If Barcelona lacked a Plan B, Jose Mourinho\'s men it seemed had no plan in place to stop Dortmund.
Bad karma catches up with you. But never imagined it would, so soon. All Real Madrid fans who were jeering their arch rivals after their crash-landing in Munich, the 'Mocking-Bird' or an entire flock of them were gunned down in nearby Dortmund last night.
The man responsible, Polish sniper par excellence Robert Lewandowsky. Fifteen minutes of breathtaking football from the only unbeaten team in the UEFA Champions League this season and Los Blancos were torn apart. If Barcelona lacked a Plan B, Mourinho's men it seemed had no plan in place to stop the surge of yellow.
What surprised was the sheer inability of the management to find defenders who could defend. Aitor Karanka sitting next to Mourinho is a man not many would recognise. But he, along with a journeyman named Ivan Campo, formed the backbone of a Madrid defence that saw them win two La Liga titles and a Champions League in the late 90s.
Since then, it's been a case of assembling the best attack-minded players in the world and leaving poor Casillas to fend for himself. Thankfully the Real legend was not on the field to suffer yet another embarrassment, which he has faced over the past several years against quality opposition.
Such has been Real's inability to develop a strong defence over the years that even an in-form Fabio Cannavaro ended up looking like an average shield during his brief stint at the Bernabeu. And the list also includes top players like Walter Samuels, Jonathan Woodgate and Gabriel Heinze who all failed to survive in a club that refuses to learn how to defend.
The important lesson one must learn from such failures is to look where others don't; to seek out the chink in the armour, that no one else does, but is easily recognisable to your opposition who will stick it in where it hurts the most. Lewandowski just didn't strike four times last night, he took on the role of the real 'No. 10', fulfilling it with consummate ease, dropping down deeper inside to start the cosmic build-up Real supporters are used to calling their own. Mourinho will know where Lewandowski beat CR 7, and surely he did.
And as they say, life is but an assimilation of opportunities, each rolling out a different spectacle. Remember Sam Allardyce calling over the 24-year-old Polish hitman for trials at Blackburn Rovers? The volcanic ash clouds then made sure Lewandowski never arrived, but get to Dortmund instead. Life is like that, isn't it?
PS: The eternal optimist still hopes the away goal shall count in Madrid.
(Arnab Sen is a Senior Sports Correspondent at CNN-IBN, who has spent the last decade waiting to see Real Madrid reclaim their lost European glory.)