Bayern Munich 0 Real Madrid 4 (agg. 0-5): Match report, player ratings
Real Madrid have never won at Bayern Munich, so it was only fitting then that when the opportunity came that they did it in style. Bayern suffered their worst home defeat in the Champions League, Pep Guardiola saw his worst defeat as a manager and Cristiano Ronaldo tallied 16 goals in the Champions league this season, the most ever scored by a player. Records made and broken all round.
Carlo Ancelotti set his team up similar to how they approached the game last Wednesday. Solid in defence and quick to counter. Only this time they were much better. However, even he could not have predicted the total annihilation of one of the world’s best football teams. And even he was surprised to see it kick-started by two headers from set pieces by Sergio Ramos. Ronaldo added another, assisted by Gareth Bale, to see out the first half 3-0. Ronaldo then rounded off the night with a special free kick.
Real were utterly ruthless in attack and tactically brilliant in defence. Brendan Rodgers criticised how Jose Mourinho set up his team to counter against Liverpool in the Premier League clash at the weekend. Mourinho would give the thumbs up for this display tonight.
Bayern looked confused and out of place, their defence mind-boggled. They could not cope with the sheer pace and power of Ronaldo, Bale and Karim Benzema who were all in sync with each other. Just as it was at the Berneabeu, the current holder’s of the Champions League trophy lacked innovation and cutting edge in attack, which did not help as their defence fell apart behind them.
As many of us watched on in astonishment at the dismantling of Bayern, Ancelotti watched on as calm as ever. Only after Ronaldo made it 4-0 did he express his emotions as he cheered towards the Real fans up in the top tier.
Real Madrid are in their first Champions League final since 2002. Back then they won the game 2-1 against Bayer Leverkusen and will be hoping to do the same again. For now, they wait in anticipation to see if they will face their old manager or their local rivals when Chelsea take on Atletico Madrid tomorrow evening. Whoever they face, they will strive to do the same as they did tonight.
One man who will not feature is Xabi Alonso. His and Real’s night was dampened as the midfielder picked up a yellow card for a foolish tackle on Bastian Schweinsteiger that rules him out of the final in Lisbon. A great shame, as his performance over the two legs deserves recognition.
Throughout the first half, Bayern Munich’s defence were all over the place as they struggled to keep Real Madrid at bay. One long ball over the top saw goalkeeper Manuel Neuer come rushing out to head away, only as far as Bale who would have scored early on had he hit the target. His shot was just over the bar.
With the focus in the build up on Real’s chance to exploit a counter attack system against Bayern, it was a shock for everyone to see the home side undone by two headed goals. The first came from a corner as Luka Modric whipped it in and found the head of Ramos. Bale was brought down and Angel Di Maria’s free kick found Pepe, who flicked it on for Ramos to head in his second of the game. Bayern’s marking for both goals was shocking.
Real’s plan was finally put into action and was executed perfectly. Bale played the ball to Di Maria from his own box and set off. Di Maria played the ball long to Benzema, who controlled and played the ball back to Bale who drove into the space. Jerome Boateng could only just keep up and was forced to watch as Bale cleverly passed left to Ronaldo who finished underneath Neuer. The Ballon d’Or winner celebrated by holding up 10 and then 5 fingers, in reference to his Champions League record of 15 goals in a single season.
It continued to get worse for the home side. Another long ball forced Neuer to rush off his line and out the area. He miskicked and the ball landed to Ronaldo. His long-range effort was also only just wide of the goal.
The damage was done in the first half and Bayern Munich knew it. They trudged off the pitch looking dishevelled. Guardiola knew even this comeback was against his managerial capabilities, despite all his genius. He brought off the ineffective Mario Mandzukic and replaced him with Javi Martinez, to strengthen the midfield and offer more protection for the back four. Or to prevent further humiliation.
Bayern’s fans continued to sing throughout the night. Franck Ribery was disappointing and seemed out of the game and was eventually replaced by Mario Gotze, along with Claudio Pizarro replacing Thomas Muller. The Bayern fans were displeased at seeing Muller leaving the field. Robben tried to create problems for Real but found his runs blocked as Real’s wall of defence remained firm. A curling shot just wide of the left post was as close as the Dutchman came.
The sting and impetus of Real’s attacks had lessened. And yet, Ronaldo was still desperate to score, such is his will and desire. He won a free kick, just outside the area. After seeing his previous rebound off the wall, he used his initiative and beautifully placed his shot under the wall. Neuer could only watch on helplessly. His second, Real’s fourth. A tenth European cup?
My player ratings…
Neuer 4, Lahm 5, Dante 4, Boateng 5, Alaba 5, Schweinstieger 6, Kroos 6, Robben 6, Muller 6, Ribery 5, Mandzukic 4 (subs: Martinez 6, Gotze 5, Pizarro 4)
Casillas 5, Carvajal 6, Pepe 7, Ramos 8, Coentrao 7, Alonso 7, Modric 8, Di Maria 7, Bale 8, Ronaldo 8, Benzema 7 (subs: Varane 5, Isco 5, Casemiro 5)
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