Uefa Champions League 2017/18 semifinals draw took place on Friday in Nyon. The result of the draw came out as expected. Everyone wanted Bayern Munich vs Real Madrid and Liverpool vs AS Roma draw. Because Bayern and Real are in the league of their own and Liverpool and Roma are not more than a balanced side. Liverpool and Roma both wanted to avoid Real Madrid or Bayern Munich before the final because they both feel they have a better chance against each other to drag themselves in final in Kiev. Their wish come true but it’s true that Bayern and Real will take the limelight away from them because it’s a clash of titan and no one is favourite between them.
What Roma did against Barcelona was nothing less than a miracle, but will Eusebio di Francesco side will be able to do it again is a doubt. Liverpool played an incredible tie against Manchester City but are they ready for Real Madrid or Bayern Munich is a concern. It left us to talk about an evenly matched team. Bayern Munich and Real Madrid, two of the European football giants who have met in the competition record times and clearly there is no favourite between them.
Bavarians and Merengues have met in the European competition 24 times. Each has 11 victories to their names and they are evenly matched in knockout stages elimination as well. They have met 11 times at knockout stages in which Real was victorious on 6 occasions, whereas Bayern 5 times.
When we talk about semifinals meetings, Bayern leads Real 4-2. Bayern was victorious in 1975/76, 1986/87, 2000/01, and 2011/12, whereas Real marched ahead in 1999/2000 and 2013/14 semi-finals.
However, Real leads the battle in their recent battle.
Last season, Real won the quarterfinals tie 6-3 aggregate as Cristiano Ronaldo scored four goals over both legs including a hat-trick at Santiago Bernabeu. However, it was a controversial result. Victor Kassai, match referee made some malice decisions. Ronaldo scored twice from an offside position in extra-time and before that Arturo Vidal was sent-off incorrectly.
Real Madrid were victorious in 2013/14 semifinal as well. Bayern were leading 1-0 from first-leg, but Sergio Ramos finds a late equalizer at Santiago Bernabeu to take the match in extra-time. Gareth Bale, Marcelo, and Ronaldo routed lethargic Bayern to win the tie 4-1 aggregate.
But before that, it was Bayern’s turn.
Bayern Munich won the 2011/12 semifinal on penalties after 3-3 aggregate result over both legs. Bayern won 2-1 at their home, then Real Madrid won 2-1 back at their home. Bavarians won 3-1 on penalties as players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka missed the penalty for the Merengues.
Before that in 2006/07 season round of 16, Bayern also marched ahead against Real on away goal. Real Madrid won 3-2 at Bernabeu, and then Bayern registered 2-1 victory at Allianz Arena.
These results also give us data about a particular trend. After every two Real victories, Bayern registers two successive victories and vice-versa. This trend is continuing since 2001/02 season and both sides have met on six occasions since then.
Both club officials also believe that it’s a clash of titans and there is no favourite between them.
Bayern Munich’s coach Jupp Heynckes said, “it’s a cracking tie. A gigantic fixture. I have good memories of our treble season [in2012/13]. We played against Juventus and Barcelona at home in the first-legs. I hope that is a good omen.”
Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic also reacted, “A really top opponent. We went out to them last year. This year we want to do better. If you want to reach the final, you have to able to beat every team. I’m optimistic.”
No one can guess a favourite between both of these European giants. However, Real Madrid are defending champion and they won last two Uefa Champions League and it always makes an impression of being favourite.