April 25 (UPI) — Marco Asensio scored in the 56th minute to give Real Madrid a 2-1 victory in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals against Bayern Munich Wednesday at Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany.
The midfielder capitalized on a gaff from Bayern defender Rafinha on Madrid’s end of the pitch, just past midfield. Rafinha dribbled into the defense of Madrid’s Lucas Vazquez, before firing off an ill-advised pass to the middle of the field. Asensio was there to graciously intercept the offering.
He sent a one-touch pass up to Vazquez, who dribble down the right flank, drawing two Bayern defenders. Vazquez then hit a wide-open Asensio as he ran straight toward the goal. Asensio lifted a shot with his left boot, clearing the diving Bayern keeper Sven Ulreich to his left.
The La Liga squad held off the Bundesliga power down the stretch to secure the first leg victory.
Madrid — who beat Juventus in the quarterfinals — had to play a bit of catch-up in Wednesday’s win. Bayern’s Joshua Kimmich scored the first goal of the game in the 27th minute. The defender badly fooled Madrid keeper Keylor Navas on that play.
He danced down the right side of the pitch after receiving a long through ball from James Rodriguez. Kimmich crossed into the box, drawing Navas off of his line. He then finished with a hard right-footed shot into the far post netting in the 28th minute.
Madrid’s own star fullback — the Brazilian Marcelo — squared up the match in the 44th minute. Marcelo scored his third Champions League goal of the season after defenders Dani Carvajal sent a header through the top of the Bayern box. He waited for the ball to bounce in front of his body before chopping it down with a left-footed volley for Madrid’s first score.
Madrid battles Leganes on Saturday before resuming the Champions League showdown with Bayern at 2:45 p.m. Tuesday at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, Spain.