Bayern in firm control over Juventus

Posted by Susie Schaaf

While English referee Mark Clattenburg ruined the occasion for both Juventus and Bayern Munich supporters, the first leg of the quarterfinal still remained a tense, tactical 90 minutes which Bayern Munich deservedly won, 2-0.

- Rzouki: Juve left for dead by a superior Bayern
- Delaney: Bayern experience trumps Juve
- Stats: Bayern and Barca secure advantage
- Robben: We have a good advantage
- Video: Conte's tactical error?


David Alaba would score the fifth-fastest Champions League goal ever after an Andrea Pirlo mistake gave way to his curious strike from 35 yards out -- the ball glancing off Arturo Vidal's outstretched boot and catching Gianluigi Buffon wrong-footed.

After the shock Bayern goal, Juventus retained a spell of attacking possession with a couple Pirlo corner kicks, and a theatrical dive for the Italian which gave him a free kick -- dangerously dipping down to the crossbar on the way just over.

Vidal thumped a shot wide, before Toni Kroos would go down clutching at his groin -- the midfielder looking set to miss six-to-eight weeks with a tear. "Obviously, this is a severe blow," said Heynckes post-match, "A lot will be decided over the next two months."

Arjen Robben subbed in to Thomas Mueller's position after the innocuous-looking injury, while Mueller moved to Kroos' playmaker spot. Robben would have immediate impact, with a half-volley crushed straight at Buffon. And Bayern, again, would enjoy another bout of surging forward with Mario Mandzukic and Dante suffering misses.

There was lovely interchange between Munich's four attackers before Robben would shoot wide, but Buffon would be called upon again to push out an Alaba cross. The young Austrian, while scoring the opener, was often too far forward -- causing Manuel Neuer to have to come out to the left three times in the first half. But, yeah. He gets a pass.

The teams traded great chances as the first half was ending with a Bastian Schweinsteiger rocket just over the Juventus goal, and Alessandro Matri's header landed just on top of Bayern's net.

The fouls progressively got more aggressive but no cards had been pulled out of Clattenburg's pocket until Vidal would take a dive, the referee showing Mario Mandzukic a yellow just before the half, but it wouldn't stop in the second half for the Croatian international.

He'd get hit in the face by Giorgio Chiellini to open the period, but would return that insult by a shot on goal saved by Buffon after a fast break by the fantastic Luis Gustavo. Gustavo skied a shot to Mars, but then would shoot a free kick through the wall to elicit a diving save out of the Juventus keeper.

Chiellini finally got that card he deserved for ANOTHER foul on Mandzukic, while Vidal managed somehow to escape Clattenburg's eye after literally wrapping his arms around Ribery's legs to prevent movement.

Gustavo continued his excellent play (96% pass completion, 12/12 balls forward) getting a shot off, the block by Buffon would fall to the marginally offside Mandzukic who squared to Thomas Mueller for a tap-in, and Bayern's second of the night.

The remaining 35 minutes, filled with cards, anger, and increasing physicality, saw Vidal finally see yellow for arguing, while Gustavo and Stephan Lichtsteiner were carded for diving. The latter could have been as easily called a card on Dante.

Neuer would be called in to action with a double save on Vidal, while Buffon did the same to Mueller. And the match would draw to close as Mario Gomez and Xherdan Shaqiri were brought in for no reason at all.

Bayern Munich becomes the first team to beat Juventus in European competition this season, and the only team to score two unanswered goals against them this term. But, looking ahead to the second leg in Turin, Juve's in big trouble with Vidal and Lichtsteiner suspended. Meanwhile, Bayern welcomes back Javi Martinez.

The loss of Kroos certainly hurts, but Bayern has a deep bench full of talent to make up for it. I would have loved a slightly bigger scoreline to take to Italy, but retaining the shutout was the bigger deal. Could the match in Italy go differently? Sure. But, it just might go exactly the same.

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