Bayern fans race for tickets after 'magical' night

Bayern Munich have been flooded with more than a million requests for tickets for the Champions League final at their Allianz Arena stadium after their dramatic penalty shoot-out win in Madrid.

After Wednesday's semi-final second leg at Real Madrid went to penalties, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was Bayern's hero as he saved spot kicks from Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo and Brazil's Kaka to help put Munich through.

Bayern now face Chelsea in Munich on May 19 and the Bavarians will hold a ballot to decide which of the million plus requests gets one of the precious 17,500 tickets allocated to the club by UEFA.

Munich's vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger hit the winning penalty to seal Bayern's 3-1 penalty shoot-out win in Spain after it finished 3-3 on aggregate over the two legs.

"We're all dead, but overjoyed," said Germany star Schweinsteiger.

"Ever since it was announced that the final would be in Munich, we've all had only one target: to get there!

"Now we have one more match at home, and we want to win it.

"The only thing going through my head was putting the ball in the net."

The German press heaped praise on Neuer, with German daily Bild simply running the headline "Jaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!" on their website and awarding the Germany shot-stopper the highest possible mark in their post-match analysis.

"I was determined to save those penalties, although obviously luck plays its part. It's great we have two finals ahead of us," said the 26-year-old.

"We've all worked very hard for this. In both games, we were on a par with them at the very least, and at the end of the day, we deserved to win."

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes, who lifted the Champions League in 1998 with Real, described it as 'a magical night', while chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said it was his most dramatic evening in nearly 40 years of football.

"We're incredibly happy and incredibly proud," said the 56-year-old.

Bayern fans
Bayern Munich supporters celebrate their team's win over Real Madrid. Pic/AFP

"The team deserves huge credit because it's an unbelievable achievement.

"That was football at its very best, at the highest level.

"All in all, it was the most intense and emotional-laden match I've witnessed in my career, and that's almost 40 years."

There was some bad news for Bayern as the trio of defenders Holger Badstuber and David Alaba, plus midfielder Luiz Gustavo, are all suspended for the final having picked up further bookings in Madrid.

Chelsea will also be without Brazil midfielder Ramires, defenders Branislav Ivanovic and captain John Terry, plus Portugal midfielder Raul Meireles who are also all suspended for the final.

The Blues booked their place in the final after their brave 2-2 draw with 10 men at Barcelona on Tuesday following their 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

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