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UCL: Real Revels in 'Perfect' Performance
Guardian, April 30th, 2014 1:38PM

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TAGS:  bayern munich, germany, real madrid, spain, uefa champions league

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Real Madrid produced a “perfect” performance at Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena on Tuesday, crushing the reigning European champion 4-0 in the second-leg of the UEFA Champions League semifinal, qualifying for the competition’s final for the first time since 2002 with a 5-0 series win. On a night when Bayern needed to score, two first-half goals from Sergio Ramos stunned the home crowd, before a Cristiano Ronaldo brace added insult to injury, taking the latter’s UCL tally this season to a record-setting 15 goals in 12 games.

"To reach the final after 12 years is a huge objective," Real coach Carlo Ancelotti said after the game. "It makes me proud to have achieved it with the team and everyone around it. When I came to Madrid, there was a very special atmosphere and it is clear that this competition is very special for the club. To win it for the 10th time -- you could feel the atmosphere, you could smell it in the air. We played the perfect game here. We defended brilliantly and we took advantage of the speed of our strikers.”

Winger Gareth Bale, whose brilliant solo run set Ronaldo up for his first goal, remarked: "This is why I wanted to come to the biggest club in the world -- to win trophies and to play in massive games. We know we have not won the Champions League yet and that we'll have a difficult game in the final, whoever it might be against. But we are looking forward to it. There is one step to go."

Meanwhile, Bayern coach Pep Guardiola accepted the blame for the lop-sided defeat, admitting that he got his tactics wrong. “I like to have ball possession. The reason that we lost tonight was we didn't have ball possession,” he explained. “We needed more control. We have to reflect on this and make our thoughts. Whether we can do this with the players, we have to talk about this with the club. I told the players at halftime that it was a big mistake by me. The coach didn't do a good job. We didn't have the players in the right positions."

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