German Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich are through to this year's Champions League Finals at the cost of this year's probable Spanish La Liga winners, Real Madrid. Going into the final, Bayern will know that they are in the pole position to lift the Champions League against Chelsea and know that a great factor will help them in their cause - the finals being held in Munich.
Real bowed out of the competition spectacularly after failing to get better the better of the penalty shootout. But why really did they lose out to Bayern? What were the reasons that left the Galacticos empty handed at the end of the night?
Let's have look at the most probable reasons for this outcome.
Bayern's Lethal Offense: Although Bayern were down by two goals in the first 15 minutes of the game at the Bernabeu, the German outfit never backed down and continued to press the Real defense for a opening and hoping that the Spaniards would make a mistake. Finally, they were rewarded with the coveted away goal that would go on to change the outcome of the game and make Real's life miserable at home.
Bayern continued producing a host of chances through Arjen Robben and Mario Gomez, and although ace Frenchman Franck Ribery looked less than threatening, Bayern never gave Real a moment's peace. Bayern's tactical thinking and positioning the whole game paid off with some help from Real's panicky nature realizing the threat the Germans were carrying all the way.
Battle of Nerves: The Bavarians have been displaying an exquisite show by holding their nerves and not letting it getting better of them, even when they were down by two goals. They continued to pose a threat for the Spaniards the entire game and created problems for the home team by playing passes and opening up gaps for the frontmen to utilize.
When it was down to the penalties, Bayern were determined not to lose out on the opportunity and held their nerves once again and while former World Players of the Year like Kaka and Ronaldo fell victim to their own nerves and missed their shots and Sergio Ramos' kick was better left unexplained, a certain 19-year-old defender David Alaba rose up to the occasion for the Bavarians and scored.
Matured Defense: While some may argue that Bayern's defense was not up to the mark as they conceded two quick and early goals, the men in the back did everything they could after that to deny any penetration from the Spaniards and add more. While solidity was shown in defense, the backline also provided important passes to the men upfront who, somehow, managed not to score.
Although the 'experts' at the start of the match predicted that Bayern's defense will let them down, it was actually the Bavarian backline who made the passes that could've opened up the game anytime.
A Goal Keeper Called Manuel Neuer: Perhaps not the greatest of the keepers when compared to the likes Real's Iker Casillas, but he certainly made sure to see off any threat from the Spaniards when his time came in the six-yard box.
Neuer saw off the threats from Ronaldo and Kaka when he blocked their shots and perhaps played a bit of mind games with Sergio Ramos that made him shoot for the stars. The German went on to become a real hero for his side at the end of the game.
Being Complacent is Not an Option: Bayern could have easily gone for a draw in the second leg at Bernabeu, but that was never an option for them. They kept pressing the Spaniards till they falter with their tactics and provide them the opening that they sought. The hunger to do well in front of an alien crowd kept them going and finally they reaped benefits from it.
A classic example of what happens when arrogance meets confidence.