Bayern Munich defeated arch-rivals Dortmund 2-1 in the final of the Champions League last night.
The Bavarians were not at their best, but managed to just about the edge the contest against their biggest domestic rivals.
I have to get this out of the way first. Bayern were very lucky to have 11 men on the pitch at the end of the game.
Brazilian defender Dante should have received a second yellow card for the foul that lead to Dortmund equalising from the penalty spot through midfielder Ilkay Gundogan.
In fact, some continental referees may even have given him a straight red card for the challenge.
However, Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli decided to take no action against the Brazilian. Winger Franck Ribery was also lucky to be on the pitch after two unsavoury incidents.
The German champions may have ridden their luck, but they made the most of it by going on to score the late winner.
Bayern probably deserved to win the trophy after their performances in this year’s competition. There is little doubt that they have been the best team in the Champions League this season, but Dortmund ran them very close in the final.
Last night was a case of redemption for Dutch winger Arjen Robben, who setup up Bayern’s opening goal and scored the 89th minute winner. Robben had an absolute nightmare in last year’s Champions League final against old-club Chelsea.
The winger came in for heavy criticism for his display against Chelsea and he looked determined to make up for last year’s disaster with a good performance against Dortmund. Robben was simply outstanding last night.
The enigmatic star was a constant threat to the Dortmund defence. Robben can be a match winner, but he can also be a liability. Last night he was definitely the former. The Dutchman has repaid the fans for last year’s display.
The emotion from Robben in the celebrations of the goal and winning the trophy showed just how much the performance and victory meant to him.
The Champions League final was a fantastic advert for German football and the Bundesliga, an open game of football, with excitement and goal scoring opportunities. This game will have gained the Bundesliga a new following of fans.
Dortmund and Bayern Munich have attracted many fans during this seasons Champions League campaign. Both have played a fantastic brand of football, in very different ways and showed just how strong football is in Germany now.
Bayern Munich has the chance to dominate European football for years to come. They currently look like the most complete team in Europe and have finally proved it. Bayern have shown in the last four years that they are a good team by making it to three Champions League finals.
However, this season they have proved that they are the best team in Europe. In the Bundesliga Bayern are likely to dominate for years to come with Dortmund’s best players being courted by some of Europe’s top clubs.
Bayern need to beware of complacency. If there is little competition in their domestic league then Bayern may struggle to raise their game in the Champions League. Jupp Heynckes’ side had something to prove this season, by claiming back the Bundesliga title. Next season will be very different.
Dortmund will be weakened this summer by a number of exits and likely exits. Mario Gotze will join the club from Bavaria and it now looks like Robert Lewandowski could also be headed to Dortmund’s arch-rivals.
Other stars such as Marco Reus and Mats Hummels have also been linked with summer moves away from the Signal Iduna Park.
It is slightly ironic that both incoming Bayern boss Pep Guardiola and Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp have big jobs on their hands next season. Expectations at Bayern will be sky high for Guardiola in Munich next season.
The former-Barcelona boss will come into a club that has won everything this season. Guardiola is accustomed to winning trophies in the Catalan capital, but he has a major job on his hands moving Bayern forward next season.
Jurgen Klopp could have a massive rebuilding job on his hands in Dortmund this summer. He could lose up to four key players and it will be difficult for Dortmund to challenge their arch-rivals next season.
The hard work for Bayern Munich will start in the summer. The German champions are now the team to beat both at home and abroad. Bayern need to start winning the Bundesliga on a consistent basis and it is hard to see them not claiming the title next season.
If Bayern can keep up the same level of consistency of this season the rest of Europe will be in problem next season, because the Bavarians look like a team that is setup to dominate European for years to come.
Are Bayern Munich set to dominate European football?