Champions League Final 2013
It is an all German final for this season’s Champions League as 2012/13 Bundesliga Champions Bayern Munich take on their closest rivals for dominance in Germany, Borussia Dortmund. This will be the fourth time that the Champions League final has been contested by clubs from the same country. May 25th will see the two Bundesliga clubs go head to head at Wembley Stadium in London in the Champions League final. Who will prevail?
Bayern Munich won the Bundesliga title ahead of the 2011/12 champions Dortmund, taking the title with a good six games to spare on the domestic season. It was the power of Jupp Heynckes’ side against Barcelona in the semifinals that perhaps make them favourites for the final. Last year they were beaten on penalties in their own back yard by Chelsea, but now in their third Champions league final in the last four seasons, will it be third time lucky? Their performances against the mighty Catalans in the semi final would certainly suggest that they are the ones to beat.
After a devastating display of power and pace in the first leg in Munich, Bayern took a 4-0 lead back to the Nou Camp. Would there be a Barcelona come back? Lionel Messi sat on the sidelines, not fully fit and Bayern tore apart the La Liga giants again, winning three nil. It was another highly impressive performance from them, showing no signs of fear or crumbling against one of Europe’s best. The win may just have ended Barcelona’s era of dominance in Europe and Munich posted their fourth clean sheet in a row in the knockout stages.
The Bavarians, brilliant in all facets of the game, followed up Dortmund’s semi final win over their Spanish semi final opponents. There was nerves for Dortmund’s progress as they defended a 4-1 lead back at the Bernabeu, fired to ascendancy by a four goal haul from Robert Lewandowski. After containing Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid for long periods, two late goals from the Merengues set up a tense finish, but Dortmund managed to hang on. Again, like Bayern, there was no sign of fear from the German side in their approach to the game. The win puts them back in the final for the first time since winning the trophy in 1997.
For the first time since 2001, when Bayern Munich last won the Champions League, there will be a guaranteed winner from Germany this season. It is Bayern who will start as favourites, but after their respective semi final displays, it should be one of the most highly anticipated Champions League finals ever. It should be an interesting scenario for Dortmund midfielder Mario Goetze in particular, who joins the ranks of Bayern Munich next season.