Munich - The post-mortem is already underway not even 24 hours after UEFA Champions League holders FC Bayern München were unceremoniously dumped out of Europe in the semi-finals by Real Madrid CF.

Raw facts in hand and on the trail for hardcore evidence, leads the investigation into the five-time European champions' unprecedented demise on the grandest stage of them all...

'We didn't play with the ball'

"There's no valid argument for my system following this result and of course you can say what you want," Guardiola admitted after Tuesday's funereal 4-0 defeat at the Allianz Arena. "But I can't change what I feel. I like to play with the ball. The reason we lost is we didn't play with the ball [...] When you play well with the ball, and are concentrated on everything, then things come off for you. We just didn't play with the ball together."

What the Catalan was essentially saying is that the Bundesliga champions - much like in last week's 1-0 first-leg reverse in the Spanish capital - failed to affect the game, despite enjoying 65 per cent possession. As if to illustrate the point, the Bavarians hit the target just eight times across the two legs - without scoring - compared to Real's five-goal return from ten shots on Bayern custodian Manuel Neuer's goal.

'Many players attacking'

Die Münchner also came up glaringly short from set pieces. Their dominance in terms of possession was reflected in the number of corners they forced over both ties (24), albeit without a single one of them remotely troubling Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas. Los Blancos, on the other hand, exposed Bayern's zonal marking system in a similar fashion to Manchester United FC in the preceding round by converting one of their six corners when Sergio Ramos ghosted in unchallenged to head his side into a 2-0 aggregate lead. From thereon in, it was abruptly downhill.

"Against this fantastic team, if you don't have control, you shouldn't give them the chance to run," lamented Guardiola. "I know that they have many, many players waiting to recover the ball and break. We didn't show ourselves today because the coach didn't do a good job. OK, it could be a mistake if the players didn't want to run but they did. They tried [...] I want to play with the ball and have many players attacking, instead of what Madrid do which is to counter-attack. We have to think if with these players it's the best way. It's what I have to discuss with the club."

Deja vu

While a complete about-turn in playing philosophy appears unlikely, a compromise of sorts might be necessary - at least in the interim - to get Bayern back to their world-beating best. Guardiola's men have shipped goals at an alarming rate by their standards - 17 in ten matches in all competitions - since wrapping up the iconic Bundesliga plate in record time at the end of March, yet there is every reason to believe that defeat to Real could represent a decisive turning point not too dissimilar to the Champions League finale dahoam loss against Chelsea FC in May 2012 that paved the way for last season's treble.

A comparable reaction in the weeks ahead, above all in the DFB Cup final against old nemesis Borussia Dortmund on 17 May, would undoubtedly settle the nerves ahead of a pre-season campaign that will at long last welcome BVB's Robert Lewandowski into the bosom of German football's most decorated family. The Pole might not be the missing piece in the puzzle per se, but along with Guardiola's must-have 2013 summer signing Thiago Alcantara - currently on his way back to full fitness following a stop-start debut Bundesliga campaign - it will surely be enough to reignite the fire in der Rekordmeister's trophy-avid bellies in 2014/15.

Christopher Mayer-Lodge