Vinicius Junior

A Frenetic Champions League Semi-final first leg between Bayern Munich and Madrid ended 2-2 at Allianz Arena and there is a lot more to come before this tie is decided. Vinicius Junior’s well-taken opener after 24 minutes stunned the home crowd, who watched on frustrated as Thomas Tuchel’s side missed a few early chances to go ahead.

Yet that annoyance turned to celebration in the second half as Leroy Sane lashed a fizzing strike past Andriy Lunin before Harry Kane converted his penalty after a foul by Lucas Vasquez on Jamal Musiala in the box. 

That quick-fire turnaround saw the hosts seize the advantage, only for Kim Min-Jae to needlessly drag down Rodrygo in the penalty box. Vinicius made no mistake from 12 yards, levelling with seven minutes of regular time remaining to leave the tie balanced before the return leg next week. 

Neither team could truly be split on expected goals (×G) either, with Bayern accumulating 1.57 to Madrid’s 1.87, suggesting a fair result in Munich. The Bavarians put in a good home performance against the European Giants, beating them in terms of possession 52% to 48%, and had a total of 14 shots with five on target compared to Madrid’s 10 with four on target.  

Betway Nigeria

Bayern also managed more passes and passing accuracy but the Spanish club remained resilient and continuously hammered the opposition in search of goals. 

Notably, a standout performance from Real Madrid’s Vinicius which saw him score the first and last goals of the game was enough to level things in Munich.

The Brazilian continued to be a menace to the Bayern defenders – especially Kim – throughout the game and asked the most questions of all Madrid players.

Carlo Ancelotti had started the game in his usual 4-4-2 diamond formation, with Vinicius pairing Rodrygo upfront in false nine positions and Jude Bellingham playing just behind them in a free attacking-midfield role. 

Vini’s the man

Vinicius Junior

Bellingham might not have been at his best on the evening before going off with 15 minutes left due to cramps. On the other hand, Vinicius took up the challenge and managed to score a brace. 

The first goal was beautiful in its simplicity as Vini had previously advanced towards the midfield area before turning around, leaving the defence line open and vulnerable, and sprinting into the empty space to connect with a neat Toni Kroos through pass before slotting the ball past Manuel Neuer. It was such a brilliant and effective move from the Pacy Brazilian who knew too well that Kim Min-Jae could not win a footrace against him and therefore lured the Korean a bit higher up the pitch before darting in the opposite direction to receive the pass, leaving the defenders on their heels behind him.

He had also got another chance like that where his run was picked up by Luka Modric who delivered a sumptuous pass that also beat Min-Jae before Neuer parried away the 23-year-old’s left-footed strike. He seemed too hot to handle for Bayern.

Vinicius was also the one who worked out the pass to Rodrygo that resulted in the penalty, as Kim brought down the latter in the box. The Real Madrid No. 7 had a total of four shots, 100% dribbles completed, 79% pass accuracy, 75% shot accuracy, two crosses and two goals, with the latter being an 83rd-minute equaliser.

It’s no surprise he was elected Man of the Match while the South Korean defender endured a horror night.

In a post match interview, Real Madrid Boss Carlo Ancelotti said:

“Vinicius is starting to understand how it’s important for him to move inside the pitch and not only close to the line. He learned really well how to move.”

Vinicius scored his 21st goal of the season in all competitions and remains such an important force in the Madrid attack. His dribbling skills, acceleration, and goal-scoring ability are top-notch, making him a constant threat to the opposition. The Brazilian has the highest goal contributions (31) in the Champions League since the 2021-22 season, surpassing Kylian Mbappé (28) who comes in next. 

Vinicius has now scored in three straight Champions League semi-finals while totalling 20+ goals for the past three seasons. He is likely to score again in the decisive second leg when Real Madrid host Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday, May 8. 

This is a game which both clubs have all to play for as Madrid want to qualify for the final with the hope of winning the competition for a record-extending 15th time, while Bayern would love to end the season at the summit of European Glory after missing out on the Bundesliga title.

The stakes are high and margins are slim, this is the UEFA Champions League knockout round, where everything could change in an instant. But with Players like Vini, it will be intriguing from start to finish.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Blog Meets Brand