Sunday, May 26, 2013
Bayern Munich champions!
Until Saturday's final Borussia Dortmund was the only undefeated team in the Champions League. Still, Bayern Munich was the slight favourite after taking the German title and played outstanding football in the matches against FC Barcelona and Juventus. But this did not show in the beginning of the final where Dortmund seemed liked the team with most desire to win, and only some outstanding saves by Manuel Neuer kept Bayern Munich in the match. One can only speculate whether Dortmund's attacking force would have been even stronger had Mario Gotze played. But without goals Bayern Munich worked themselves into the match. Arjen Robben missed a couple of excellent chances, and one wondered whether the curse that seems to follow Robben would continue. However, in the last minutes of the match, with the score 1-1, Arjen Robben slipped through the defense and scored the winning goal for a relieved Bayern Munich, for whom losing the third CL final in four years would have been a devastating blow. Jupp Heynckes finished his coaching career with a second CL triumph (his first was as Real Madrid coach), and there will now be enormous pressure on Pep Guardiola when he takes over as new coach: how can he do better that a German championship, a CL triumph and a possible Cup victory (they are playing the final next week)? A pity for Borussia Dortmund, who has been building up a young competitive side for some years. This has already resulted in German championships and Cups, and plays good attacking football. Mario Gotze's farewell for next season will undoubtedly be a huge blow, and the team will also struggle to keep players such as Lewandowski and Marco Reus. But they will be in the CL again next season and will surely continue to be one of the most competitive sides in the tournament. But thanks to both teams for a great final, and congratulations to all Bayern Munich fans out there celebrating with a good pint of beer!