Bastain Schweinsteiger had an up-and-down performance in Bayern Munich's Champions League match against Manchester United, but it is what happened in the closing minutes that has everyone's attention.
In the 90th minute, the midfielder went for a sliding tackle against Wayne Rooney but was called for his second yellow card, as noted by ESPN FC:
RED CARD for Schweinsteiger! He picks up his 2nd yellow on a slide tackle on Rooney and will miss the return leg.— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 1, 2014
Needless to say, there was plenty of debate about whether the call was deserved. Bayern manager Pep Guardiola believed it was a dive:
Guardiola gestured that Rooney dived. pic.twitter.com/dTSLI8t2Zt— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) April 1, 2014
Bleacher Report's Dan Levy agreed that it was an oversell by the English star:
World class dive by Rooney. Great refereeing.— Dan Levy (@DanLevyThinks) April 1, 2014
On the other hand, British newspaper The Sun felt the call was justified:
It was a foul and deserved a booking for the lunge. But Rooney also deserved 10/10 for artistic impression there... #ManUtdBayern— The Sun - Football (@TheSunFootball) April 1, 2014
The first yellow card came with much less debate after Schweinsteiger fouled Michael Carrick just outside of the box. It seemed to be a poor tackle out of frustration after United took a 1-0 lead just a few minutes earlier.
Unfortunately, the red card will force the veteran player to miss the second leg when these two teams meet. As Mike Keegan of the Manchester Evening News notes, the English club should feel quite satisfied in its situation:
Think it's safe to say pre-kick-off most Reds would have taken 1-1 and Schweinsteiger and Martinez banned for second leg. #mufc— Mike Keegan (@mikekeeganmen) April 1, 2014
Then again, history has shown that the home team gets a big advantage in the second leg in these situations:
In all European Cups history, after drawing 1-1 in the first leg, the away team has progressed on 74.5%.— Infostrada Sports (@InfostradaLive) April 1, 2014
Either way, it is clear that Bayern Munich will miss one of their key players. Before being removed in the closing minutes, Schweinsteiger was playing a strong game with his great pass accuracy and ability to create opportunities for his teammates.
Additionally, the midfielder scored the equalising goal in the 67th minute in a play well described by Fox Soccer:
Goal, Bayern! Schweinsteiger finishes off a brilliant attack, volleys home Mandzukic's headed lay-off to equalize, 1-1. #UCLonFOX— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 1, 2014
WhoScored.com notes the player's recent ability to create for himself:
Bastian Schweinsteiger: Has scored 3 goals in his 6 CL apps this season, 1 more than he scored in his 12 apps last season #UCL— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) April 1, 2014
This offense helped out Bayern Munich in this one, but it was not enough to get the win. Despite United struggling in league play, Schweinsteiger knew that the matchup would be tough, telling Peter McVitie of Goal.com:
It will be an incredibly difficult game. It's something very special to be able to play at Old Trafford. ...It's great to have already one title, but we can't lose focus now. We want to win every remaining game. We're a team that wants to win every game - even in training. This is no different.
The defending champions will now have to hope for a better result in the next leg without one of the better midfielders in the world. Bayern Munich have a deep roster full of offensive talent, but they will clearly miss the contributions of the midfielder, especially after seeing how well he played in this one.
With Thiago Alcantara also out, the club will have to do some rearranging in the lineup. It will be interesting to see if Guardiola can find a way to work his magic to help his team get the win.
There's no doubt the call will continue to stir debate as well.
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