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Champions League: Five reasons Bayern Munich slumped to Real Madrid

Wednesday 19th April 2017
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.

Here are five reasons behind the Bavarians' horrible slip at the Santiago Bernabeu.

1 - Calamitous officiating

Bayern arrived in 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 the Bayern area, was shown a second yellow card for what appeared to be a clean sliding tackle on Marco Asensio. And then Ronaldo was standing at least a yard offside when he met Sergio 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 place all the blame 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script played out last week involving Javi Martinez who probably would have featured in the second leg had Ancelotti withdrawn him after his yellow card.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 footballing colleagues after adding a hat-trick 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.
Toby Prince

If the sport has 11-men on each side, a ball and lasts for 90 minutes then I'll write about it. Simply put, I'm an unrepentant soccer freak that other freaks will, however, call a geek. I do find time for music when not watching the beautiful game, though and have been known to produce the odd track. 


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