Semi-Final madness; was Bayern Munich robbed? Did Real Madrid deserve it? #2137

Bayern vs Real Madrid Champions League Semi Final

Eliot Ben-Ner
The Football Hub
12 min readMay 10, 2024


Sorry is Not Enough

Joselu score second Real Madrid goal Offside Yet given

De Ligt’s Equalizer Onside goal Disallowed

Flag incident prevents a review

The beauty of Champions League nights are something truly special. Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are two of the biggest clubs in the world. One could argue they are the two clubs with history like no other. Last week we saw an unbelievable Performance in Munich. Everything calculated into a very crucial moment in their seasons. Bayern Munich has nothing to play for except to win the Champions, League or attempt to win the Champions League. On the verge of a trophyless Season for the first time since 2011. Having played really well in the first leg and probably should have beaten Real Madrid. Then on the other side you have the Kings of this competition. Real Madrid have won the Champions League 14 times. More than any other. They have the most history of any sporting franchise in any sport. That’s how massive and substantial that they are. They just won La Liga This past week and now have a chance to punch their ticket into yet another Champions League final. This match was supposed to be a really special moment. It was supposed to be about two Titans of the game clashing their horns battling it out into only one remains. An incredible meaningful moment sitting there for one of these clubs. More history to be written. Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have their history. Real Madrid has the most Champions League trophies Bayern Munich has the third most. Everything was supposed to build up into this immediate clash of Titans. These are the types of semi-finals that will be remembered for the right reasons. The battles between the absolute elite of World football. No controversy. Nothing anyone can say to diminish what has been done. That was the destination we were hoping to arrive at. Not only did we want a thrilling clash to put forth a Champions League classic but A set of circumstances that could not deny the one standing in the end. That’s what everybody wants. Champions League moments are incredibly special on these sort of nights. That’s exactly what we all hoped for. We didn’t want a Champions League semi-final that was going to be determined or remembered by huge controversy or moments that could possibly deny. A Rightful winner standing. The excitement surrounding the semi-final is unparalleled. It’s Bayern Munich and freaking Real Madrid. It does not get any better than that. These two have been long time European rivals. It has been recently ignited again. However, at the final whistle, it’s a bitter taste that we feel. Not relishing the great semifinal that we witnessed. This night was supposed to be about way more than that. But as we sit here as Real Madrid celebrates, it’s this surreal feeling that none of it actually matters anymore. There wasn’t a rightful winner. Based on the score line, perhaps it was a thriller in a way. However, this will never be remembered as the Champions League classic that it should have at. Real Madrid scoring twice in the last several minutes. Then Munich returning and keeping themselves alive. That’s not the story but it should have been. Instead what we’ve been left with is Bayern Munich being stolen of a return to the champions League final. Perhaps sending it into extra time and seeing another 30 minutes of absolute quality even having everything decided on penalties. A luck of the draw. In the end drama and controversy is what we actually been left with. We’ve been left with a Bayern Munich side that deserved an opportunity win it in the House of Real Madrid. Even possibly in all German final around the corner. That could have been bittersweet. Even if Real Madrid still progress and do what they’ve done. Setting up a homecoming for Jude Bellingham in England against Dortmund. It’s almost like it was scripted that far in advance. But essentially seeing everything unfold the way it has dampens the moment. We had a robbery at the Santiago Bernabeu. An empty apology is given but sorry simply is not enough. Nor should any such apology be accepted. In a grand scheme of things, it completely wrecks how special it has been over this semi-final. But that doesn’t matter anymore because corruption took place in front of everyone. There have been corrupt games in the Champions League and big stages. This is a semi-final. This was the 113th minute of a semifinal with extra time on the table and possibly to extend what has been a thrilling showcase between Real Madrid and Bayern That’s we’re left with nothing. All the amazing moments from the semi-final will be forgotten. This is going to be remembered as Bayern Munich being denied of an equalizer to send it into extra time. UEFA is a corrupt organization. They just are. If they had any guts They would arrange for the match to be replayed after the goal went in. But as we know the only thing they seemed to have cared about is getting Real Madrid to the final because if the shorts were different it would have been called different. The linesman can apologize all he wants for his alleged mistake. But it doesn’t change the fact that buy and Munich were robbed. The context of the game or how everything happened doesn’t really matter. Maybe you could say Real Madrid based on their individual performance deserved to make the final However, none of that matters. Just because you want Jude vs Dortmund in London doesn’t mean You don’t get to play God when that dream starts to slip. Sorry isn’t good enough.

