BAYERN WIN UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 2013 THANKS TO ARJEN ROBBEN


Bayern Munich are the
European Champions, thank
to a brilliant late flurry and
an 89th minute winner by
Arjen Robben. Borussia
B
Dortmund gave the
Bavarians more trouble
than most anticipated, but
didn’t have enough to
overcome their Bundesliga
rivas as Bayern won 2-1 to
lift the Champions League
trophy.
Jürgen Klopp opted to stick
with his regular formation,
even in the absence of
Mario Götze, playing Kevin
Großkreutz on the wing and
moving Marco Reus inside.
There were some
grumblings that Sebastian
Kehl might start, moving
Ilkay Gündogan up the
pitch, but Klopp opted for
the alternative.
Jupp
Heynckes’ team contained
no surprises, though
Bastian Schweinsteiger
picked up a pre-game
knock. Bayern’s star
midfielder was still able to
start.
Lewandowski, in particular,
was extremely active and
consistently terrorized the
Bayern center of defense.
Dortmund were surprisingly
the much more assertive
team in the early going,
though they failed to turn
their chances into a first
half goal. Robert
Lewandowski had the
game’s first shot on target
in the 3rd minute and went
close with a rocket just
wide in the 13th minute. Der
BVB kept the pressure on,
and just one minute after
that effort by Lewandowski,
Manuel Neuer was called
into action and made an
excellent reaction save at
the near post on a low shot
by Jakub Blazczykowski.
Bayern were kept on their
heels until the 25th minute.
Reus had a long-range
effort saved by Neuer in
the 19th minute after he
was slipped in on goal by
Großkreutz, Sven Bender
also had an effort from 12
yards saved by Neuer,
though he should have
done quite a bit better to
elude the Bayern keeper.
In the 25th minute, referee
Nicola Rizzoli failed to spot
an elbow by
Franck
Ribery to the face of
Lewandowski, and in fact,
gave a free kick the other
way. Coincidentally, that
seemed to be a bit of a
turning point in the first
half. Dortmund didn’t go
away after that, but Bayern
came into the game and
looked the slightly better
side until the end of the
period.
Just a minute after the
elbow, Roman Weidenfeller
was forced into a massive
save on Mario Mandžukić.
Ribery whipped in a
beautiful cross towards the
back post that the Croatian
international met with his
head, and Weidenfeller just
barely got a finger to the
ball to tip it onto the bar
and out for a corner.
Weidenfeller was forced
into a similarly brilliant
save in the 30th minute,
though Robben probably
should have scored. The
Bayern winger was left all
alone on the right flank
after a through ball from
Thomas Müller and had a
ton of time and space to
dribble in on goal and
manufacture a shot.
However, he dwelled on the
ball too long and
Weidenfeller made a
brilliant decision to rush
out, then block Robben’s
late attempt.
Not wanting to be undone,
Neuer produced another
excellent save of his own
five minutes later,
executing an impressive
kick save from close range
on Lewandowski after he
was slipped into the box.
He was played in by Reus
and beat
Jerome
Boateng — who looked
slow throughout the half
after picking up a knock —
easily for pace. It looked
like Boateng might need to
be relieved by a
substitution, but he came
out to start the second half.
Boateng didn’t look much
better in the second half,
but it didn’t matter much for
Bayern in the early going.
Dortmund didn’t attack with
the same pace as they did
early on, Bayern took
control, and eventually
they found a goal.
In the 60th minute, Bayern
Munich took the lead with a
fantastic move down the
left flank. Robben and
Ribery overloaded the
same side of the pitch, and
Dortmund had no answer.
Ribery picked out Robben in
the box, beating two
defenders with his pass,
and Robben slid a ball
across the face of goal. No
one tracked the run of
Mandžukić, who was free to
tap in the finish to put his
team ahead 1-0.
Bayern stayed on top, but
gave Dortmund a free route
back into the game in the
67th minute, thanks to a
terrible foul in the box by
Dante. He let the ball
bounce in the box when he
could have cleared earlier,
then put his leg up high and
into the stomach of Reus.
Rizzoli correctly pointed to
the spot, but refused to
send off Dante, who was
already on a yellow.
Gündogan stepped up and
buried the penalty to level
the score.
At least temporarily, the
Bavarians seemed to lose
their composure. Not long
after the spot kick was
converted, Bayern gave
the ball away in midfield and
left a ton of space for
Dortmund to counter into.stitute a
foul, but Lewandowski
clearly stepped on the
ankle of Boateng with his
studs after he had fallen to
the ground. Surprisingly,
though he was hobbled well
before the incident,
Boateng continued.
Things appeared to be
settling down in anticipation
of extra time, but Bayern
turned on the style late and
found an eventual winner.
Weidenfeller made a
spectacular save in the
87th minute on a shot from
Schweinsteiger, but he only
delayed Dortmund’s
eventual heartbreak. An
even better move was Der
BVB’s undoing in the 89th
minute, with Robben scoring
the game-winning goal.
Ribery set up the goal by
backing down his defender
and receiving a ball off his
chest, then playing behind
with a backheel. His pass
wasn’t perfect, but Robben
blew by his defender and
run the race to the ball. He
took one touch to round
Hummels, a second to set
up a shot, then a third to
tap the ball to the left of a
helpless Weidenfeller, who
could do nothing as the ball
rolled into the back of the
net.
After two failures in the
Champions League final in
the last three years,
Bayern Munich are
champions of Europe for
the first time since 2001.

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