The end to possession based football and what we thought we knew of Tiki-Taka? Possibly, as Real Madrid crushed Bayern Munich 4-0 in the second leg with a perfect display of set piece efficiency, defending and counter attacking, making it 5-0 on aggregate through the two semifinals, advancing to their first Champions League semifinal in 11 years as Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos both score twice.
The whole trend Pep Guardiola helped build through the previous 3 to 4 years came crashing down in front of 69,000 Bayern fans, who saw their team face an impossible mission after Sergio Ramos scored the opening goal in the 16th minute from a corner kick, slipping away from Thomas Muller. If there was any hope left, four minutes later Ramos again was the one who was first to reach an Angel di Maria cross (Pepe helped with a small touch with his head) to make it 2-0, and put Real Madrid in the final.
The rest? Well, that was simply torment. Bayern Munich were stunned, shocked and paralyzed through the rest of the first half, and Cristiano Ronaldo made things worse by setting a new record for goals in a Champions League campaign, making it 3-0, and pretty much giving Bayern the same treatment they pulled off on Barcelona 12 months ago.
Ronaldo added another goal in the 90th minute of the match, diving near the edge of the box to win himself a free kick, and score his second goal of the match, 16th of the season in the competition and fourth for Real Madrid in the match, making it a complete and utter humiliation for the defending champions, who are the next in line of a long list of title holders who have failed to repeat.
Everything that happened this week and this season seems to confirm: Teams that don’t base their style and football on a quick attack are doomed to fail on the biggest stage. Solid, disciplined defense with the ability to strike quickly and accurately matters more than possession, finesse and style. We saw the revolution in 2008, but last year’s Bayern put a stomp on Barcelona, the team epitomizing more than anyone that certain style. Real Madrid finished the job in Munich a year later.