The Situation: Munich Robbed of Potential Champions League Final

There are certain realities of what we witnessed in the Champions League. Semifinal. Collectively it was a brilliant semi-final over those two legs. Even if it doesn’t count for anything or have any real intricate value now. You can’t undersell how incredible Real Madrid are as a football institution. They were outplayed in the first leg but still found ways to break free and get the goals they needed to put themselves in the best position. They played purely amazing. Don Carlo put together a tactical masterpiece. Vinicius Jr has been absolutely incredible, especially in the semi-final. He was terrific in the second leg was really good in the first leg. He has had an incredible season and is one of the best players in the world. He torched Bayern Munich on Wednesday night. He’s been such a difference Maker in Champions League nights like this one. It was a complete performance. They were the better team throughout in the second. Maybe they even deserve to go through over the two legs, perhaps as an argument you can make. From a Bayern Munich perspective They took their shots and they made everyone pay for them. They were about to make the final Davies wonder strike could have meant so much more. That Real Madrid mentality eventually shined through. However, Alfonso Davies put them in front initially and was about 5 minutes away. Manuel Neuer was absolutely out of this world. He did make a mistake on the first goal, but we are witnessing possibly the greatest goalkeeper there’s ever been. It’s unfortunate that it was made. Nevertheless he was just incredible and if it wasn’t for him, Real Madrid probably could have killed them off earlier. Joselu was an insane substitution by Don Carlo. Thomas Tuchel made some huge mistakes down the stretch, particularly taking out Harry Kane with not that much time remaining. The substitutions that he did make were erratic and idiotic. He shrunk from a tactical perspective. I just want to be fair just because this match is riddled with controversy I think it will be completely unfair to dismiss the important components of the semifinal. The two mistakes by Kim in the first leg will sting even further considering how we got there. The controversy and corruption didn’t come until the very end. It was reasonably officiated game before this. He correctly disallowed a goal by Nacho after pushing. Joshua Kimmich In the face and then scoring inside the box. However, in the last couple minutes there was huge errors.

One of them is debatable and the other isn’t. Joselu gave Real Madrid the lead in the 90th minute. In the build-up to the play he looks offsides. He is an initial offside position. The ball is then delivered in the area and even though it doesn’t touch him, he is clearly off. He scores when the ball is delivered to him, even though it’s close it is still an offside goal. It was reviewed and then it was given. This isn’t the worst call but come on. I’ve looked at the replay back multiple times, just trying to ensure that he was offsides. If you pause the footage as the ball comes across, he is clearly in an offside position. It is my belief that if Munich scores that goal, it is disallowed. From almost every angle it looks offsides now maybe he is on side by end millimeter. It does not look like it, but it’s a very close decision. Nevertheless, they make the wrong one. That goal should not have counted meaning the game was still level at that point if that is handled the appropriate way. However, the chaos and the controversy everyone is pointing to happened after the fact. In the 13th minute of stoppage time. Bayern Munich came back from the dead they find De Ligt as he then fired it into the back of the net. This would have been The Equalizer. This would have put the match into extra time. Then when you get into extra time anything can happen. However, the linesman puts the flag up before the shot is taken. As a lineman You’re supposed to let the play develop unless it is a clear and obvious offsides. Again it was razor thin. On the replay from every angle you could possibly look at it. The Dutch center back is on side. The goal would have stood if it was reviewed. According to the rules it cannot be reviewed because the lineman put his flag up. Maybe They need to change the rule. Perhaps that’s something that needs to happen. However, in a Champions League semi-final in one of the final minutes of the game to not at least consult that decision is appalling. Either way you look at it. That is a goal. There’s nothing you can detect to disallow that. The problem is the flag goes up meaning it cannot be reviewed. So regardless of how you want to evaluate this regardless of any situation in relation to that. Bayern Munich was robbed one way or another. We don’t know what would have happened in extra time. Okay? Maybe Real Madrid still beat them but maybe they don’t. Maybe Bayern Munich score in extra time make the final and it’s an all German final again. Yet maybe not. We don’t know what would have happened. However, one thing is abundantly clear. This was not a game that was determined based on merit. No matter what happens to Real Madrid, whether they win the Champions League final or lose it, they will probably to a degree be a* next to it maybe not but it’s going to feel like it. I’m not someone that calls robbery. If there are one or two bad decisions to have a decision of that level of error in a Champions League semi-final is apprehensible. The linesman apparently apologized but the apology doesn’t mean anything. He has prevented Bayern Munich from possibly getting to a Champions League final.

