Thursday, March 18, 2010

18 March 1998 - Bayer Gets A Real Headache

On 18 March 1998, Real Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen played the second leg of their Champions League Quarterfinal match-up. Although the Germans had managed a 1-1 draw in the first leg, played in Germany on 4 March, the Spanish giants proved too strong at home, sweeping Bayer aside 3-0 on their way to the club's seventh European Cup/Champions League title.

Real dominated the match from the start, but were kept out of the goal in the first half by Bayer keeper Dirk Heinen (pictured). He made a handful of brilliant saves to keep the match scoreless, including one from a long-range shot taken from just inside the midfield stripe with Heinen just managing to tip the ball over the bar.

Early in the second half Real's pressure paid off with two goals in rapid succession, both coming from set pieces (50', Karembeu and 57', Morientes). With advancement secure, Real capped their victory with a 90th-minute penalty kick to end the match 3-0 for the home side. The scoreline was an accurate reflection of Real's dominance - only Heinen's outstanding play prevented the margin from being substantially larger.

Real went on to claim the trophy with a 1-0 win over Juventus in the Final. Real and Bayer met again in the 2002 Final, played in Glasgow's Hampden Park, with Real once more finishing on top, 2-1.

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