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Robben ends Bayern's run of final misery

Published: Saturday 25 May 2013, 22.45CET
Borussia Dortmund 1-2 FC Bayern München
Arjen Robben's 89th-minute winner took the trophy to Munich for the fifth time after Bayern's final disappointments of 2010 and 2012.
by Andrew Haslam
from Wembley Stadium

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Published: Saturday 25 May 2013, 22.45CET

Robben ends Bayern's run of final misery

Borussia Dortmund 1-2 FC Bayern München
Arjen Robben's 89th-minute winner took the trophy to Munich for the fifth time after Bayern's final disappointments of 2010 and 2012.

Arjen Robben's late goal dramatically ended FC Bayern München's UEFA Champions League final misery after a thrilling all-German contest against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley.

Bayern started with four players – Robben, captain Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Müller – who had endured the final defeats of 2010 and 2012, but it took a player in his first season in Munich, Mario Mandžukić, to supply the 60th-minute breakthrough after both sides had missed a series of chances. İlkay Gündoğan's penalty swiftly levelled matters – the first goal Bayern had conceded in the competition in 432 minutes – yet it was Bayern who looked more likely to snatch a late winner. So it proved in the 89th minute as Robben wriggled through to take the trophy to Munich for the fifth time.

Bayern's starting lineup featured seven of the team who had begun last year's final defeat by Chelsea FC but, amid a rousing atmosphere, it was Dortmund's final novices who settled quicker. Manuel Neuer was the first goalkeeper called into action, tipping over a curling Robert Lewandowski shot from 25 metres, then reacting smartly to keep out Jakub Błaszczykowski's low first-time effort after the Dortmund midfielder had met a Marco Reus cross at the near post.

Reus himself was next to test the Bayern No1, who was equal to both that and a curling Sven Bender attempt, but then, almost without warning, Bayern came close to snatching the lead. Mandžukić rose above Bender to connect with Franck Ribéry's perfect left-wing centre and Roman Weidenfeller tipped the header over. From the corner there was another Bayern opening, Javi Martínez nodding onto the roof of the net.

The game had started at breakneck speed and there was no let-up as play swung from end to end in the blink of an eye, with opportunities coming thick and fast. Around the half-hour both sides had a one-on-one, yet neither could capitalise as the two keepers expertly narrowed the angle; first Weidenfeller advanced to repel Robben, before Lewandowski was again thwarted by Neuer's legs. With half-time fast approaching, the ball fell between Mats Hummels and Robben and broke kindly for the Bayern man; again Weidenfeller was well positioned to make the save at close range, albeit with his face.

The half-time interval did not serve to break the rhythm of the match, which picked up in exactly the same breathless manner following the resumption. Chances proved rarer, however – until Bayern struck on the hour. Robben and Ribéry were the architects, swapping passes down the left and the Dutchman's low cross presented Mandžukić with a tap-in.

For a moment Dortmund were rocking, yet they regrouped and were level within eight minutes. Dante felled Reus in the area; Gündoğan held his nerve to send Neuer the wrong way from the spot. Dortmund poured forward, and so nearly paid the price on the counterattack as Müller rounded Weidenfeller and slid the ball across goal; with Robben racing in to apply the decisive touch, Neven Subotić dived in to clear off the line. Mandžukić then shot into the side netting after Müller sprang the Dortmund offside trap once more, and Weidenfeller kept out a Schweinsteiger effort.

Bayern would not be denied, however. Ribéry controlled a high ball into the box and flicked it into Robben's path; the No10 evaded two defenders and pushed a shot past Weidenfeller. Bayern's fans had unfurled a banner pre-match bearing the legend 'Und heute ist weider ein guter tag' (And yet again it's a good day) – and finally, for their favourites, it was.

Last updated: 25/09/14 3.21CET

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