For a little while, it looked like the bad fortunes that have haunted Bayern Munich and Arjen Robben were returning, but for a team this good, even the terrible mojo that has been following the wonderful Dutch winger had to end at one point. Robben provided the assist for the first goal and scored the 88th minute winner to make Bayern the Champions League winners for a fifth time, and the first time in 12 years.
Jupp Heynckes joins a very limited club of managers with Champions League trophies on two different clubs, getting the deserved finale to a perfect season with Bayern, who as usual, had a very hard time with Dortmund like in the previous four matches this season. This time, their quality advantage was a bit too much to overcome, and after quite a few saves from Roman Weindenfeller, the brilliance of Franck Ribery (magical on two specific touches) and the final touch of Arjen Robben (finally, for him) proved to be too much.
After a hesitant start, the goalkeepers started to work. The amazing pressing all over the pitch applied by both team started to fade, and the creative players on both side became a lot more involved. Franck Ribery and Thomas Muller on one end, while Marco Reus and Kuba on the other. Dortmund did get a couple of brilliant saves from Manuel Neuer, but Bayern became more loose through their midfield, and Arjen Robben found more and more space.
Only Robben has demons riding his mind, and he came up short in one on one situations again and again. Roman Weidenfeller kept saving these chances, and when he couldn’t Arjen Robben found it in his heart to make the wrong decision time after time. After the half time break, Bayern continued to look like the more dangerous side, as the Dortmund defense found it very hard to contain the 1-2 passing and fantastic off the ball movement by the Bayern players.
A brilliant through pass found Robben inside the box, and delivered a fantastic pass across the goalline to Mario Mandzukic to provide the opener. The deadlock was broken in favor of the team that deserved it more. Yet a foolish mistake and foul by Dante on Reus, simply kicking the young German star in the stomach to earn a penalty kick made it an undeserving 1-1 through Ilkay Gundogan.
Bayern pressed in the final 20 minutes, thinking about how to avoid extra time. Dortmund? The exact opposite, resorting more and more to long balls that didn’t really work. Bayern continued to look like the more dangerous team, until the 89th minute, as Franck Ribery used another moment of brilliance to put the trailering Robben into the box in another one on one situation with Weidenfeller. His shot wasn’t perfect, but was enough to beat the fantastic keeper, who would have been the hero of the match for Dortmund had they won.
Bayern complete their perfect season, and their June 1 cup final against Stuttgart won’t change a thing. The losing of the last three years and their problems with Dortmund have evaporated. Arjen Robben has finally put the complaints against him to rest, while Pep Guardiola is wondering what kind of starting point he is arriving to. Jupp Heynckes probably couldn’t have gotten a better send off.