[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Real Madrid is headed back to the UEFA Champions League final for the first time in 12 years after crushing Bayern Munich, 4-0, to eliminate the defending champion, 5-0, on aggregate in a stunning blow to new coach Pep Guardiola in his first season as Bayern boss.
Sergio Ramos scored twice for Real Madrid in the first 20 minutes, and Cristiano Ronaldo added a third before halftime.
His second goal in the 90th minute gave him 16 on the Champions League campaign, extending his record for a single season.
"This was a strong display from us in a difficult stadium,"
Ramos told Spanish television, "and we are where a team like Real Madrid should be -- at the top."
Real will meet either city rival Atletico Madrid or Chelsea, managed by its former
coach, Jose Mourinho in the May 24 final at the Estadio do Sport in Lisbon.
The series win ended exits in Real's last four appearances in the semifinals. It will be
seeking a record 10th European Cup.
The loss will be viewed in Germany as a knock on Guardiola and his possession-based soccer that even drew criticism from former great Franz Beckenbauer, who played for and coached Bayern as well as served as its president.
"The reason we did so badly in the first half is that we did not
have possession," Guardiola said. "We didn't play with the ball. Against Arsenal and against Manchester United [in the round of 16 and quarterfinals] and in the first leg in Madrid, we played with the
ball and we controlled the game. We did not do it in the first half and when you don't have control against a great, great team like this, you don't have a chance. The argument about my ideas is not
valid. I can't change what I feel and what I feel is that we must play with the ball and attack as much as possible."