Real Madrid’s Captain, Sergio Ramos, carried shoulder high by Marcelo in celebration of the La Liga team’s 2-1 away victory against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Real Madrid took control of their Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich with victory in the first leg at the Allianz Arena.

The holders, attempting to win the competition for the third successive season, struggled defensively but were clinical in attack – with Marcelo and Marco Asensio scoring either side of half-time.

Marcelo smashed home a half-volley from the edge of the penalty area to level matters before Asensio capitalised on an error by full-back Rafinha to score a breakaway goal.

Joshua Kimmich had put Bayern in front when he slotted past Keylor Navas at the near post.

The German champions missed a host of chances in an error-strewn encounter, while Real forward Cristiano Ronaldo had a goal ruled out for handball as his run of scoring in every game of this year’s competition ended.

Bayern must now score at least twice at the Bernabeu next Tuesday to prevent Real reaching a fourth final in five years.

The result was identical to last year’s quarterfinal first leg between the teams before Real won the return game as well on the way to the first successful Champions League title defence.

Liverpool crushed AS Roma 5-2 in the other semifinal first leg on Tuesday.

The Reds boss Jurgen Klopp however insisted yesterday that the two late goals from Roma do not make a “big difference” to their Champions League semi-final, and is confident his side can follow their 5-2 first-leg win with another victory in Italy next week.

Liverpool led 5-0 with Mohamed Salah scoring twice and assisting two more, but Roma scored twice in the last 10 minutes to give themselves hope.

“What I learned is that we can win the second game as well even when it will be different, but Roma need to score goals against us,” said Klopp.

Liverpool was breathtaking at Anfield, and led through two goals each from Salah and Roberto Firmino, and another from Sadio Mane. Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti scored Roma’s goals in the final nine minutes.