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HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014

Football

Game, set-piece, match: Real Madrid
Agencies
Munich, May 01, 2014
First Published: 00:18 IST(1/5/2014)
Last Updated: 00:21 IST(1/5/2014)

A jubilant Real Madrid celebrated the opportunity to play for ‘La Decima’ on Wednesday after coach Carlo Ancelotti quenched an obsessive 12-year wait to reach the Champions League final.

Two headers from Sergio Ramos, a breathtaking breakaway goal by Cristiano Ronaldo and a late free kick by the Portuguese forward in a one-sided semifinal, second leg handed Bayern their heaviest home defeat in European competition.

Bayern, beaten 5-0 on aggregate, were impotent in attack and ragged at the back and their performance left a stain on the reputation of their former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola.

Ancelotti said he could taste Madrid’s desire to play for a record 10th (La Decima) European Cup after landing in the Spanish capital last summer.

“When I arrived in Madrid I understood the importance of this competition, you could taste the desire to win ‘La Decima’ in the air,” the Italian coach said after the victory.

Ancelotti’s achievement eclipsed former coach Jose Mourinho as Real ended a three-season semifinal losing streak in the competition.

Perfect game
Bayern, trailing 1-0 from the first leg, laid siege to Real’s goal early on while the crowd attempted to intimidate the Spaniards by whistling incessantly when they had possession.

But, although they huffed and puffed, the hosts rarely threatened and there was always a risk they would concede a killer away goal.

That arrived in the 16th minute when Ramos rose unmarked at the far post to score with a powerful downward header. Amid general disbelief, Real struck again four minutes later when Angel di Maria’s free kick was flicked on and Ramos headed into the corner. For the third goal, Gareth Bale played the ball to Angel Di Maria, who released Karim Benzema on the right, with the Frenchman playing the ball inside to Bale and he quickly sent a pass to his left where Ronaldo slipped the ball past Manuel Neuer.

“It was a perfect game, especially the first half, using a very efficient counter-attack, with passes on the ground,” Ancelotti told reporters.


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