On a big European night, nothing excites the locals in Munich more than Real Madrid, their bogey team, getting beaten. It didn’t matter so much on cheap nfl jersey shop Wednesday that it was Juventus, not Bayern, who were scoring against Cristiano Ronaldo et al. The 3,000 travelling fans from Sevilla also joined in the celebrations each time the two video screens lit up with the barely credible news from the Bernabéu.
Ten minutes from the end of Wednesday’s fairly uneventful 0-0 Champions League quarterfinal second-leg draw at the Allianz Arena, injured midfielder Arturo Vidal, a former Juventino, climbed up a few stairs to the press box, sat down with Chilean journalists and watched the Madrid game on a laptop. It was obvious that nothing of note was going to happen in the Bavarian capital.
The stadium announcer pointedly failed to update the ground when Ronaldo put paid to one of the greatest comebacks in Champions League with his 98th minute penalty. News of the disappointment was only relayed after the final whistle had long gone in Munich.
Coming so quick on the heels of Barcelona’s sensational elimination at the hands of Roma, Real Madrid crashing out would have left the Bavarians feeling much better about their chances of lifting the European Cup for a sixth time. (In the four seasons since their 2013 triumph in Wembley, they were eliminated four times by Spanish opposition.) But even without a satisfactory denouement in the Spanish capital, the events in Madrid and Rome markedly increased Bayern’s sense of wellbeing. They gave their own rather uneven performance against Sevilla an instant air of respectability. What would otherwise have been a frustrating home game with a lack of clear-cut chances and guile suddenly looked prudent and controlled.
“We calmed down the game in the second half and played it out in a focussed way,” Jupp Heynckes noted contently. “You have to draw these kind of games to go through to the next round.”
Against not exactly elite opponents, you can win these kind of games too, of course. Heynckes’ line-up with only two-and-a-half central midfielders — Javi Martinez, James Rordiguez, the roving Thomas Muller — spoke of attacking intent but in practice, Bayern played like a side managing a lead rather than chasing one. At times in the first half, their cautious stance verged on passivity. A better team might have punished them.
“Maybe we could have been more courageous in some moments, maybe we were a bit too passive at times,” Muller said. “But these are details that don’t always go right. nfl jersey online shop On the whole, we didn’t underestimate them and we weren’t too afraid to commit [men forward]. The attitude was right. We helped each other out a lot.”