SPORT

Bayern Munich 0-4 Real Madrid: Canny Carlo Ancelotti Humiliates Stubborn Pep Guardiola

30/04/2014 07:30 BST | Updated 30/04/2014 08:59 BST
Boris Streubel via Getty Images
MUNICH, GERMANY - APRIL 29: Cristiano Ronaldo (L) of Real Madrid celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal with his head coach Carlo Ancelotti during the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Real Madrid at Allianz Arena on April 29, 2014 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images)

The evening sun in Munich kissed the Allianz Arena to illuminate the stadium in Bayern's traditional red, and inside the temperature simmered with anger, impatience and frustration on a night Pep Guardiola received a galling reality check.

Tiki-taka, sterile domination, possession play, whatever you want to call it, Guardiola's preferred approach has stultified, as well as stimulated, but at Barcelona he justified his style during four trophy-laden years. Guardiola has already retained the Bundesliga in record time with Bayern and has a German Cup final date with Jürgen Klopp's Borussia Dortmund next month. However, he has somehow strengthened the European champions and not only blunted them, but overseen one of their most ignominious European ejections.

Bayern's supporters had an hour to come to terms with the end of their hopes of retaining the Champions League, but they still dealt with it remarkably well as they filtered out into the neon lights of the Allianz. It was as if they were always resigned to such a fate, despite the pre-match mosaic of defiance and mere one-goal disadvantage.

Guardiola's stubbornness has now contributed to each of his three Champions League eliminations. Internazionale and Chelsea's tenacious triumphs were about as charming as José Mourinho in defeat, and although Real Madrid boated the defensive discipline of those teams they inflicted one of the most memorably merciless thrashings in recent times.

Madrid's players boasted last summer they would have won la décima - a 10th European Cup - had president Florentino Pérez sacked Mourinho halfway through last season, and they can now look forward to their first Champions League final in 12 years thanks to his absence. Whether it is Mourinho's Chelsea or Atlético Madrid who await them in Lisbon, the narrative is a blockbuster.

bayern munich real madrid

Ronaldo was in irresistible form on his record-breaking night

On Tuesday night they were clinical and canny at the European champions. Bayern's calamitous central defenders, Danté and Jerôme Boateng, were on the back foot more often than an England batsman as Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo tore at them with all the arrogance and pace of Australian seamers.

Bayern demigod Franz Beckenbauer recently described Bayern's football under Guardiola as "unwatchable" and, judging by the buoyant noise from their supporters as they limped to a humiliating defeat, he is not the only one.

You would think the players' reluctance to shoot from distance is out of fear Guardiola would fine them. When Toni Kroos and David Alaba hesitated in each half, Bayern's fans sighed not with anger but disappointment. It is becoming a familiar sound.

For an 82nd minute Madrid corner, every Bayern member was called back to defend in their own area. This is something usually associated with David Moyes, rather than Pep Guardiola. Jeers followed when an attack inexplicably led all the way back to Danté in defence. It is little surprise Manuel Neuer was often lingering around the halfway line. Such ponderous play is anathema to a libero goalkeeper like him.

Last year, Bayern were ruthless, now they are often toothless. Mario Mandžukić was sacrificed at half-time in favour of defensive midfielder-cum-centre-back Javier Martínez. Guardiola lost just twice against Real in 15 Clásicos but was reduced to the damage limitation set-up in a Champions League semi-final.

And, startlingly for Bayern, Guardiola remains resistant to change. Attacks, usually started by Neuer, were languorous, and neither Bastian Schweinsteiger nor Kroos could raise the tempo. Arjen Robben, easily the most alert, urgently dashed across the forward line but never concerned Real's defence.

Schweinsteiger, 30 in August, looks a shadow of his authoritative best and Bayern particularly missed Thiago Alcântara's verve. Although Kroos treasures the ball, he plays with the ambivalence of a player inhibited by his coach. The Germany midfielder is a wonderful striker of the ball, yet has registered just three goals this term.

Bayern 0-4 Real

Guardiola had changed nothing from the first leg. Mario Götze's exclusion, having gone close to securing an away goal a week ago, was perplexing and Mandžukić struggled again. The Croat has played like a striker who is merely the warm-up act ahead of Robert Lewandowski's summer arrival. Bayern might regret not signing the Pole quicker.

Madrid happily walloped the ball into Bayern's half to cede possession. Pepe Mel remarked, after his Real Betis team beat Mourinho's Madrid last year, he wanted Real to have the ball as often as possible as they "harm themselves". Under Carlo Ancelotti, even European Championship and World Cup winners have matured, and they are one of the most devastating teams on the counter-attack in living memory.

Cristiano Ronaldo showed Franck Ribéry what merits a Ballon d'Or with a devastating display. No one has ever scored more goals in a European Cup season than the Portuguese, who fired in numbers 15 and 16 past Neuer. His impudent second was reminiscent of a free-kick against Newcastle during his great 2007-08 season Manchester United. That ended with a European Cup in his hands.

At the final whistle, Ronaldo enjoyed a brief embrace with Roy Keane, a player and brief mentor at Old Trafford. Ronaldo's demanding standards and obsession with winning match Keane's own insatiable appetite.

Some of the home fans left with a quarter of the match remaining, as the red terraces were pockmarked by empty, grey seats. Which is how Guardiola might be feeling, despite what could be a double-winning campaign.