2013 Champions League Champions: Bayern Munich.
Bayern Munich defeated Borussia Dortmund 2-1 to win the 2013 Champions League in a thrilling game. Before discussing what this win means for Bayern, Dortmund should be congratulated for an impressive performance in both the final and in the Champions League this season. Defeating an excellent Real Madrid team in the semifinal and dominating large parts of the final is remarkable and Dortmund showed how good they really are. Unfortunately, they came up just short and Bayern Munich finally ended their losing streak in the Finals.
Bayern had a difficult path to reach the Champions League final. In the quarterfinals, they faced a strong Juventus squad, winners of Serie A by a big margin this season, and won by a combined 4-0 margin. They next drew Barcelona, who is one of most storied clubs of all-time. Many consider Barcelona to be the best club in the world and is obviously no easy matchup. Bayern stunned the world in the semifinals, not necessarily by defeating Barcelona but by the way they did it, a 7-0 aggregate victory. This set up the first ever Champions League final with two German clubs.
Bayern and Dortmund know each other well enough from facing each other in the domestic league making for an interesting final. With Bayern’s record breaking domestic campaign, they were the big favorites to win the Champions League. On the contrary, because Dortmund was so familiar with Bayern, many gave them a chance to pull off the upset. Dortmund definitely played with no fear and for large portions of the game looked like the better team. Even though there were no goals scored in the first half, the play was high paced and did not lack excitement. Dortmund appeared to have the better chances and proved they were worthy of being in the finals.
Early in the second half, Bayern was able to find the back of the net by the way of a goal-line cross from Arjen Robben to Mario Mandzukic, who tapped it in for the goal. This goal certainly changed the momentum of the game, however, Dante’s poorly timed tackle shortly after in the box gave Dortmund a chance to equalize with a penalty kick.
Dante was lucky to not receive his second yellow of the game which would have completely changed the game, so Bayern received a lucky break. Gundogan buried the penalty kick and restored Dortmund’s hope for the upset. Yet even after conceding their lead, Bayern had another great opportunity to regain the lead. On the attack, Mueller had beaten the keeper wide, leaving the net open. He crossed the ball in front of the goal for Robben to tap in. Neven Subotic was thinking otherwise and made an impossible goal-line clearance to deny Robben.
The game remained highly competitive after Subotic’s clear and seemed destined to go to overtime until Robben joined Champions League immortality. After a long ball sent towards Dortmund’s defense, Robben corralled a lucky bounce that landed in between two defenders, leaving him a one-0n-one with the keeper. Redeeming himself for not finishing earlier, Robben gently tapped the ball past the helpless keeper to give Bayern the lead in the 89th minute and the 2013 Champions League title.
So what does this win mean for Bayern. For one it keeps their hopes alive to win the Treble. They have already won the Bundesliga and the Champions League which leaves them with the Club World Cup, which should be the easiest of the three to win. They will not face hard competition except from maybe the North American or South American champions. My money is still on Bayern to win no matter who the competition is and winning the Treble would surely cement Bayern’s season as one of the best in football’s history. Second, this win proves that Bayern has surpassed Barcelona to become the world’s best club at the moment. Many thing will changes this summer with big money transfers, leaving next season to be full of excitement and drama.
I think Schweinsteiger enjoyed this win the most: