x

Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 September 2018

Uefa Champions League semi-finals: Why Real Madrid will go on to win the title

Cristiano Ronaldo has been key to Real Madrid's run to the Uefa Champions League semi-finals. Matthias Hangst / Bongarts/ Getty Images
Cristiano Ronaldo has been key to Real Madrid's run to the Uefa Champions League semi-finals. Matthias Hangst / Bongarts/ Getty Images

This is the business end of the Uefa Champions League and once again Real Madrid are peaking at exactly the right time.

Zinedine Zidane's men have already beaten Paris Saint-Germain, already crowned Ligue 1 champions, and Juventus, on track to win a seventh successive Serie A crown, in the knockout stages.

Neither were push overs and the defending champions are still standing and now face the German champions Bayern Munich next.

Given Real beat Bayern 6-3 on aggregate over two legs at the quarter-final stage 12 months ago they have every reason to be confident of doing it again.

____________

Read more:

Uefa Champions League predictions: Real Madrid and Liverpool set up final meeting

The unsung heroes: more to Real Madrid than just Cristiano Ronaldo

Comment: Cristiano Ronaldo's work ethic continues to be rewarded with Real Madrid

____________

They had a scare against Juventus when they faced the prospect of extra time in the second leg in the Bernabeu after going 3-0 down. They were rescued by Cristiano Ronaldo's controversial penalty, which showed again that the great sides can always find an answer when up against it.

As poor as Real were in the second leg, clearly having taken their foot of the gas, it should not be forgotten that the reason they were able to mistakenly relax was because of how majestic they were in the first leg in Turin, with Ronaldo's spectacular overhead kick the high point.

Real became the first team since AC Milan in 1990 last June to successfully retain the European Cup and they are now in a position to become the first side since Bayern in 1976 to win the competition three times in a row.

Ronaldo is the key to Real's current resurgence. He has scored in 12 successive games, in all competitions for the club, scoring 22 times.

Given the Portuguese striker scored five of the six goals that sank Bayern 12 months ago, the German club are sure to be wary by this purple patch.

It is not just Ronaldo though. With Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Karim Benzema in the line-up, there is more to the offensive threat than just the man wearing the No 7 shirt.

While Gareth Bale has not had a season to remember, his pace will mean, that he can cause Bayern problems, even if it is just as a substitute.

The winners of Liverpool and Roma's tie would fear Real's offensive threat in an one-off game in the final in Kiev on May 26.

The past six times Real have reached the final, stretching back to 1998, they have won it.

They have a history of turning up on the big occasion and there is no reason to expect it to be any different this year.

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-final, first leg
Bayern Munich v Real Madrid

When: April 25, 10.45pm kick-off (UAE)
Where: Allianz Arena, Munich
Live: BeIN Sports HD
Second leg: May 1, Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid

RELATED ARTICLES
Recommended