Dashed dreams of La Decima: Real Madrid's 11 years of hurt in Europe
2012/13 (Semi-finals vs Borussia Dortmund)
Score: Borussia Dortmund 4-1 Real Madrid; Real Madrid 2-0 Borussia Dortmund (Borussia Dortmund win 4-3 on aggregate)
La Liga position: 2nd
Any other business? Finishing 15 points behind Barcelona and losing to Atletico Madrid in the final of the Copa del Rey ensured that Mourinho’s Real race had been run.
Real could hardly say they hadn’t been warned. They’d lost 2-1 away to Jurgen Klopp’s whirlwind of a side in the group stage, also being held to a 2-2 draw at home. Mourinho’s men still looked battle-hardened to see this one through, but reckoned without one of the great modern collective – and individual – displays from the team in yellow. Robert Lewandowski’s opener seemed fairly irrelevant when Ronaldo rolled into an empty net just before the break, but what followed was incredible. In 16 second-half minutes, Lewandowski had tapped in from six yards, crashed home from 12 for his hat-trick after a brilliant turn, and converted a penalty for his fourth. From a position of control, Real were on the brink.
They nearly came back from it in a grandstand final 10 minutes at the Bernabeu. Benzema’s 83rd-minute goal seemed of little consequence, but Sergio Ramos blasted in another five minutes later. It made for one of the most frantic finishes to any European semi-final, but Real couldn’t find a winner – and their last-16 hex had very much turned into a final-four one.