Real Madrid put Allianz Arena to the torch the last time they visited Bayern Munich in a Champions League match.
In April 2014, many expected Munich to shred Real Madrid to pieces when they met in the Bavarians’ famed killhouse, but the opposite happened and the Spaniards battered their hosts senseless and walked away with a 4-0 win and 5-0 aggregate victory.
It was the most humiliating home defeat ever dealt to the German giants, and Madrid will eventually win the Champions League that season.
Many has changed since then. Carlo Ancelotti was the manager of Madrid in that time, but now he handles the reigns for Munich. Pep Guardiola, then boss of Bayern, is now situated beyond the English Channel, calling the shots for Manchester City.
There are players who left the teams (like Munich’s Bastian Schweinsteiger), and there were those who were unceremoniously cut (like Madrid’s Casillas), and there were some who has switched kits (like Toni Kroos and Xabi Alonso). But some key players remained, only two years older, or better, depending on your view.
Munich are highly favored to take a commanding lead in this quarter-final battle because they’ve restored the aura of invincibility that causes visitors to take deep breaths during games, and they hired Ancelotti as boss.
The 57-year-old boss was given the boot by Madrid in May 2015, just a year after winning La Decima, the club’s tenth Champions League trophy. He might not be saying it, but being cut abruptly means he has a smudge of grudge underneath all the white hair he possesses, and beating Madrid will serve as a raised middle finger to Real Madrid president Florentino Perez. With two things to avenge, Munich have double the inspiration to beat Madrid.
Now back to that aura. Munich have won their last 16 Champions League home games since that terror-filled loss to Madrid in 2014. They scored 58 goals in those victories, and kept a clean sheet in nine of it.
Just in the last round where they destroyed Arsenal 10-2, Munich released their inner beasts and ate the North Londoners to the bone, then crushed the skeletons to ash and sprinkled the dust on the fields of Allianz Arena to mix with those who came before them.
If there are men willing enough to enter Allianz Arena it will be Real Madrid, who are as amazing and have won two of the last Champions League tournaments.
Madrid are leading La Liga even with a game on hand, and they have won 39 matches in 50 fixtures under manager Zinedine Zidane.
Their away record are not as awesome as Munich’s home record, but Madrid are unbeaten in their last five away matches in the Champions League, and have won their last five away matches across all competitions.