Bayern's loss to Real Madrid

Six moments that defined Bayern’s loss to Real Madrid

Bayern Munich crashed like a house of cards against Real Madrid in their second leg quarter-final clash of the Champions League. Despite their dominant display in the encounter, the Bavarians controversially succumbed to a 4-2 loss (6-3 on aggregate) thus ending their five-year streak to the semi-final.

For Real, it was another sweet sail to the last four – their seventh in a roll, improving their hopes of becoming the first team to successfully retain the title. Cristiano Ronaldo was at it again, plundering a hat-trick to take his tally in the competition to 100. Marco Asensio grabbed the other goal for Los Blancos while Bayern got theirs via a Robert Lewandowski penalty coupled with an own goal from Sergio Ramos.

Here are six moments that changed the shape of the encounter at the Santiago Bernabeu.

1 – Calamitous officiating

Bayern arrived Spain with a simple mission; to overturn a two-goal deficit which they achieved in grand style. The Bavarians dominated the ball, constantly switching sides with long diagonals passes, consequently forcing Real into edgy defending. They went 2-1 up after 77 minutes and looked certain to add a third. However, two debatable calls from Hungarian referee, Viktor Kassai, somewhat cost them the game. First, Arturo Vidal already booked for an early foul on the edge of their area was shown a second yellow card for what appeared to be a clean sliding tackle on Asensio. And then Ronaldo was standing at least a yard offside when he met Ramos’ pass and spun to fire Madrid 4-3 ahead on aggregate.

“In a quarter-final, you have to put a better referee, or it is the moment to introduce video refereeing, which is what Uefa are trying because there are too many errors,” Bayern manager Carlo Ancelotti said.

2 – Ancelotti’s oversight

Ancelotti might accord all the blames on the officials for awkwardly sending off Vidal and letting Ronaldo’s goal stand, but the Italian himself was also culpable for his team’s pitiful fate. The 57-year-old clearly would have curtailed the ref’s error tendencies had he substituted Vidal who obviously was walking on a tightrope. Instead, he allowed the Chilean midfielder to play on, which eventually cost his team. A similar script played out last week involving Javier Martinez who probably would have featured in the second leg had Ancelotti withdrawn him after his yellow card.

3 – Zidane’s substitutions

While Ancelotti’s tactical inadequacies affected his team, the reverse won the game for his opposite number, Zinedine Zidane. Bale’s unavailability forced the Frenchman to adopt a diamond formation with Isco operating behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. Bayern profited from this as Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery took full advantage of the spaces on the flanks. However, Zidane’s decision to introduce Asensio and Lucas Vasquez proved decisive. His team ultimately gained a measure of control after reverting to a 4-3-3 formation, leading to the goal rush with Asensio grabbing one himself.

4 – The Ronaldo factor

Ronaldo came into last week’s fixture against Bayern with a pretty paltry two Champions League goals. Seven days after, he is sitting on seven having notched five over both legs. This goes a long way in establishing his indispensability to Zidane’s team. The Portuguese forward became the record goalscorer in European competitions after his double at the Allianz Arena. He further moves ahead of his contemporaries after adding a quintet on Tuesday.

5 – Marcelo’s brilliance

While Ronaldo stole all the headlines for his treble, Marcelo was once again the unsung hero after another exceptional display. Signed from Fluminense in 2007, the 28-year-old has been a revelation ever since but, with the galaxy of stars at the club, rarely gets the praise he deserves. Yet, Tuesday night’s performance aptly summed up why he is the best left-back in the world: he prevented two clear-cut goals and set up one for Ronaldo. Incredible.

6 – Fatigue

Eyebrows were raised when the team sheets came out and both Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels were in Bayern’s starting XI. The duo defended bravely, but it was always going to be difficult for them to play 120 minutes, and Real took advantage of their tiredness and the extra man to punish Bayern clinically. Evidently was the fourth by Asensio, with Hummels practically caught napping.

About the Author Toby Prince

An unrepentant soccer freak other freaks call geek.

Leave a Comment: