MUNICH (Reuters) - Bayern Munich's stunned players and management could scarcely believe they had lost their Champions League crown in such devastating fashion after being destroyed by a rampant Real Madrid side on Tuesday.
The 4-0 thrashing in their semi-final, second leg for a 5-0 aggregate defeat was described by the club's CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as "a debacle" while captain Philipp Lahm said questions had to be asked after a "bitter" defeat.
"We got a slap in the face, it was a debacle what we experienced here tonight," Rummenigge said. "But we have a coach (Pep Guardiola) with high ability.
"Of course we suffered a heavy defeat but it's not appropriate on evenings like this to talk about fundamental issues."
Lahm and winger Arjen Robben agreed that Real's two headed goals in the first 20 minutes from Sergio Ramos put the tie beyond Bayern after their 1-0 first-leg loss at the Bernabeu leaving the Madrid side on course for a 10th European Cup trophy.
"We conceded two early goals from two set pieces. When you fall behind that quickly it is extremely bitter," Lahm told ZDF television. "It's difficult to come back from that. Then they showed their qualities with the quick players.
"It is a bitter disappointment. We set out to do a lot. We have to be critical now, ask the questions that need to be asked. If you lose 1-0 and then 4-0 it is very bitter. The team is very disappointed. That is clear."
Bayern's Netherlands winger Robben was gracious in defeat and praised Real's qualities on the counter-attack with Cristiano Ronaldo putting the outcome beyond doubt with their third goal of the night on a breakaway after 34 minutes.
"Congratulations to Real, after the 2-0 it was finished," he said. "(At) 4-0 we are not in the final it is clear, we have to accept it and move on," Robben added after a late Ronaldo freekick wrapped up a perfect night for the visitors.
"Everyone knows they're the best counter-attacking team. It wasn't our night. We have to accept it. The Champions League is gone."
Rummenigge added: "I want to thank the fans who gave everything they had. We lacked maybe a bit of passion but Real played great football today.
"After that second goal it was clear it would be difficult to turn this game."
(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann, Editing by Ken Ferris)