Bayern Munich must beware Sevilla as form in Spain has been poor since 2013
Bayern Munich face another Spanish inquisition with a trip to play underdogs Sevilla in the Champions League quarterfinals, but they would do well not to underestimate their opposition as they have exited the competition to Spanish sides in each of the past four seasons.
Here's a look at the German champions' troubles on Spanish soil since winning the trophy at Wembley -- under Jupp Heynckes' tutelage -- against Jurgen Klopp's Borussia Dortmund in 2013.
Real Madrid 1-0 Bayern -- Champions League semifinal, 2014 (aggregate 5-0 defeat)
Karim Benzema's 19th minute goal proved the difference in the first leg at the Bernabeu against Real Madrid, but substitute Mario Gotze, on for the anonymous Franck Ribery, missed a gilt-edged chance to notch a crucial away goal for Pep Guardiola's side soon after his introduction.
Added to the treble-winners squad to much fanfare from Borussia Dortmund the previous summer, Gotze languished on the bench against Real until the 72nd minute of both legs as the German champions ultimately made a calamitous 5-0 exit on aggregate against a Carlo Ancelotti side destined for La Decima.
A clearly discontented Ribery soon fumed about Guardiola's rotation policy after an embarrassing 4-0 defeat in the return leg.
"Sometimes you were playing, sometimes you were on the bench and sometimes you were just left at home," he said. "That was a new situation for all of us. Personally, I need to be playing games. I need five or six games before maybe taking a break, but not after just one game.''
Barcelona 3-0 Bayern -- Champions League semifinal, 2015 (aggregate 5-3 defeat)
The much-maligned Gotze again entered the fray as a late substitute in Barcelona immediately after Lionel Messi had opened the scoring with only 13 minutes remaining of a tense first leg. Guardiola's side soon left the Nou Camp with their tail between their legs, slumping to a heavy 3-0 loss after a late Messi-inspired barrage.
The German champions looked to have weathered the storm thanks to some Manuel Neuer heroics until the Argentinian's quick-fire double strike in the 77th and 80th minutes turned the tie dramatically in the Spanish side's favour. Neymar's sucker punch in the final minute crowned a bitter ending to the match for Guardiola's side.
To add insult to injury, Bayern's rock at the back Jerome Boateng was roundly ridiculed on Twitter for falling on his backside ahead of the irrepressible Messi's second goal.
Otra perspectiva del golazo de Messi pic.twitter.com/wqphESHPwE- Rotochop (@RotoChop_) May 6, 2015
Guardiola had stated it would be impossible for Bayern to qualify for the final if they didn't score at Camp Nou. And, indeed, there was no way back -- despite winning the return 3-2 in Germany.
Atletico Madrid 1-0 Bayern -- Champions League semifinal, 2016 (aggregate 2-2, defeat on away goals)
Guardiola completed an unwanted hat trick, failing to score for a third straight time on Spanish soil, as his side slipped to another inevitable first leg defeat as Saul Niguez's brilliant solo effort proved the only goal of the game.
Guardiola was roundly criticised for having the temerity to leave Bayern's record Champions League goal scorer Thomas Muller on the bench, despite notching eight goals in the campaign up to that point.
Following the dismal 1-0 defeat against Atletico, Guardiola explained that he wanted "a left-footed player on the left and a right-footed player on the right" and also "one more midfielder."
Muller, meanwhile, played down Guardiola's snub: "It does not make you happy, but it's important to realise what is important for the team. If everyone who sits on the bench just flips out, we can forget about the season."
However, former Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld didn't hold back, blasting Pep's decision. "Muller is Bayern what Messi is for Barcelona," he said. "It's nearly impossible to replace them in the all-important matches."
Things got worse in the home leg in Munich as Muller saw a tame penalty saved, missing the chance to put Bayern two goals up, as Bayern won 2-1 but ultimately exited on away goals with Antoine Griezmann's sneaking a precious breakaway goal.
Real Madrid 4-2 Bayern (AET) -- Champions League quarterfinal, 2017 (aggregate 6-3, defeat on away goals)
Bayern had already lost 1-0 in the group stages under Carlo Ancelotti on their next visit to the Vicente Calderon, but at least they did manage to score for the first time on their return to the Bernabeu for last season's quarterfinal second leg.
With a half-fit Robert Lewandowski, Bayern won 2-1 to take the tie into extra time after their 10-men had slipped to a defeat by the same scoreline in Munich.
But crucially Bayern lost the combative Arturo Vidal to a red card in the closing minutes of normal time. The Bavarian giants were angered by several key decisions by Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai, feeling that Vidal's sending off was unjust and that at least two of Cristiano Ronaldo's three goals were offside.
"If you look at the way things went, it is extremely difficult when you are playing with 10 against 14," Muller fumed. "The 2-2 was the worst situation -- the assistant referee had a great view. That killed us. The officials took the wind from our sails. You cannot just go home and say 'things like this happen' after what happened here."
Even Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was furious.
"There are six officials on the pitch. Six officials," he vented. "We had a red card which wasn't even a foul. We conceded two goals which were clearly offside. Lewandowski was adjudged offside when clean through on goal. This is the first time I've felt really angry. Angry because we were robbed. Literally, we were robbed."
Mark Lovell covers Bayern Munich for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter: @LovellLowdown.