Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid: A remarkable rivalry in stats

Bayern's Robert Lewandowski and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo are two key men ahead of the much-anticipated semifinal.
Updated 25 April 2018
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Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid: A remarkable rivalry in stats

  • The two European greats have won the Champions League 17 times.
  • Real Madrid start as the slight favorites ahead of Wednesday's semifinal first leg.

LONDON: Bayern Munich’s Champions League semifinal against Real Madrid is a clash of European football royalty. Ahead of Wednesday’s first leg at the Allianz Arena, here are five facts about the remarkable rivalry...

1. This is the 25th time the clubs have met in European competition and both have 11 wins with two draws.
Real have scored 37 goals to Bayern’s 36.
This is the seventh time the clubs have met in the semifinals, the Germans lead 4-2 in the series.

2. Real have however had the upper hand in recent years, winning all of the last five meetings, scoring 13 goals and conceding four.
That includes Bayern’s record home defeat in Europe — a 4-0 thrashing in the 2014 semifinals, when Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo both scored twice.
This is Madrid’s record eighth successive Champions League semifinal, while Bayern are in the last four for the seventh time in nine seasons.

3. Ronaldo has an incredible record against Bayern, netting five times over the two legs in last season’s 6-3 aggregate win in the quarterfinals.
In total, he has scored nine goals in six games against the German side.
This season, Ronaldo became the first player to score in all six group games on his way to a tally of 15 goals.
He can break his own record for the most goals in a Champions League season — 17 in 2013/14.

4. Bayern’s current manager Jupp Heynckes has a foot in each camp. The 72-year-old has reached the Champions League final in each of his three previous campaigns as coach of either Bayern or Real.
Under Heynckes, Bayern won the 2013 final at Wembley when Arjen Robben’s winner sealed a 2-1 win over Dortmund on their way to the treble.
The Bavarians also reached the 2012 final, losing in Munich to Chelsea on penalties having beaten Real, also on spot-kicks, in the semis.
Heynckes also steered Real to the 1997-1998 title, during his single season in Madrid, beating Juventus 1-0 in the Amsterdam final to end a 32-year drought for the Spanish giants. It was the first time Madrid had won the European Cup since 1966.

5. Zinedine Zidane has a phenomenal Champions League record. Real winning 21 of his 30 games in Europe over three seasons with five draws and four defeats.
Real lifted the trophy in each of his three previous seasons as either head coach or assistant.
He was Carlo Ancelotti’s assistant in 2013/14 when they won the European title for the tenth time.
He succeeded Rafael Benitez as head coach in January 2016, then Real beat Juventus in the Turin final.
They also won last season’s final in Cardiff when Ronaldo scored twice in a 4-1 win over Juventus.


Fernandinho is last line of defense as City face Watford test

Updated 20 September 2019

Fernandinho is last line of defense as City face Watford test

  • Pep Guardiola’s side are 5 points behind Jurgen Klopp’s rampant Liverpool

MANCHESTER: Fernandinho stepped seamlessly into Manchester City’s backline in midweek to ease Pep Guardiola’s defensive woes but the Premier League champions know their stretched resources will be tested by a physical Watford side on Saturday.

The clubs last met in the FA Cup final in May, with City romping to a 6-0 victory to complete the first-ever domestic treble in English football history.

But just four months later Guardiola, whose side are already five points behind Jurgen Klopp’s rampant Liverpool, is facing a serious headache at the back, with Aymeric Laporte and John Stones out for significant spells.

Frenchman Laporte, described as the best left-sided defender in Europe by Guardiola, is out until at least February after injuring knee ligaments in the recent win over Brighton.

That left Stones, whose start to the season was hampered by injury, as the only specialist center-half left to partner Nicolas Otamendi, a player who has not been an automatic first choice for some time.

England defender Stones, however, suffered a muscle injury in training and reports suggest he could be out for four to five weeks.

City appear to be paying the price for a curious strategy in the transfer market.

Over the past two years, they have shown strong interest in Virgil van Dijk and Harry Maguire, only to balk at paying what turned out to be world record transfer fees for defenders.

Van Dijk went to Liverpool for £75 million ($93m) while Maguire ended up at Manchester United for £80m.

Given the vast wealth of the City’s Abu Dhabi ownership, and the fact they have broken their own club transfer record in each of the past two summers, such caution when it comes to signing center-halves seems curious.

Guardiola also famously spent big on three fullbacks — Kyle Walker, Danilo and Benjamin Mendy — in a matter of days in 2017 which makes his, and City’s, refusal to compete with Liverpool and United for center-halves all the more baffling.

The upshot of their approach was that they failed to replace veteran club skipper Vincent Kompany, who returned to Belgium.

City’s refusal to go toe to toe with their rivals means they face Watford, and new manager Quique Sanchez Flores, with only Otamendi as a fit, specialist central defender.

Watford are bottom of the league but come into the match buoyant after recovering from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 against Arsenal.

At least Guardiola has a ready-made solution, with defensive midfielder Fernandinho playing at center-back for the midweek visit to Shakhtar Donetsk, where City won 3-0.

The City manager has long spoken of moving Fernandinho back into that position as his career draws to a close although his hand has been forced by the injuries.

“That’s why he is so important for us,” said Guardiola after the victory in his side’s Champions League opener.

“We don’t have many choices. I think he is the only one I have. Other players can play in that position but Fernandinho is a clever player and so intelligent — an incredible guy.

“He did well the first game he played. Of course he has a lot of experience and personality, and what he says the people follow him in the locker room so it’s important.”

Right-back Walker is another player who could move into the center of defense in an emergency but, with Fernandinho in the veteran stage of his career now at 34, Guardiola is one injury away from a full-blown crisis.