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Match Awards for Bayern Munich’s painful late 2-1 defeat by Real Madrid

It’s always Real Madrid, isn’t it? Two ridiculous late goals lifted Real Madrid past Bayern Munich into the Champions League final, despite a heroic effort from the Bavarian giants. These are the competition prizes:

Jersey exchange: Vinicius Junior

The football world has collectively agreed that Kylian MbappĂ© is going to Real Madrid. But while the Frenchman struggled to make an impact on the game for Paris Saint Germain yesterday, Vinicius Junior ran the show for Real Madrid today. Joshua Kimmich simply couldn’t get near Real Madrid’s number 7, who danced around every opponent he faced, terrified Bayern’s defense all night and played a crucial role in the first goal.

The Kaiser: Manuel Neuer

It’s so easy to focus on the agonizing failure of Manuel Neuer to hold on to Vinicius Junior’s shot, who tapped in the equalizer through Joselu. But this goal should in no way undo all the tremendous work Neuer has done beforehand, single-handedly keeping Bayern in the game with sensational save after sensational save, but also maintaining incredible composure on the ball to turn the heads of keep the team straight. It’s as if Vinicius’ brace in the first leg angered Neuer, while the Brazilian’s repeated goal attempts were denied time and time again. This game was a reminder of the eternal class of the German.

Der Fussballgott: Konrad Laimer

Konrad Laimer was by far Bayern’s best player in the first leg and he stepped up again for the Bavarian giants when they needed him most. Laimer continued to run throughout the match, constantly harassing Real Madrid’s midfielders, snapping at them and winning the ball back in glorious fashion. Furthermore, he also showed an unusual level of press resistance today, shrugging past opponents like it was nothing and bulldozing his way to the front. It is extremely bad luck to be on the losing side.

The Bomber: Alphonso Davies

What a goal. What an incredible goal. After months of poor performances, Alphonso Davies was rightly dropped and forced to re-evaluate his status at the club. But after being brought on for Serge Gnabry today, Davies looks to have inherited Gnabry’s fate of scoring, cutting in and shooting with his weak foot to score an absolute screamer from outside the penalty area. What a goal it was.

Man of the match: the entire team

Look, it’s lame and there will be people who will be annoyed by the positive way in which such a disappointing and aggravating loss is written about here. But it is pertinent to remember how difficult that period was in February, when it looked as if Thomas Tuchel had lost the dressing room and the season would fall apart. The fact that Bayern managed to rally against Lazio, get past Arsenal and take Real Madrid so close shows how the entire dressing room came together and put everything into a season that seemed hopeless. That attitude was almost rewarded today, when Bayern were still pushing and pushing in the fifteenth extra minute after ninety minutes, after all seemed lost, and Matthijs De Ligt scored a goal that was controversially disallowed. It would have been a just reward for a team that simply never stopped trying. Bayern leaves the Champions League, but will do so with their heads held high.

Looking for more discussion about the game? We’ve got all the thoughts and analysis you need with our Bavarian Podcast Works – Postgame Show! Check out our take on Thomas Tuchel’s line-up, how the match went and why Real Madrid (perhaps with a little help) pulled off a Champions League win. Watch the show on Spotify or below:

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