It is not simply their sheer volume but also the timing of Cristiano Ronaldo’s scoring feats that make him one of football’s all-time greats, and he found the perfect moment here to end both the statistical anomaly of 11 Champions League hours without scoring and reach a century of European club goals.
His Real Madrid team should have been trailing by at least two goals at half-time after largely being out-played by Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern Munich but, having first scored the equaliser, it was the trickery of Ronaldo that provoked both fouls that led to Javi Martinez’s red card.
Bayern were left facing 32 long minutes with only 10 men and, inevitably, it was then Ronaldo who pounced to give Real a second away goal and a clear advantage going into next Tuesday’s second leg at the Bernabeu.
Ronaldo has now also beaten his great rival Lionel Messi (stuck on 97) to become the first ever player to reach the landmark of 100 European goals.
“He was happy in the dressing room but not fully happy because he had the chance to score the third too; he has so much ambition,” said Real’s manager, Zinedine Zidane.
His entire team are also aiming to create history in becoming the first to retain the European Cup in the current Champions League format, and they justified their tournament favourites status here in how they handled a Bayern team with the heavyweight pedigree themselves of reaching three of the past seven Champions League finals.
Real had been forced to demonstrate their defensive resolve early in the match and the turning point of the game – perhaps also the tie – was Artur Vidal’s missed penalty on the stroke of half-time with Bayern leading 1-0.
Real also had to absorb the second-half loss of Gareth Bale to a hamstring injury and it is unclear whether he will now be available for the return leg. As he walked out of the Allianz Arena with a slight limp, Bale indicated that he had felt only stiffness and was “OK”. Zidane seemed a little more concerned. “He felt something at half-time and we didn’t want to take a risk,” he said. “Now he is bad; we hope it’s not serious.”
Bayern will certainly be without Martinez next Tuesday but Ancelotti is confident that Robert Lewandowski will have recovered from the shoulder injury that forced him to miss this match. With 38 goals already this season, Lewandowski has been more potent even than Ronaldo and, with Thomas Muller filling in through the centre, he was clearly missed.
Bayern had taken an early hold of possession but, with Bale soon influential, Real were more incisive and created the first chances. Bale demonstrated both his quick thinking and ability to launch a sudden attack with a throw-in by releasing Karim Benzema behind Bayern’s defence. The France striker crossed to tee up Toni Kroos but his shot cannoned out for a corner from which Benzema’s downward header was clawed onto the crossbar by Manuel Neuer.
It was the jolt that Bayern seemed to need and their midfield settled into a dominant passing rhythm. Franck Ribery had a powerful, volleyed shot deflected wide by Bale and, from Thiago’s corner that followed, Vidal surged into the penalty area and beat Real goalkeeper Keylor Navas with the sheer force of his header.
Ribery then turned to create space and referee Riccardo Di Fiore pointed immediately to the penalty spot when his shot was blocked by Nacho’s arm. Vidal went for power rather than precision and smashed the subsequent penalty well over Navas’s goal.
Ronaldo had been largely anonymous to this point but that all changed within two minutes of the re-start. Full-back Dani Carvajal latched on to Casemiro’s pass and sprinted forward to deliver a low cross to the edge of Bayern’s six-yard box. Ronaldo gambled with his near-post run and brilliantly turned the ball past Neuer to equalise.
The momentum had now switched and Bale could then have put Real into the lead when he met Luka Modric’s cross but headed straight at Neuer from close range.
Bale was replaced by Marco Asensio and it was not long before his team also had a numerical advantage. Martinez was beaten just inside in his own half by Ronaldo and reacted rashly, despite being booked only 173 seconds earlier, by tripping the current holder of the Ballon d’Or. Di Fiore reached immediately for his second yellow and Bayern were facing more than half an hour with 10 men.
Juan Bernat was brought on at left-back and David Alaba shuffled into the centre of defence as Bayern settled into a 4-4-1 formation without Ribery and, despite initially defending with great resilience, they could not hold out.
First, Ronaldo forced a brilliant one-handed save by Neuer before then meeting Marcelo’s cross and shooting past the Germany goalkeeper.
