Madrid into Champions League final

Two goals apiece for Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo gave Real Madrid a 4-0 win over Bayern Munich, and took them to the Champions League final.

The Liga giants made it to their first final in 12 years, winning 5-0 on aggregate, where they will face either Chelsea or city neighbours Atletico Madrid.

Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema returned to the Blancos XI for the match at the Allianz Arena, as the Wales and France internationals recovered from illness and injury, respectively. Xabi Alonso also came back into the team after missing last weekend’s win over Osasuna, whilst Fabio Coentrao was preferred to Marcelo at left-back. For the home side meanwhile, Phlipp Lahm went back into defence, with Thomas Muller being utilised in the trequartista role.

The Spanish behemoth went into the second leg of this semi-final holding a 1-0 aggregate lead from the first encounter, and much like that clash, Carlo Ancelotti’s men had to be content without the majority of the ball for the opening exchanges.

The Bavarians possession-based game was impressive for the statistics, but the Merengues were happy to sit back and frustrated Bayern’s forward line. As such, the counter-attack was almost on, and they nearly got lucky on 10 minutes. Manuel Neuer came rushing off his line to head a Madrid long ball, but his clearance went straight to Bale 35 yards from goal. The former Tottenham man though, rushed his effort, and fired the ball well over the bar.

It didn’t matter though, as with just 16 minutes gone, the visitors scored an invaluable away goal. Luka Modric’s corner was whipped over from the right-hand side, and there was Ramos to head home from close range.

The home fans were shell-shocked, and their mood was worsened further just five minutes later as Ramos netted his second of the competition and his second of the night. A free kick from Angel Di Maria on the right was flicked on by Pepe, and inside the six-yard box, there was the Spaniard, who poked home another header past Neuer.

Pep Guardiola’s men were still enjoying the monopoly on possession, but that suited the Liga outfit perfectly as they repeatedly hit the Bundesliga champions on the break. Di Maria, Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo were all using their pace to great effect, but it was the Ballon d’Or winner who had the best chance – his run and shot however, just skimmed the post.

Chances were at a premium for the hosts as a white wall stood in their way, and that was the base for what was another stunning Blancos breakaway on 34 minutes. Bale won the ball on the edge, passed it to Modric, who laid it off to Di Maria. The Argentine then gave it back to the Wales international, who used his lighting speed to race in on goal. Instead of finishing himself though, the world’s most expensive footballer squared to Ronaldo, who scored a record-breaking 15th European goal of the campaign.

There was only one downside from the first 45 however, as Xabi Alonso was given a booking for a stupid challenge on Schweinsteiger, and put his head in his hands knowing that he’d have to sit out the final.

It was still stunning stuff from the away side, and after the break not only did they look dangerous in front of goal, but they also started to keep hold of the ball too.

The tempo was being slowed down, with both teams almost resigned to their respective fates. But Arjen Robben wasn’t ready to give up just yet, and had the German League winners’ first real attempt on goal on the hour mark. A curling shot from the edge of the area beat Iker Casillas, but went wide of the post.

The Spain international goalkeeper was called into a few more times by the Roten forward line, Franck Ribery and Toni Kroos both had long-range efforts, but both were well saved by Madrid’s captain.

Still Bayern came, but still the Santiago Bernabeu outfit held strong, and there was just enough time for the away team to have the perfect night, as Ronaldo struck a free kick under the wall and past the goalkeeper in the last minute.

Bayern Munich 0-4 Real Madrid (0-5 agg.)

Scorers: Ramos 16, 20 (RM), Ronaldo 34, 90 (RM)

Bayern Munich: Neuer; Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Alaba; Schweinsteiger, Kroos; Robben, Müller (Pizarro 72), Ribéry (Gotze 72); Mandzukic (Martinez 45)

Real Madrid: Casillas; Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos (Varane 75), Coentrao; Alonso, Modric, Di Maria (Casemiro 84); Bale, Benzema (Isco 79), Ronaldo

Tags Bayern Munich
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