How Many Do We Need? Five? Do I Hear 10?
In the first leg of the UCL semifinal, vier was the magic number for Munich and Dortmund. Thomas Müller bagged a brace for Bayern with Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben collecting the remaining spoils. In the North Rhine, Robert Lewandowski lit up the Westfalenstadion with a Vierbettzimmer.
But after filling up on knackwurst, warm beer and goals galore in Germany, the UCL semis' partido de vuelta heads south to Espana—prepare your appetite for sangria, paella and perhaps a few more golassi.
Results are results, but many viewers only care about the goals. How many and who scored them. The tax with the brass—nine were scored in the first leg.
The biggest semifinal aggregate win in the Champions League era belongs to Manchester United with a 6-1 scoreline over Schalke in 2010-2011. Can Bayern or BVB top the Red Devils?
We're certain to see all-out attacking formations from Real Madrid and Barcelona here, and while many are predicting pack-the-box tactics from the German sides, don't be surprised to see a continuation of the scoring onslaught from last week's action.
In-form German sides are unlikely to change their strategies all that much. And while free-flowing, attacking football is not always sponsored by German club or country, when cruising in high-gear on the Autobahn, there's really no real reason to pump the brakes.
Messi is apparently back in the mood, but still not back to 100 percent. Real Madrid did manage that one away goal at Dortmund, so there may be a bit of belief in Galactico circles.
Hummels wary of second-leg Real Madrid backlash bit.ly/12JJDZX Can you see Mourinho's men coming back from 4-1 down?— Goal UK (@GoalUK) April 25, 2013
Here's some goal-oriented musings set to that once-invigorating, suddenly-overexposed Tony Britten ditty—while we're at it, sorry Heineken, your ad campaigns have become rote and borderline hipsterish.
Barcelona (0) vs. Bayern Munich (4)
While outclassed off the pitch in Munich, Barcelona do have a recent track record of overcoming a deficit in the Champions League. After falling 2-0 down to AC Milan back in March, many had buried the Catalans for their lackluster showing. Not so fast, Munchen bandwagoners. Have a looky here.
OK, overcoming a 2-0 deficit is not exactly the Himalayan ascent of a 4-0 setback, but if the Blaugrana can flip that old switch, they have the offensive firepower to do a little damage and make things interesting.
Football is trickier than Dick Nixon, but Bayern are simply on another level right now. Messi and Fabregas will find the nets in regular time but so will Müller and Ribery. A stoppage time Cristian Tello strike will give Barca a 3-2 hollow victory on the night, but the tie goes to the Munchen Hausen.
Aggregate: Bayern Munich 6, Barcelona 3
Goalscorers: Bayern Munich: Thomas Müller, Franck Ribery. Barcelona: Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas, Cristian Tello
What will be the aggregate total of goals scored in the UCL Semifinals??
Real Madrid (1) vs. Borussia Dortmund (4)
CR7 did the honors for Los Blancos in Germany, and despite injury rumors, he'll be all sneer and veneer on his way to a brace on either side of the half.
A Lewandowski header will quiet the Bernabeu faithful before Karim Benzema turns the plot screws a bit in the 70th minute.
Gonzalo Higuain's 89th minute strike will bring Madrid to a standstill, but BVB will make the final an all-Deutsche affair after a Marco Reus dagger in the second half of extra time (we're all but certain the Brits will be more than accommodating of two German sides descending upon Wembley).
Aggregate: Borussia Dortmund 6, Real Madrid 5
Goalscorers: Borussia Dortmund: Robert Lewandowski, Marco Reus. Real Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo (2), Karim Benzema, Gonzalo Higuain
So that's that, short and saccharine. Feel free to share your venom-free thoughts below.