Real had chances for a third – notably when Marcelo blazed wide – and Ancelotti was ultimately relieved simply to be returning to Madrid with some hope. “Maybe Real Madrid could have killed the qualification if they scored another – we are still alive,” he said.
Time on ball (at full time)
Average touch positions (full time)
Advantage Real Madrid! The fine margins of elite football, eh? Vidal should have put Bayern two up, Ronaldo was anonymous in the first half and the match winner in the second.
GOOOOAAAAAAA oh it's been ruled out
Ramos does that thing where he stands yards ahead of the defensive line from a free-kick, then ducks back in just before it's taken. He gets back, jumps and powers the header past Neuer but the linesman spots he's well offside. That's another excellent call from the refereeing team tonight.
Bayern can't get out of their own half and look really tired now. Real are getting men forward, looking for space. Vidal is getting fired up because he gives a free-kick away next to his own box and then shoves Modric away. The referee gives him a booking for it.
Just imagine he'd scored that penalty.
Real Madrid completely in control now. Bayern are just trying to keep the score down so they can have a go in the second leg.
Goooaoaaalalalaal OFFSIDE. Modric swings the ball out to the left, Marcelo volleys it across the box, Benzema is offside when he controls the pass and finishes past Neuer.
James Rodriguez is on for the final few minutes in place of Benzema.
Neither Luis Suarez, nor Lewandowski, Higuain, Mbappe, Benzema or even Kane. Cristiano Ronaldo is the best centre forward in the world
— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) April 12, 2017
100 - Cristiano Ronaldo has now scored his 100th goal in UEFA club competition. Centurion.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 12, 2017
Marcelo has just crashed a shot inches wide of the far post too! That would have been Bayern all but out of the tie.
Madrid piling on the pressure
The visitors have attempted 20 shots so far, with 11 of them hitting the target.
A goal from Cristiano Ronaldo for Madrid makes the score 1-2.
— Real Madrid C. F. (@realmadrid) April 12, 2017
After a wonder save, Neuer can't stop the ball going through his legs as Ronaldo the poacher pokes it past him to score his 100th UEFA European club goal. Some boy.
WHAT A SAVE! I'm pretty sure Neuer is about 80 per cent robot. Ronaldo has just hit a Lee Carvallo Power Drive from 12 yards and Neuer just puts an arm out and blocks it. I'm not exaggerating when I say the power in that Ronaldo shot would have taken my arm clean off. It would have put a hole in a shed, to use another well known phrase.
Time on ball (60 - 75 min)
Bayern are playing with a 4-4-1 now, Muller on his own up front. Real are effectively winning here so aren't too eager to throw men forward either. It's a game of attack vs defence now, as both teams advance with only a few of their attacking players allowed forward.
Benzema has just been denied a great goal by another terrific save from Neuer.
The corner doesn't really come to anything and now Real have Bayern on the defensive back foot.
Other than that penalty decision, the referee has done really well here tonight. He's not buying any player who decides he wants a free-kick when surrounded and drops himself to the floor when a tackle comes in.
Ramos takes the kick and puts it narrowly wide and high of the goal. Decent effort. And by decent I mean there is no way on earth I'd get a shot to look half as good or hit with such power.
Costa is on for Ribery now too. That photo above is Ronaldo scoring the equaliser.
Robben handballs on the edge of his own box and it's a free-kick in a position Gareth Bale would have just loved. He's on the bench now though so Marcelo or Asensio might get a go at it. Although it looks like Ronaldo wants a shot.
Alonso is off for Bernat, which will see a little reshuffle of how Bayern line up. Bernat usually plays on the left, Alaba might drop into central defence now.
Martinez is off! He's just been booked, Ronaldo cuts inside with a little shoulder drop and it's a second yellow! Three minutes between those two fouls.
Time on ball (45 - 60 min)
Real make their first substitution with Bale coming off for Marco Asensio - a really exciting Spanish youngster. I wonder whether that's tactical or because Bale hasn't really done anything other than that header a few moments ago.
Benzema thinks he's through on goal for a second but the linesman puts his flag up and the one on one with Neuer isn't... a one on one. It's a free-kick to Bayern.
