Bayern lift German Cup to land historic treble

FC Bayern München survived a stirring VfB Stuttgart comeback to triumph 3-2 in the German Cup final and become the first German team to win three major trophies in a single season.

Bayern celebrate an unprecedented treble
Bayern celebrate an unprecedented treble ©Getty Images

FC Bayern München made history by becoming the first German team to win three major trophies in a single season, completing the treble with a 3-2 German Cup victory against VfB Stuttgart in Berlin.

After coming out on top in the Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League, Bayern did not appear to be flagging as they raced into a 3-0 lead after 61 minutes. However, Martin Harnik struck twice in a stirring comeback from Bruno Labbadia's men, but they ran out of steam as Bayern set the seal on a glittering campaign.

If anyone expected the European champions to falter after an epic season, which saw them defeat Borussia Dortmund in London last week, those suspicions were soon dispelled, as Arjen Robben's cross almost deflected in after six minutes. Alexandru Maxim headed a fraction wide at the other end, before Manuel Neuer prevented Bastian Schweinsteiger from turning into his own net and smothered a shot from Georg Niedermeier.

Thomas Müller put Bayern back on track, though, calmly rolling in from the spot after Ibrahima Traoré had upended Philipp Lahm. Mario Gomez then struck twice from close range after the interval as it appeared Jupp Heynckes' men were cruising. Stuttgart refused to lie down, though, with Harnik heading in Gotoku Sakai's perfect cross and drilling in at the second attempt with ten minutes remaining. A grandstand finish ensued, but Bayern held firm.

The departing Heynckes cut an emotional figure after the game. "It is an emotional moment," said the man who lifted the same trophy as a player in 1973 with VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach. "The team has given me a great gift. The treble is unique. It has never happened in the Bundesliga before. The team spirit was the deciding factor, the way they stay together and support each other. I will hold a farewell conference on Tuesday. I will discuss my future then and reveal what is next for me, if anything."

Captain Philipp Lahm was full of pride, meanwhile. "We have finally done what nobody else in German football ever has. It is unbelievable to think what the team has achieved. It has been a very tiring few months but we have rewarded ourselves for it in the past weeks."

Labbadia paid tribute to his defeated side, saying: "To finish second in a competition like this is always annoying, we have to acknowledge that. But congratulations to my team. They never gave up. We are all really disappointed."