Bayern Munich’s rage is warranted

Bayern Munich have every right to be upset. I’ll take it a step further. This also downplays the mentality that Real Madrid shows. In fact, this decision was so appalling that talking about the circumstances of the match don’t mean anything. Real Madrid showed an incredible mentality to come from behind and win it when they were about to lose the semi-final they deserve a lot of credit for the way they approach the game and all these other things. However, none of that stuff matters. It’s not worth talking about because of what occurred when the equalizer went into the back of the net for Bayern and it was wrongfully disallowed. If Real Madrid did that I’m telling you right now they would have allowed the goal. This entire semi-final reeks of corruption now. Given the circumstances this is the worst most appalling robbery in the history of the Champions League. Madrid don’t deserve the flowers or credit that they will probably going to be given. This ruined a Champions League classic. The linesman just stole A Champions League final from Bayern Munich.

Did Real Madrid still deserve it?

As I said I’m going to be fair. So this needs to be investigated further. We can certainly say Bayern Munich was robbed of a Champions League final based on the context of the erratic refereeing decisions that prevented Bayern Munich from possibly pushing it into extra time. Based on the mistakes at the end, Bayern Munich had every right to be upset. It was a corrupt decision. There’s no doubt about that. If the flag does not go up, it changes the trajectory of that semifinal. There’s no way you can make that decision in that moment in a semi-final. The entire situation prevented it from being reviewed. So it’s clear that a robbery can take place at the Santiago Bernabeu that favored Real Madrid and went against Bayern Munich. However There’s no way of knowing for sure what would have occurred had the flag not gone up. Real Madrid goalkeeper Lunin That doesn’t react after the flag goes up. That doesn’t mean De Ligt couldn’t have scored but maybe it’s not the strongest possibility. Maybe someone else takes the shot maybe Bayern win a corner and score off of it. Bayern Munich was screwed over. However, these are important things to consider. Even if let’s suppose and they don’t score. That instance doesn’t evacuate the earlier mistake. This is to a degree because of the context of the moments that went against Bayern Munich. However, suggesting that they don’t deserve It may not be the truth. We all understand that Bayern Munich was hard done by. I don’t think anyone would dispute that. However, the question that we need to ask ourselves Is a simple one. Did Real Madrid deserve it regardless of the situation. Over the 120 minutes played Can we definitively say That Real Madrid deserved to get to the final based on their performance. Not the context of the critical errors, but the performance itself. The answer would be unequivocally yes. As much as this is messed up on so many levels of how they got there in the end. You don’t know how things would have unfolded had the mistakes not been given. However, If we are being truly honest toward ourselves. Real Madrid deserved to make the Champions like vinyl. It was taken away from Bayern Munich for all the reasons I’ve already mentioned. However, Bayern Munich made mistakes in both matches. Two mistakes by Kim in Munich A match in which Bayern Munich dominated for the most part. Then to flip that in Spain, Real Madrid were far superior. Even though Alfonso Davies scores that incredible goal that put them in front. They were 5 minutes away from making the Champions League final. Ill regards of the true controversy surrounding some erratic refereeing decisions. They scored twice Very late. Joselu came off the bench and became the hero. Whether or not you think his second goal was on side or not is not the point. Based on the information that we have based on the match that we witnessed based on what we seen over the two games Real Madrid deserved to make the Champions look final. Everything I previously say I believe wholeheartedly. However, based on the performance alone, Real Madrid deserved to make the final more than Bayern Munich . This doesn’t excuse the erratic errors that were made at the expense of Bayern Munich. Yet Thomas Tuchel took out Harry game. Had some horrible substitutions that changed everything. Vinny Jr was out of this world. Over the two matches he was unable to be stopped. Real Madrid played At a high level in all pillars of their team. If Real Madrid go on to win the Champions League there will be a portion of it that will seem disingenuous This actually was an incredible semi-final between two of the titans of the game. However, unfortunately this will be remembered more so for the huge controversy that will be for the incredible 120 minutes That we witnessed. Bayern Munich did get robbed of possibly reaching the Champions League final. However, Real Madrid does deserve their place in the final despite the visceral emotional reactions from everyone myself included and the controversy that took place. Real Madrid’s place in London was justified even if the circumstances were not.