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

Bayern Munich faces Real Madrid in the last four matches of the Champions League, and we see how the Spanish teams have eliminated them in recent years.

News April 24, 2018, 12:30 IST


bayern v spanish sides-cropped
Recent flops Bayern Munich against Spanish teams

Given its recent history against Spanish clubs in the Champions League, a sense of fatality may have reached the Allianz Arena when Bayern Munich attracted Real Madrid in the semifinals of this year.

Although Jupp Heynckes' men progressed to Sevilla in the quarters, few would suggest defeating a team now eighth in LaLiga that may constitute the end of a hoodoo.

Since defeating Barcelona 7-0 on the global road to claim the crown in 2012-13, Bayern have been eliminated from the Champions League by the Spanish opposition in each of the last four seasons, with the responsible Madrid in two of those occasions.

While Zinedine Zidane has won each of the last two finals, his luck to escape against Juventus in the previous round showed that there are gaps in his armor and Bayern has the weapons to exploit those cracks.

Although it will be a grim reading for the Bayern fans before another Spanish clash, we have taken a look at where it went wrong for the Bundesliga Champions against LaLiga teams in the recent past.

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

Even the most ardent Madrid fans would have conceded that their team was the second best in the first leg of the 2013-14 semi-final in Santiago Bernabéu, but in the first half Karim Benzema's goal gave them a slender 1-0 lead to take Germany. Bayern could not replicate their dominance in the second leg and was finally crushed: Madrid was without winners by 4-0 thanks to the support of Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo, with triple A Carlo Carlo Ancelotti within 34 minutes. That saw Los Blancos advance to their first final since 2002, as they eliminated the defending champions.

SF 2014-15 – Barcelona 5-3 Bayern Munich

With the icon of Barcelona Pep Guardiola in charge of Bayern, this was the last one that many They had expected. However, the two met in the last four and the Catalans took revenge for the beating 7-0 two years earlier. The first leg in Spain seemed to be heading towards a stalemate, before Barça exploded with three goals in the last 13 minutes to knock Guardiola down. The early goal by Medhi Benatia in Bavaria hinted at an opportunity for Bayern, but Neymar's support soon left Barça out of sight. The hosts won 3-2, but it was not enough.

SF of 2015-16 – Atlético de Madrid * 2-2 Bayern Munich

Despite dominating, Bayern left Madrid with a 1-0 defeat thanks to the wonderful goal of Saúl Niguez in the first section of the 2015-16 semifinals. It was vintage Diego Simeone. The free kick by Xabi Alonso in Munich put Bayern on equal footing just after half an hour of play, but Thomas Muller saw a penalty saved by Jan Oblak before Antoine Griezmann scored Atletico as a vital goal. Although Robert Lewandowski secured a tense finish, Simeone's team held on to reach a second final in three years, denying Guardiola in his final season at the helm.

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

The first leg of the quarterfinals last season left Bayern with a mountain to climb, as Javi Martínez was sent off and Arturo Vidal missed a penalty, with the key of Ronaldo sealing a change of 2-1. Initially, things were different in Madrid, as the 90 minutes ended with Bayern 2-1 to force extra time, despite the fact that Vidal saw red late. That, arguably, proved fatal, as Ronaldo went on to complete his hat-trick and Marco Asensio concluded things.

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