Sunday, May 26, 2013

Bayern Munich - Viva the Champions.


Arjen Robben is one of the few players who have played at Wembley Stadium and the one with most experiences there and now, probably his last and best memories will always be his fluctuating and mesmerising performance. He had the last word after his exploits that confused the many young Borrusia Dortmund players. 
Bayern Munich won 2-1 the Champions League final which was in England's decorated and famous Wembely Stadium after that winner from the balding Dutchman. Bayern equalled Liverpool's five European titles. Not only did he perplex his opponents and draw the ire of his fans. He was selfish and ultimately lethal. He is one man I always admired for his knowledge of his own talent. There is no question of his pride in his trade, if one follows where he has been, from his days at PSV Eindhoven, Chelsea, Real Madrid and now Bayern Munich.
The speedy Robben thrived on speed and dribbling wizardry few can match, especially when he is happy. After a fruitful season in which they wrested the Bundesliga in ruthless fashion from Dortmund and are still on track for the treble, he must be a very relied man after that missed penalty kick in extra-time in the 1-1 draw against Chelsea in the Champions League final in Munich before Bayern  lost on penalties to the Didier Drogba power master stroke.
Now leading a two-men movement affectionately known as Robbery, a wing-pronged attack involving Frenchman, Frank Ribery, he set up one goal and scored a softy in the dying minutes of the biggest match ever between these two German teams.  
What can one ask for with a man-of-the-match performance? He had Bayern's best two chances but somehow too eager to get things his way, fluffed both. Chasing a through ball, he wasted precious time attempting to switch the ball to his favourite left foot, dinking his effort poorly for goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller to turn away.
Moments later, it was a gilt-edged chance from the ball rebounding off a defender, but he shot straight at the goalkeeper. His second half shift to the left saw that Robbery effect when his interplay with Franck Ribery culminated in the dribble past Weidenfeller to set up Mario Mandzukic for a tap in into goal. He controlled the ball facing the advancing keeper and rolled the ball past a bemused Weidenfeller, Ribery assisting with a deft backheel.
Bayern's fans went into a frenzy as they screamed and shouted as their club entered the record books, chasing the Real Madrid and AC Milan title records with nine and seven championships respectively. By the time they conceded the winner, Dortmund were feeling the relentless pressure of Bayern pushing forward.
They reacted by doubling men charging towards the ball and ran extremely hard to neutralise the attacking force force that even Bayern never knew they had. Dortmund had two clear goal-scoring opportunities in the opening of the half, creating a total of seven of them. 
Solid Bayern defender Dante, had a clumsily kick on Marco Reus in the stomach, being lucky to stay on the pitch to see thew end of the match. Ilkay Guendogan sent Manuel Neuer the wrong way from the penalty spot.
The champions' triumph were a personal record for the manager leaving the club for Pep Guardiola to take over. The 68-year-old Heynckes became only the fourth manager to win the European Cup with two different clubs following his earlier success with Real Madrid in 1998. That elite club consists of Ernst Happel, Ottmar Hitzfeld and Jose Mourinho. 
Both goalkeepers had to summon their super-powers to ensure the spectacle lasted the entire 90 minutes. Given the rapid fast and furious tempo of the match, extra time could have spoilt the otherwise good show. It was Dortmund who began at blistering pace maintained entirely for almost 30 minutes. Reus and Polish Robert Lewandowski pestered and probed relentlessly the Bayern defence.
The Bayern attack was not to be outdone as Arjen Robben had an opportunity of a half-time hat trick, which did not matter eventually as the Bavarians lifted the famous Cup with big ears. Love them or hate them, Viva the Champions. Congratulations to Bayern Munich of Germany.