The Spanish Inquisition - Bayern's UCL hoodoo vs LaLiga's big boys

By Ryan Benson 24 April 2018 326
The Spanish Inquisition - Bayern's UCL hoodoo vs LaLiga's big boys

Given their recent history against Spanish clubs in the Champions League, a sense of doom may have descended upon the Allianz Arena when Bayern Munich drew Real Madrid in this year's semi-finals.

Although Jupp Heynckes' men progressed past Sevilla in the quarters, few would suggest defeating a side now eighth in LaLiga can constitute the end of a hoodoo.

Since crushing Barcelona 7-0 on aggregate en route to claiming the crown in 2012-13, Bayern have been eliminated from the Champions League by Spanish opposition in each of the last four seasons, with Madrid responsible on two of those occasions.

While Zinedine Zidane's side have won each of the last two finals, their lucky escape against Juventus in the previous round proved there are gaps in their armour and Bayern have the weapons to exploit those chinks.

Although it will make grim reading for Bayern fans ahead of another Spanish showdown, we have had a look back at where it went wrong for the Bundesliga champions against LaLiga sides in the recent past.

 

2013-14 SFs – Real Madrid 5-0 Bayern Munich

Even the most ardent Madrid fans would have conceded their side were second best in the first leg of the 2013-14 semi-final at the Santiago Bernabeu, but a first-half Karim Benzema goal gave them a slender 1-0 lead to take to Germany. Bayern were unable to replicate their dominance in the second leg and were ultimately crushed – Madrid running out 4-0 winners thanks to braces from Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo, with Carlo Ancelotti's side three up inside 34 minutes. That saw Los Blancos progress to their first final since 2002 as they dumped out the defending champions.

2014-15 SFs – Barcelona 5-3 Bayern Munich

With Barcelona icon Pep Guardiola in charge of Bayern, this was the final many had hoped for. Yet, the two faced off in the last four and the Catalans got their revenge for the 7-0 drubbing two years earlier. The first leg in Spain looked to be heading for stalemate, before Barca exploded with three goals in the last 13 minutes to leave Guardiola stunned. Medhi Benatia's early goal in Bavaria hinted at a chance for Bayern, but Neymar's brace soon put Barca out of sight. The hosts went on to win 3-2, but it was not enough.

2015-16 SFs – Atletico Madrid *2-2 Bayern Munich

Despite dominating, Bayern left Madrid with a 1-0 defeat thanks to Saul Niguez's wonder goal in the first leg of the 2015-16 semis. It was vintage Diego Simeone. Xabi Alonso's deflected free-kick in Munich put Bayern back on level terms just after the half-hour mark, but Thomas Muller saw a penalty saved by Jan Oblak before Antoine Griezmann scored Atletico a vital away goal. Although Robert Lewandowski ensured a tense ending, Simeone's side held on to reach a second final in three years, denying Guardiola in his last season at the helm.

2016-17 QFs– Real Madrid 6-3 Bayern Munich

The first leg of last season's quarter-final left Bayern with a mountain to climb, as Javi Martinez was sent off and Arturo Vidal missed a penalty, with Ronaldo's brace sealing a 2-1 turnaround. Initially things were different in Madrid, as the 90 minutes finished with Bayern 2-1 up to force extra-time, despite Vidal seeing red late on. That, arguably, proved fatal, as Ronaldo went on to complete his hat-trick and Marco Asensio wrapped things up.

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Ryan Benson

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