Vinícius Júnior gives Real Madrid edge in semi-final after Kane rouses Bayern

<span><a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Vinícius Júnior;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Vinícius Júnior</a> converts his late penalty to salvage a draw for Real Madrid.</span><span>Photograph: James Gill/Danehouse/Getty Images</span>

These are Real Madrid’s principles, and if you don’t like them … well, they have others. Here Bayern Munich forced Carlo Ancelotti’s side to play not one game but several: an early defensive rearguard, a gradual arm-wrestle for control, a chaotic period at the start of the second half and finally a late quickening as they chased down the lead wrought so spectacularly by Leroy Sané and Harry Kane.

That they are still standing, ­perhaps even marginal favourites in this semi-final, is a testament to the speed and agility with which they manage to find solutions, to sense the little fissures and shifts in energy before they even happen, to smell the goal before it has even been ­conceived. And of course it helps when you have a forward of the relentless, remorseless, red-blooded quality of Vinícius Júnior, who added a cool late penalty to his sumptuous first-half goal.

Related: Toni Kroos proves the pass master yet again to point the way for Real Madrid | Sid Lowe

In between Bayern ran the game for long periods, Thomas Tuchel surveying his contraption from the touchline like a satisfied inventor, making the tweaks when they needed to be made. It was Tuchel’s inspired ­decision to start Konrad Laimer in midfield ahead of Aleksandar Pavlovic, a decision rewarded with a spiny, spiky performance from the Austrian that throttled the disappointing Jude Bellingham and caused Madrid no end of bother.

And it was Tuchel’s half-time switch, doubling down on the mayhem by switching his wingers, withdrawing the metronomic Leon Goretzka and introducing Raphaël Guerreiro as a roaming menace in the left channel, that almost grabbed the game clean off its hinges. It won’t save his job, obviously. But perhaps this was the equivalent of leaving his business card in the bowl: a reminder that there are few better coaches in world football at the bespoke gameplan for the big occasion.

It still wasn’t enough. And ­perhaps the reason it wasn’t enough was that gameplans are rarely enough on their own against Madrid. You have to win the moments, too: the wedge decisions and aerial challenges and fleeting passages when they are vulnerable. For Bayern perhaps this moment came at the very beginning of the time, those opening 15 ­minutes when they dominated not just in ­territory and chances, but vigour and colour, when the Allianz Arena roared with a noise as vivid as light, a noise that at times threatened to swallow the whole game into its jaws.

Kane – really, really good all night – was slipping between the lines and turning with ease. Sané squandered a golden chance in the first minute. Madrid’s celebrated midfield four were collapsing in on themselves, struggling to progress the ball through Bayern’s well-oiled press. Before long Ancelotti was waving his arms in frustration on the touchline, as if trying to read the introduction to a poetry textbook that Tuchel had already ripped out.

But of course Madrid always back themselves. They are perfectly happy to let you have the ball 40 yards from goal, because they back themselves from 20. Vinícius is perfectly happy to mooch around the final third like a guy who has walked into the wrong christening, but is trying to style it out. Because he’s banking on the fact that you can’t smother him all night.

Related: Carlo Ancelotti admits Jude Bellingham ‘not at his best’ against Bayern Munich

And so it proved. On 23 minutes Vinícius feinted to drop deep, stole a yard on Kim Min-jae, turned and tore upfield, finished with utter certainty. But the real architect here, with the surgical through ball was Toni Kroos, barracked mercilessly on his return to Munich and responding with a simply magnificent display, not sending a pass astray until 10 minutes before half-time.

Tuchel responded. Off came Goretzka, on came Guerreiro, and while Madrid were still puzzling over what exactly he was doing out there, Bayern scored twice. First a sizzling run and shot from Sané after a skidding pass from Laimer. Next a dribble from Jamal Musiala, a clumsy back-hoof from Lucas Vázquez, a penalty demolished by Kane despite the best efforts of Bellingham to put him off.

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But of course Madrid were never going to go quietly in the night. Manuel Neuer was forced into two sharp saves from Vinícius as Kroos and Bellingham came off, Luka Modric sauntered off the bench, and Madrid slowly raised the tempo. Finally, with seven minutes remaining Vinícius shuffled into the penalty area, Rodrygo waited for the contact from Kim, and after an interminable wait Vinícius buried the spot-kick.

“A little greedy,” was how Tuchel described Kim afterwards, and perhaps the same could be said of Bayern as a whole. Could they have protected their lead a little better? Did they blow the whole tie in going for the third goal? Was this their best chance, or does their best chance lie ahead? Ninety minutes of suffering at the Bernabéu – plus extras if needed – will sort the truth from the conjecture.