Bayern Munich managed to come out on top against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final. After a late goal by Arjen Robben, Bayern won the game 2-1 and put the final touch on an excellent season.
Bayern were looking to win their fifth Champions League title in club history, and their first since the 2001 penalty shootout drama against Valencia. This was Bayern’s third final in the last four years, and they finally managed to come out on top.
Dortmund were without the injured Mario Götze, who will actually be playing for Munich next season, but early on his absence was not felt.
Surprisingly, Borussia came out and started the game significantly better than their rivals. While Bayern mostly relied on long balls and counter-attacks, Dortmund dictated the pace of the game and tested Manuel Neuer several times. The German national was solid and made a couple of routine saves for his team.
Around halfway through the first half, Bayern’s lone striker Mario Mandzukic had two dangerous headers, one of which Roman Weidenfeller deflected into the bar. Arjen Robben also had a terrific chance to open the game up when he made a great run and was one-on-one against Weidenfeller, but could only force a corner.
Robert Lewandowski was sharp from the get-go and opened up Bayern’s defense once again with a well-timed run to receive a through-ball, but Neuer stepped up to the challenge and saved his team.
Weidenfeller, however, would not be outdone, as he saved another shot by Robben, this time sacrificing his face. The first half was higlighted by great goalkeeping, as both teams had chances but could not convert.
The second half started quite slow but it didn’t take long for things to get interesting. Frank Ribery made a great pass to Robben, who pulled a defender with him and made a terrific cross to Mandzukic, who calmly tapped the ball into the goal, giving Bayern a 1-0 lead.
Borussia would not budge, and eventually earned a penalty as Dante made a reckless challenge. Ilkay Gundogan was assertive and converted on the penalty, putting it in the bottom right corner and evening up the score.
Bayern continued attacking and looked as though they would score again, but Neven Subotic made a sensational clearance on the goal line and right in front of Robben who was about to direct the ball into the net.
With only around three minutes to go, it looked as though 90 minutes would not be enough to decide this final. However, Munich made another push, as Bastian Schweinsteiger had a great shot on target, but was unable to convert. Only a minute later, Robben found an opening in the box and decided the game with a tricky shot.
It was certainly a great moment for Robben, who last year became the scapegoat for missing a late penalty in the Champions League final against Chelsea, after which Bayern went on to lose.