bayern Munich became the first team to advance to a Champions League final it is hosting.

BAYERN MUNICH REACTION. "I think that if you analyzed the last 120 minutes, we have justly qualified for the final. It was wonderful how the team reacted after we had gone 1-0, then 2-0 down. Immediately after 1-0 we had a chance to draw level and after it became 2-0, we loosened up and I think we played some wonderful soccer. Achieving what we did at the Bernabeu is great. I do not agree with many things said about Jose Mourinho. People I trust have only said good things about him and him leaving to the locker room is normal after the misfortune of penalties." -- Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes

REAL MADRID REACTION. "The boys were fantastic. The mentality was incredible against a great team who have been in a state of holiday for the last week, while we played a match like no other. We lacked a bit of freshness and there was a lot of tension. When it is 2-1, whoever made a mistake was going to lose. It was a great game. We lost and we are sad, but soccer and life is like this. It's normal because we wanted to win. I am saddest for my players. It hurts to see them sad, but we must be strong. Last year we won the cup, so if we win the league it is a step forward. I am proud of the guys, there is nothing to criticize. I am proud of this group." -- Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho

NEXT UP. Bayern Munich will have to play have Chelsea without Holger Badstuber, David Alaba and Luiz Gustavo, all suspended after they picked up yellow cards in Wednesday's game.


6 comments about "Real Madrid follows Barca to the exit door".
  1. mark courtney, April 26, 2012 at 10:20 a.m.

    Well ... for my first season of falling in love with The Beautiful Game ... and having somewhat started to understand how all the teams and leagues connect and compete with still a bit of confusion, well this final has been very upsetting.

    Could you imagine in the NCAA March Madness, seeing two teams expected to play in the final actually play each other a week earlier in their conference tournament, then finish their games being in the final 4 to see who is in the final ???

    How can this happen in Soccer ?????????

  2. Carl Hudson, April 26, 2012 at 10:24 a.m.

    As usual, in the Penalty shootout, two Barca players air-mailed it "Roberto Baggio style".

    Though these are professionals, they do not "get" that the only place to aim penalty kicks is LOW left and LOW right.

    That way you don't make the heinous
    error of going over the bar.

  3. Gak Foodsource, April 26, 2012 at 2:59 p.m.

    A miss is a miss, whether it is saved, hits the post, or goes miles above the goal. The idea that you shouldn't go high because if you miss, it will look worse, doesn't carry any weight at the professional level.

  4. Carlos Thys, April 26, 2012 at 4:20 p.m.

    Jose Mourinho once more showed that he is a very limited and incapable coach. Folks, getting Real Madrid into the second slot in La Liga last year and now the top slot in La Liga this year is not a tremendous feat. La Liga now truly suffers from Real-Barca total domination. Playing to defend in the Bernabeu in Madrid (with a one goal scored away) is the most outrageously cowardly football. FC Bayern were the more offensive team and, if Mario Gomez could get his head straight, it would have been all over in favor of FC Bayern by about the 60th minute of the contest. (Also if Jupp Heyckes had gotten rid of the dismal Frank Ribery and brought in Thomas Mueller.) This display by Real yesterday evening even tops Chelsea defending like frightened rabbits for 90 minutes at Stamford Bridge one week ago. Watch the first half again and it tells you who will triumph. Each time Real get a shot on goal, it is because a FC Bayern player has erred (and appears out of character in that error). Mourinho has still not turned Karim Benzema into the best striker in the world; I am convinced a real COACH could indeed do that. Di Maria and Ozil looked nice but were completely ineffective. Real Madrid had a red carpet laid out in front of them to reach the CL Final and they hadn't a clue as to how to win or achieve even a 3 - 1 on their home soil. That penalty with card against David Alaba was a gift that should have loudly said, "Get two more goals in this first half and the second half will be a cake walk." Jose Mourinho is way overrated. At Chelsea he could have any player in the world due to Abromovitch's money. I am now convinced that Mourinho left Inter Milan because Serie At actually is a very tough league to regularly finish strong in. He's gone to the softer La Liga where Real Madrid (and FC Barca) go bankrupt / in the red by hundreds of millions every year - with no consequences. I am sure that the angriest players are Gonzalo Higuain and players like Nuri Sahin and Hamit Altintop who have to wonder why they were lured to Real Madrid in the first place. I am sure that Higuain will depart Real M. this summer -- in disgust at Mourinho. One more thing: Has Mourinho revived the Kaka that we once knew at AC Milan? Answer: No. Can Mourinho really coach or does he just benefit from having already at his disposal very competent, very seasoned and experienced players? @Mark Courtney, Real Madrid had no excuse to not book their slot in the Munich Champions League Final. FC Bayern Munich are indeed a strong team and by no means pushovers. But a 1 - 2 result away in the first leg in Munich is a dream result for a team that gets the advantage of the second leg at home in the way these UEFA eliminations work. Fans that follow Real Madrid closely and Spanish fans in the Spain capital will be calling for Mourinho's head. Real Madrid has no excuse; it should never have come to penalty kicks to decide it.

  5. Carlos Thys, April 26, 2012 at 4:49 p.m.

    @Mark Courtney, it took me a few times reading your post, but I think I get it now. You are contending that it is true folly to have FC Barca host Real Madrid on a Saturday evening in Barcelona right in the middle of these respective all-crucial semi final CL ties with FC Chelsea and FC Bayern Munich. Well, here's the rub: National league schedulers in England, Germany, France, Italy and Spain are not ones with crystal balls. When these schedules are drawn up for domestic competitions (to include domestic cups like the Copa del Rey in Spain, DFB Pokal in Germany, or the FA Cup in England), this is usually "finalized" and published in late July prior to the season's actual start in August or (in Spain) in September. As you will get to know this game (and please do!), you will hear of robust verbal battles between FIFA, UEFA (CONCACAF), and the respective national leagues over scheduling all the time. It is a very tricky thing because, we all know the truth, the 12 month annual calendar is already over-booked with non-stop evens and competitions. It is lose-lose all to often and this is so for the top players AND you the fan who want to see these athletes at 100% and not the 75% that you saw from FC Barca on Tuesday night. Bear in mind that the Spanish La Liga shows its true weakness because it now always schedules the Real Madrid - FC Barca league clashes (home and away) in December and in mid-late April. This is done for "show" effect as it takes no genius scheduler in Spain to know that these two will be vying for the title. And to create a more suspenseful scenario annually, it would never make sense to schedule this "El Classico" matchup between Real and Barca in, say, October and February. The real loser here was FC Barca in how this played out. They faced FC Chelsea AWAY in London late on a Wednesday night, travel on Thursday back to Barcelona, rest day Friday, biggest league match of the year in Barcelona on Saturday night against Real. Rest days only then Sunday and Monday, with Tuesday hosting FC Chelsea (who could have easily afforded to lose to Arsenal on Saturday in London league action). The UEFA scheduling on this home-away scheduling is truly quirky. By contrast, FC Bayern Munich and Real Madrid got the "softer" scheduling. Someone at UEFA needs to fix this. FC Bayern and Real Madrid had a full extra TWO DAYS (compared to FC Chelsea/FC Barcelona) and that can make a huge difference for player regeneration. As I look at this, somebody at UEFA is a total fool.

  6. Carlos Thys, April 26, 2012 at 5:31 p.m.

    @Mark Courtney -- sorry to post again. It is often good to have "new eyes" examine how these things are done and call them into question, as you are doing. I am unaware of it if it occurred, but any FC Barcelona leadership (there are dozens in the leadership of these Spanish clubs, and it Calalonia the President of FC Barcelona is far more important than any other political figure in the city or state) SHOULD have pushed for and attained a rescheduling of the "El Classico" tie with Real Madrid. I'll harken back to an earlier post I did this week. Compounding these scheduling issues for Spanish La Liga clubs is much more restrictive active player roster size for La Liga. To compare, Robero Mancini's Manchester City has played over 31 players in English Premier League ties to date in the 2011/2012 English season. A Spanish club is not permitted anywhere near this number of eligible players in the first team. FC Barcelona's failure to reschedule that Saturday night April 21st home clash with Real Madrid then was their very own undoing. By contrast, Real Madrid's FC Bayern-FC Barca-FC Bayern schedule was more "doable." Do note that the English league seems to have a greater flexibilty with scheduling and this includes FC Cup ties. I believe it was two year ago when in the French league, to assist Olympique Lyon who were facing FC Bayern in the semi-finals of the CL, the French league bent over backwards to best aid Olympique Lyon with best-case scheduling. As truly very difficult it is to attain semi-final status, one would think that all manner of impediments / barriers would be moved to aid a squad that has achieved such monumental success.

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