The 2013 Champions League Final is in the books. The all Bundesliga match-up propelled Germany’s league to new heights as Bayern Munich held the trophy high: beating Borussia Dortmund in dramatic, late game fashion.
Tonight’s thoroughly entertaining match left us with a gang of storylines. We can’t fit them all here but we did our best to touch on the most prevalent talking points from the game. Walk with us in the aftermath of all-German finale.
1. Redemption for Bayern Munich, Arjen Robben
Bayern’s previous Champions League Finals churned sour defeats via Inter Milan in 2010 and Chelsea last season. Losing on such a large stage comes with grand derision and, in the early going, BVB’s tempo set out to dictate an upset but, in the second half, Arjen Robben’s resolve proved too much.
Franck Ribery set the stage with a tricky through ball for Arjen Robben. Robben made good on the pass with a dime to Mario Mandzukic’s goal. Dortmund bounced back with Ilkay Gündogan’s goal off a penalty but, once again, Robben’s nose for the ball converted a bad deflection into a decisive goal in the 89th minute.
Arjen must’ve thrown any recollection of last year’s failed penalty kick out the window by now. He cemented his status as a club legend and shook all dark clouds off his path tonight: notching a tremendous effort to match his world-class stature.
2. Should Dante Have Been Sent Off?
Dante already received a yellow and his wayward boot to Marco Reus’s bread basket stood as an extremely poor attempt at the ball. His foul begot a penalty kick turned goal by Gündogan but you’ve seen players get second yellows for much less. Perhaps his lack of malicious intent saved him. Either way feel free to get your tin-foil scullies out for this one.
3. Dat Goalkeeping!
The 2-1 scoreline does a huge disservice to all the shoulda-woulda-coulda attempts from both sides. Bayern’s Manuel Neuer and Dortmund’s Roman Weidenfeller racked up a stunning litany of saves. This offseason will be tough for Roman though. He’ll deal with the sting of this Final and a red face thanks to Robben’s strike.
4. Borussia Dortmund’s Critical Defensive Follies
BVB struggled to mark Arjen Robben on multiple occasions and, on both goals given, he had all kinds of daylight. The first goal proved especially egregious as their attention on Ribery gave way for an unmarked Arjen to find Mandzukic. Franck got a little fancy for his assist attempt but Robben’s quickness cut through the heart of Dortmund’s back four. Jürgen Klopp’s side played a good match aside from those huge mistakes but appeared deflated after Robben sealed the deal.
5. 2013’s Champions League Final Easily Beats Last Year’s Game
We just witnessed high class open football, dramatic saves and a game decided within 90 minutes. Compare tonight’s output to Bayern’s frustrating shot attempts, Chelsea’s negative football and a drawn out result determined by a penalty shootout. It’s clear this year’s Champion’s League Final yielded a far more entertaining experience. Also, if you were lucky enough to watch this in the US, Gus Johnson’s enthusiasm added a hilarious play-by-play call at every heart-stopping moment.
6. Where are Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund headed next season?
Bayern Munich will see Pep Guardiola take the reigns and Jürgen Klopp’s association with BVB has a question mark on it as well. Guardiola has a huge job on his hands towards solidfying Bayern’s dominance not just in Bundesliga but in Europe as well. Meanwhile, Mario Götze’s impending departure to Bayern Munich and possible exits from the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Mats Hummels and Marco Reus may cause a rift between Klopp and Borussia Dortmund’s board. Dionne Warwick can’t call futures of these clubs. Maybe you can?