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Vinicius Junior's Brace Spurs Real Madrid, Eyes Final After Bayern Draw

Photo : AP

Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior emerged as the hero in a thrilling Champions League semi-final clash against Bayern Munich on Tuesday, scoring a brace, including a crucial 83rd-minute equalizing penalty. The match ended in a pulsating 2-2 draw, setting the stage for an intense return leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Vinicius initially put Real Madrid ahead in the 24th minute of the first leg, but Bayern responded fiercely in the second half. Leroy Sane struck a spectacular goal to level the score, followed by Harry Kane converting a penalty to give Bayern a late lead. However, Vinicius stepped up to the spot after Kim Min-jae fouled Rodrygo in the box, calmly converting the penalty to salvage a draw for Madrid.

Reflecting on his performance, Vinicius expressed his satisfaction with scoring two crucial goals and emphasized the importance of maintaining their unbeaten record in the competition. He acknowledged the need for a stellar performance in the return leg to secure their spot in the final.

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Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti acknowledged the quality of Bayern Munich and stressed that despite the favorable result, nothing is decided yet. He highlighted the threat posed by Bayern's talented players and emphasized the need for caution in the upcoming fixture.

Bayern manager Thomas Tuchel remained optimistic despite the draw, asserting his team's readiness for the return leg. He emphasized the importance of confidence and bravery in facing Real Madrid at their home ground.

Before the match, Bayern Munich fans paid tribute to club legend Franz Beckenbauer with a massive banner, setting the stage for a highly anticipated encounter between two European giants. The match, featuring the most-played fixture in European Cup history, lived up to expectations with both teams showcasing their quality on the pitch.

Real Madrid, known for their resilience in crucial moments, faced early pressure from Bayern Munich, who dominated possession and created several scoring opportunities. However, Madrid capitalized on a rare chance, with Vinicius calmly slotting home the opener after a precise pass from Toni Kroos.

Bayern Munich responded strongly in the second half, scoring two quick goals through Sane and Kane to take the lead. However, Madrid refused to back down and equalized late in the game courtesy of Vinicius's nerveless penalty.

With the tie finely poised, both teams will now prepare for the decisive second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu. Real Madrid will look to capitalize on their home advantage, while Bayern Munich will be determined to secure a place in the final at Wembley Stadium.

As the football world awaits the outcome of this thrilling semi-final clash, Vinicius and his teammates are ready to give their all in pursuit of Champions League glory.

May 1, 2024 3:22 p.m. 4057

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