Following the drama of Chelsea's win over Barcelona, Bayern Munich produced a second semi-final surprise as they knocked out the other member of Spain's elite, Real Madrid, on penalties at the Bernabeu.
But that is where the comparisons end between Bayern and Chelsea's respective triumphs.
While Chelsea has, rightly or wrongly, earned much criticism for their negative tactics in beating favored opponents, Bayern sat about their task with a clear belief that they were capable of outplaying Real Madrid. And, despite needing a penalty shootout after a closely matched 210 minutes of action finished 3-3 over two-legs, Bayern deserved the victory for having marginally the better of a memorable last-four tie. Bayern also warrant a large deal of credit for taking the greater initiative as the second-leg progressed, with the fear of losing seeming to have a greater effect on Real.
There seemed little fear in either side during a first-half full of gung-ho endeavor on Wednesday. With the score standing at 2-1 to Bayern from the first-leg, both teams seemingly left all thoughts about defending back in the locker room.
Real Madrid got the goal they needed with only six minutes on the clock, though as much as their offensive-minded start, it owed a great deal to the generous interpretation of the handball rule by Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai.
Angel Di Maria's blasting volley striking the arm of the unfortunate David Alaba from close range, as the Austrian tried to break his fall when diving into get a block.
Cristiano Ronadlo duly converted the penalty, prompting Bayern to tear forward to try and get a vital away goal. And they should have got it, with Robben missing a particularly glaring opportunity.
That miss looked like it would prove crucial, too, when Real were soon going two goals up on the night. Bayern's attacking play costing them dear as Mesut Ozil was allowed to receive the ball in space and play a simple pass into Ronaldo--who had been left completely free by Philipp Lahm, already looking to counter--for the Portuguese to tuck the ball past Manuel Neuer.
But Bayern showed in the first-leg that they were not overawed by their start-studded opponents and the Bavarians were completely unfazed by their inauspicious beginning in the cauldron of the Bernabeu. As in Munich, Bayern continued to have a greater element of control on the game as they ruled the midfield and won the possession battle.
And the visitors soon put the tie back on level terms. The again excellent Toni Kroos curling an inviting ball in for Mario Gomez to get on the end of, but being prevented from doing so as Pepe bundled into the back of the big frontman. If the first penalty was harsh, there was little doubt about this one.
Arjen Robben, who had earned the wrath of many for his penalty miss in the Bundesliga decider against Borussia Dortmund two weeks earlier, bravely stepped-up and tucked the ball into the corner.
The attacking outlook of both sides remained for the rest of the first-half, with the next goal always looking just an attack away.
But, with the half-time whistle, the end of the breakneck entertainment was also largely called to rights. The second-half progressing with little of the end-to-end action of the first and a general lull in the tempo.
For Real, the fear of conceding and then consequently needing to score two clearly had a powerful effect on the players and possibly the instructions of coach Jose Mourinho.
As the match went on and extra-time ensued, to the unknowing, Bayern would have appeared the home side. Certainly Juup Heynckes' men were not as recklessly attacking as the first-half, but they looked the likelier to get the decisive goal. Indeed, the 2-1 score line on the night to Real was immensely flattering to the hosts.
Perhaps it would be too harsh to blame fear alone, with the Clasico on Saturday also seeming to tell in the legs of many of Real's players as the tie went deeper and deeper.
Cristiano Ronaldo--just as he had done after scoring in regulation time in the final of 2008 for Manchester United--had his penalty saved to begin the shootout. And when Kaka then followed-suit Bayern were firmly in the driving seat. Yet, as Kroos and Lahm had their spot-kicks repelled by Iker Casillas, parity in this closest of ties was restored once more.
But in the retelling of this match in years to come it will be Sergio Ramos' miss that lives long in the memory as he skied his penalty high into the crowd. Bastian Schweinsteiger grabbed the opportunity to be the hero as he scored to give Bayern a place in their dream final at the Allianz Arena.
While many have bemoaned Chelsea's negative tactics in beating Barcelona, there wasn't a hint of that in Bayern's play over two legs.The Bavarians backed themselves to be better than the favored Real and over the two-legs they were--just.