WHAT A SAVE! Neuer's reactions were phenomenal there. Carvajal plays a clever back heel and then falls to the ground looking for a free-kick but Modric keeps playing, fizzes a cross into the area and the header forces a brilliant save by the Bayern goalie.
Muller is called offside when it looks very marginal... and replays show he was right to argue with the linesman about it. Bayern keep Real on the back foot but can't quite create and another passing move ends as Vidal can't reach a poor pass.
Cristiano Ronaldo: Has ended a run of 659 mins of action without a goal in the Champions League, his longest ever drought in the competition
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) April 12, 2017
That was such a good finish by Ronaldo. Bayern are back on the attack and Real Madrid have dropped back into their defensive shape.
Bale is away! He runs in behind the defender, a forward pass finds him and he spots Ronaldo in the middle. Bale fires the ball across the box to him... but Ronaldo's touch lets him down. And that is one of the only times I've written that.
1-1: Cristiano Ronaldo scores the leveller for Madrid.
Who else?! Whatever Zidane said at half time as worked! Ronaldo finishes brilliantly, moving into space in the box and volleying low past Neuer from Carvajal's cross. Superb.
Bayern are out on the pitch much earlier than Real Madrid. Mind games or Zidane dishing out a lot of half time advice?
— BT Sport Football (@btsportfootball) April 12, 2017
Awful. No wonder his head was in his hands at the end. Other than that, Vidal has been one of the best players on the pitch.
Ronaldo's legs can't really do what his brain thinks they can anymore, but he can still kick a football really, really hard.
— Nick Miller (@NickMiller79) April 12, 2017
12 - No player attempted fewer passes than Cristiano Ronaldo in the first half of Bayern-Real Madrid. Bust.
— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) April 12, 2017
Just look at his face
Real Madrid get a shot in but Neuer saves, Ronaldo appears to think about putting the ball in the net with his hand while jumping for it - Neuer has a chat - and Vidal leaves the pitch with his head in his hands.
Time on ball (first half)
Average touch positions (half time)
That is one of the worst penalties I have ever seen. Vidal absolutely launches the ball at 100mph about 80 miles over the bar.
HOWEVER! It turns out... that might be a bit of justice for Real Madrid, because I believe this not to be a penalty. It hits the defender on the upper part of his chest.
Bayern attack, Ribery swivels outside the box and bends a shot towards the back post... it comes off a hand! It's a penalty!!!
Ronaldo moves into the middle and suddenly has space to control, turn and shoot from just outside the box. How did that happen? Neuer dives to turn the effort behind and from the corner Kroos moves into the box and shoots wide.
Robben fouls Kroos in Bayern's half and the German goes down screaming. His teammates take the kick quickly and Ronaldo plays a pass behind Benzema which ruins the move.
SO CLOSE VIDAL! This is all about Robben on the right wing. He doesn't cut inside this time and totally fools Carvajal, getting a pass across to Vidal who heads wide. Great chance.
Look how high up the pitch Alaba's average position is! He's not a left-back today at all! But also... he is. Thiago has been superb tonight so far, drifting around the midfield into space and linking play with clever passes. He helps build a move which Lahm has a chance to shoot from, but fakes and plays the through-ball to Muller. Muller tries to turn but the ball goes out for a corner.
Casemiro is back on the pitch and has survived his latest journey into the land of injury. Bayern are being quite aggressive with their tackling but it's nothing exceptional and Real players are going down too easily.
Bayern are in control of this game at the moment. Real's plan to sit back and counter is probably a sensible one but Ancelotti's side is really starting to build up pressure.
Casemiro keeps going down injured. He's down again now after slipping. It looks like he's slipped and Vidal has caught his knee and he does look a little distressed actually.
Ribery kicks the ball out as Casemiro is down on his back and in a bit of pain. I think he winded himself.
Time on ball (15 - 30 min)
Real are trying to get back into straight away but Ronaldo doesn't hold the ball up well in the Bayern box and Ribery wins a free-kick shortly after. In other Champions League news, Leicester have just gone 1-0 down to an Atletico Madrid penalty.
FC Bayern take the lead, and it's Arturo Vidal with the goal: 1-0.
