UEFA Champions League

Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid: 6 Things We Learned

Rik SharmaFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2014

Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid: 6 Things We Learned

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    Iker Casillas and Co. will be in Lisbon, Portugal.
    Iker Casillas and Co. will be in Lisbon, Portugal.Associated Press

    If there were any doubts about the efficiency of Carlo Ancelotti's tactics after the first leg, they were put to bed at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday night.

    Madrid won 4-0 in Germany, 5-0 on aggregate, against Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich side. 

    The current European champions were helpless as Madrid ran riot in Bavaria.

    Here are six nuggets we can take from Real Madrid's Champions League semi-final second-leg triumph.

Alonso Only Has Himself to Blame

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    Alonso will be missing in the final.
    Alonso will be missing in the final.Matthias Schrader

    The rules are very clear.

    Xabi Alonso knew coming into this match that if he was booked he would miss the final.

    With his team 3-0 up, he made the rash decision to foul Bastian Schweinsteiger. The foul was useful in that it broke up Bayern's attack, but given the circumstances, Alonso shouldn't have made it.

    Sergio Ramos was, surprisingly, more intelligent and avoided confrontation until he was substituted for Raphael Varane.

Ronaldo Shows His Lust for Records

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    Ronaldo struck twice and broke Messi's record.
    Ronaldo struck twice and broke Messi's record.Matthias Schrader

    Cristiano Ronaldo showed just how driven he is by his celebration of Real Madrid's third goal.

    Played in superbly by Gareth Bale, Ronaldo tucked the ball past Manuel Neuer, and it had barely hit the back of the net before he was bringing out a special celebration.

    He used his hands to display the number 15, which was how many goals he had scored in this season's Champions League.

    It took him above the previous record of 14, jointly held by Lionel Messi, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Jose Altifini.

    Most players would have celebrated wildly, but Ronaldo was fully aware of what he was doing.

    However, his second goal, a free-kick drilled under the Bayern wall, led to a more manic celebration.

Ribery Does Not Belong on the Same Platform as Ronaldo and Messi

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    Ribery isn't as effective as Ronaldo or Messi.
    Ribery isn't as effective as Ronaldo or Messi.Kerstin Joensson

    There was not much doubt before this game that Franck Ribery, while an excellent player, was not on the same level as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

    Being the best player in the best team doesn't make you the best player in the world.

    And now he's not even in the best team.

    Ronaldo and Messi have been smashing records season after season; Ribery is arguably not even much better than team-mate Arjen Robben.

    Even though he spent 90 of the 180 minutes playing injured, Ronaldo was far more effective than the Frenchman. 

Bayern Munich Are Bad at Defending Set Pieces

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    Ramos scored twice from set pieces.
    Ramos scored twice from set pieces.Matthias Schrader

    There are some things that Real Madrid are very good at.

    Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema make a formidable front three. Supporting them are the hugely talented trio of Angel Di Maria, Luka Modric and Xabi Alonso.

    Those six players offer a huge goal threat.

    Which makes it all the more embarrassing for Bayern that Real broke the deadlock with a Sergio Ramos header from a set piece.

    And doubly so, when Ramos repeated the trick just a couple of minutes later.

    The defending for the first goal was poor, but Ramos deserves a lot of credit for his bullet header.

    But having seen what happened, Bayern deserve all the criticism coming their way when they let it occur again mere minutes later.

Real Madrid Are Obsessed with La Decima

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    Madrid are closing in on La Decima.
    Madrid are closing in on La Decima.Matthias Schrader

    Don't say it isn't so.

    As soon as the match ended, Real Madrid players were wearing T-shirts that read "a por la decima," which means "we're going for the 10th."

    It has been 12 years since they won their last Champions League title, their ninth.

    The time in between has been painful, and now they are as close as they've ever been to winning their 10th title.

    Ask any Madrid fan whether he'd rather usurp rivals Atletico in La Liga or win the Champions League, and he'll choose the latter option.

Expect a Defensive Masterclass in the Final

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    Pepe (right) and Ramos (left) have been outstanding.
    Pepe (right) and Ramos (left) have been outstanding.Matthias Schrader

    Whichever of Chelsea or Atletico Madrid qualify, we will be watching two of the three best pairs of central defenders in the final.

    Pepe and Sergio Ramos were excellent against Bayern Munich and have been for several months.

    Only Atletico Madrid's pair of Miranda and Diego Godin have been better in La Liga.

    And Chelsea's John Terry and Gary Cahill have also been superb this season.

    Madrid, Chelsea and Atletico are all willing and able to play in a defensive fashion and counterattack.

    But the onus will be on Los Blancos to go forward in the final, so Terry and Cahill or Miranda and Godin will be busier than Pepe and Ramos in Lisbon, Portugal.

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