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Follow Me on TwitterRob Soria is the Edmonton Oilers' correspondent for OurHometown.ca. Rob was born and raised in Edmonton and is the author of the Edmonton Oilers blog - OilDrop.ca. He has been a dedicated follower of the game and its history for years but his focus remains on his hometown Edmonton Oilers. If you have questions or wish to contact Rob, you can email him at rsoria@ourhometown.ca
Champions League: Gomez gives Bayern Munich a leg up on Real Madrid in Semi Final opener
Rob Soria
OurHometown.ca

Champions League: Gomez gives Bayern Munich a leg up on Real Madrid in Semi Final opener
Mario Gomez has scored many a goal for Bayern Munich throughout this year's Champions League but none may have been bigger then his late winner that propelled the German side to a crucial 2-1 win over Real Madrid. The opening leg victory now gives Bayern a legitimate shot of advancing to the finals on May 19th in Munich.
PHOTO CREDIT - GettyImages.com

Edmonton - April 18, 2012 - Mario Gomez has scored many a goal for Bayern Munich throughout this year's Champions League but none may have been bigger then his late winner that propelled the German side to a crucial 2-1 win over Real Madrid. The opening leg victory now gives Bayern a legitimate shot of advancing to the finals, if they can simply hold a very good Madrid side to a draw in next weeks return engagement. The other semi final gets underway today, as Lionel Messi leads a Barcelona squad against Chelsea and are in search of reaching their third Champions League Final in the last four years.

While Los Blancos headed into the opening leg having never beaten Bayern Munich on German soil, it was the Spanish side that would get the games first great scoring chance. Karim Benzema was sent in with a wonderful opportunity thanks to a beautiful ball from midfielder Mesut Özil, that the Frenchman took a solid strike at but was unable to beat Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

Ten minutes later, the match would see its first controversial moment when midfielder Franck Ribery went to the turf after apparently, being fouled by Madrid defender Sergio Ramos inside the box. However, after a closer look, it appeared as though Ribery had fallen to the turf far too easily and making referee Howard Webb's non-call, the correct decision.

Bayren's frustration did not last long, as Ribery would ironically score the matches opening goal after a Ramos miscue. The Real defender absolutely butchered a corner kick from midfielder Toni Kroos inside the penalty area and allowed the ball to fall directly to the talented Frenchman. Ribery made no mistake, powering the ball past Iker Casillas from just inside the penalty spot and giving Bayern the lead, just seventeen minutes in.

The Spanish side would get back on level terms on a brilliant passing display, that was finished off by Ozil at the fifty-three minute mark. Benzema found Crisitano Ronaldo to the left of the Munich goal with a lovely feed, that the Portuguese national simply redirected towards the hard charging Ozil, who ripped a shot into the gaping Bayern net. After equalizing the match at one, it seemed as though Madrid were heading home with a draw and the all important away goal in their back pockets.

That all changed in the ninetieth minute, when Gomez deflected a cross from defender Philipp Lahm past a stunned Casillas and into the back of the Real net. The goal not only sent the Bayern Munich faithful into hysterics but it also left Jose Mourinho shaking his head in utter disgust, on the sideline. The Madrid bench boss was not amused at his players inability to close out what would have been a huge step in securing his side a trip back to the Allianz Arena, for the Champions League Final on May 19th.


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