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Real Madrid vs Bayern Munich: 3 questions with a Madrid expert ahead of the Champions League quarterfinals

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Does Bayern Munich have a chance?

MUNICH, GERMANY - APRIL 12: Javi Martinez (R) of Muenchen and fouls Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Real Madrid CF at Allianz Arena on April 12, 2017 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by
MUNICH, GERMANY - APRIL 12: Javi Martinez (R) of Muenchen and fouls Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Real Madrid CF at Allianz Arena on April 12, 2017 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by
Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images

Ryan: Bayern dominated the first 45 at the Allianz Arena but a tactical adjustment allowed Real Madrid to dominate the second. Are Madridistas worried that Zidane played his cards too early?

Was it really a tactical adjustment, or was it just a matter of Zidane placing 11 infinity stones in his players at half-time? It's hard to pin point, but, Casemiro turned it up, and after being a black hole offensively in the first half, decided to break Bayern with an incisive through-ball which led to the first goal, then had nine tackles and snuffed out umpteen counter-attacks. Real Madrid defended better and started taking advantage of their counters too.

Did Zidane play his cards too early? I mean, you're essentially asking if Madridista's would rather be level on aggregate, or ahead. Can a card be too early if there's more trump cards remaining? Can't we just keep playing trump cards? Didn't we also think Justin Lin played all his cards in Fast Five before showing more hands in Fast Six? Or Christopher Nolan playing his hand too early in Batman Begins before laying down the greatest superhero movie of all time? Was John Wick really showing all his hands in the first film before throwing down more hands in the second film? Did we really think he had finished his killing spree?

Play those hands early and often, Zidane.

Ryan: Given the way Thomas Müller ran circles around Ramos and Fernandez in the first half, how worried are you about Robert Lewandowski?

I think Lewandowski's return almost annuls any chance Real Madrid has at a clean sheet. The guy is scary good, and will probably get on the end of a few crosses which Nacho -- in the past two matches -- has had a lot of trouble dealing with due to a lack of will and athleticism to put a body on the cutter. Not having Pepe and Varane hurts in this situation, even if Nacho has been really reliable all season. Luckily, Real Madrid can still progress after conceding an inevitable goal (or two).

Ryan: How does Real Madrid stop Arturo Vidal?

On his goal? For one, put a body on him. Anything to put him off -- pull his shirt, make a leap, etc. Nacho probably wouldn't have been able to out-jump our muscle Vidal on that corner (which Bayern Munich had an untold amount of in the first half), but he could at least put some effort into unnerving him. Outside of that, as much as a pitbull as Vidal is, Real Madrid defended well. They pressed well, and when pinned, they cut off passing lanes (I wrote about this) which didn't make Vidal, and Bayern's midfield as a whole, too effective. Again, the goal conceded was a different story, but if we're talking about schematic ways of dealing with Vidal's prowess, I think Zidane did a fine job.

Ryan: Bantz. Is Gareth Bale past it? Ronaldo is super old and broken and was able to wreck Bayern, what gives with Bale?

Bale is a huge part of this team moving forward, so long as he stays healthy. Remember when you thought Ronaldo was past it and I told you not to sleep on it? Lulz. I remember.