Ribery wins a corner with a shot from distance and Bayern go for the same routine they've gone for from the previous few. This time Vidal powers his header, having escaped the attentions of Nacho!
Alonso hits a rare shocker of a pass, gifting possession straight back to his old team. Bayern win it back as Martinez throws himself to the floor to win a free-kick.
Robben comes forward, cuts inside on to his left - WHO COULD HAVE KNOWN?! - but Ramos deals with the danger and it's another Bayern corner. Real defend it well. Nothing too exciting going on at the moment.
BENZEMA HITS THE BAR! And the post! At the same time! Great header from the Frenchman as the ball is crossed into the area and he jumps higher than the rest, heading the ball down into the ground. It bounces and Neuer is beaten but his bar comes to the rescue.
Ronaldo takes the free-kick but fires it way over the bar. It's always such a disappointment when he shoots from them these days :-(
Time on ball (0 - 15 min)
Both teams giving each other a lot of respect in this opening part of the game. Neither wants to commit too many forward.
Ronaldo gets space on the left, comes forward, and feeds it in to Benzema. The pass looks a little short but Benzema draws a foul and Real have a decent shooting chance from the free-kick.
Alonso hits a superb free-kick into the box from a fair distance but it's headed away. Without Lewandowski in that box Bayern are missing a bit of aerial threat here tonight, though Martinez and Boateng aren't exactly small lads.
Ronaldo links with Marcelo down the left, Marcelo looks for the foul but it doesn't come and so his flop to the floor nearly puts Real in a difficult situation as Bayern threaten to counter... but it comes to nothing.
Real venture forward, Carvajal tucks inside rather than overlapping and Bayern have a bit of work to do. They defend well... and then Robben is fouled by Kroos and acts like he's been harpooned in the shin. Alas, he has not.
The visitors have their first shot of the game, in reply to two so far from FC Bayern.
Two corners for Bayern now and both of them have been sent to the back post, towards Arturo Vidal. Presumably someone in the Real Madrid team who usually defends this bit has been highlighted as a vulnerability by Ancelotti.
Alaba keeps the ball in play near the corner flag (he's meant to be left-back remember) and Bayern win another corner. Alonso will take this one from the right... aims at the near post and... it's turned behind for a goal kick.
Bayern win a corner early on but the ball is headed back across goal and Navas can catch it in the air easily. Bayern have started on the front foot here, Real Madrid seem to be looking to play on the counter-attack in a 4-4-2 defensive shape.
Here we go!
A famous referee
Nicola Rizzoli of Italy is tonight's official. You may remember him from such games as the World Cup final. Very fancy.
It's time for soccer!
The players are in the tunnel and making their way out onto the pitch. Now we can all listen to the Champions League theme tune:
The players warming up
Security before the game
The police have stepped up security before this one due to the Borussia Dortmund bus explosion which happened yesterday.
In addition to a lot of armed guards outside the stadium....
Volunteers have been asked to remove all the paper etc from the Allianz Arena which was there for a choreographed display.
Hello everyone! Welcome to this lovely liveblog. We have the team news nice and early and can start trying to work out how both teams might lineup. Well, we know how Real Madrid will line up, anyway.
A lovely team sheet for you to enjoy before reading my liveblog on the Bayern vs Real game pic.twitter.com/DijZs0203q
— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) April 12, 2017
Real always play in a 4-3-3 under Zinedine Zidane, with Ronaldo moving inside to be a second striker when Marcelo gets down that left wing. Modric is the key creator, Kroos sets the temp, Bale just does Bale things from time to time. He gives the ball away quite a lot though and as clearly talented at going forward as he is, Bayern will believe they can hit Real on the counter-attack from that wing.
In fact, Real aren't great at dealing with the counter-attack at all. Alaba will have Vidal helping him to win the ball on the left, Lahm has Xabi Alonso just ahead of him on the right and since Ronaldo rarely tracks back and Marcelo loves going forward, here is where Bayern can have fun.
Casemiro has been excellent for Zidane in that holding midfield role but can be drawn out of position when his team doesn't have the ball. Atletico caught him ball watching in the Madrid derby last week - Ancelotti will be very aware!
— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) April 12, 2017
— Real Madrid C. F. (@realmadrid) April 12, 2017