25 May 2013

DORTMUND 1 (Gundogan 68 Pen)
BAYERN MUNICH 2 (Mandzukic 60, Robben 89)

Dortmund made the better start. Blaszkowski should have at least tested Neuer when in a good position on the edge of the box following a slick counter attack and Lewandowski forced a fingertip save with a shot from distance. Near made a fantastic, unorthodox save with his left foot to keep out Blaszkowski's first time shot after Rues pulled back a centre. Rues continued to be Dortmund's main threat and ran at three defenders on a counter attack before stinting Neuer's palms with an angled drive. It took Bayern the best part of half an hour to show up as an attacking threat, Weidenfeller making a finger tipped save to deny Mandzukic. Ribery should have been sent off for swinging an elbow at Lewandowski's head. Big game bottler Robben was upto his old tricks. Muller did well to find him in space on the right and he charged into the box before shooting straight at Weidenfeller with team-mates better placed. Lewaondowski turned Boateng as Reus took out three defenders with a great pass but the alert Neuer dived at his feet. A longball out of defence hit the over-rated Hummels and bounced to Robben but with only the goalkeeper to beat he somewhat predictably shot straight at him.

Neuer started the attack that lead to the first goal with a superb piece of skill. Schweinsteiger hit a high backpass into his own box, Neuer bounced the ball up off his right thigh before volleying it to the half-way line, Mandzukic trapped it on his chest before laying off to Robben (textbook target man play), Robben passed to Ribery on the overlap, Ribery dropped a shoulder and ran at three players before slipping a pass through to Robben who recovered from a terrible first touch and as Weidenfeller chased his down he hooked a centre across goal and Mandzukic tapped in at the back post. Eight minutes later Dante, who has already been booked, raised a boot to Reus' ribs when challenging for a ball. Rizzoli bottled out of showing him a second yellow but awarded a penalty. Gundogan gave Neuer the eyes and sent him the wrong way to become I believe the first Turkish player to score in a European Cup final. Bayern could have been back in front three minutes later. Schweinsteiger sent Mandzukic away on a counter, Muller burst forward from midfield in support, he rode a tackle, rounded Weidenfeller and pushed a ball to the back post with Robben lurking but Subotic dived in to make an extraordinary clearance. Ribery backed into a defender as he shielded a longball and rolled a back heel towards the onrushing Robben, Robben broke two tackles and clipped a super angled shot inside the left post.

This was an excellent final with both teams enjoying good spells. Bayern were better overall and would have won comfortably but for Robben's wretched finishing albeit he came good in the end. Dortmund ran out of ideas in the first half. Hummels is a shocking defender who makes a ridiculous amount of hospital passes. Of the players Dortmund are expected to lose he'll be the one they will miss the least. Rues = Gareth Bale.

Everything is setup for Guardiola to succeed at Bayern. He has arguably the best squad in Europe and a great scouting network. Providing he adapts his methods to German football and respects and embraces the athleticism and power that is and has been a feature of German football for decades there's no reason he can't match the success he had at Barcelona. Heynckes should retire on a high. His record at big clubs doesn't make for good reading and he won't top this.

Attendance : 86,298
Assists : Robben, Rues (won pen), Ribery