Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich: Champions League Final Preview

Champions League Final: Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern MunichBorussia Dortmund vs Bayern Munich, the first ever all-German Champions League final, will take place at Wembley on May 25th. Both teams have thoroughly deserved their place there and have been strong and consistent all tournament. In this year’s final, both clubs are rich in history, rivalry, and both have the chance to make history.

For Bayern, it is a case of righting the wrongs of previous finals and tournaments where they came so close, yet so far. In fact, the last 2 finals they have been in, they finished as runners’ up. In 2010, they were defeated by 2 Diego Milito goals as Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan completed the treble at the Bernabeu. In 2012, they lost on penalties to Chelsea in their own stadium.

This is something which will be in their minds and no doubt they’ll use it as a spring-board to ensure they are fully focused for the game. Bastian Schweinsteiger will no doubt remember last year at the Allianz, as it was his penalty which Petr Cech saved to give Didier Drogba the opportunity the win the Champions League for Chelsea.

These memories will be fresh in the minds of fans and players alike, and they will no doubt want to put it right. If they did lose to Dortmund in the final, they would have come runners’ up in the tournament more than any other team. No doubt, an unwanted title.

Bayern head into the game at Wembley as Bundesliga Champion, and have fought off Barcelona in the semi-finals with ultimate ease, after the 7-0 aggregate win over the Catalan Giants. It was 2 nights to remember for all. The players really turned on the style, and in all fairness, shocked a lot of football fans in doing so.

Bayern 4-0 BarcelonaAll players are in top form going into the game, and hopeful, they can continue their great form for a final game, and sign off in style. If Bayern do win the final, they will complete a tremendous treble, in what has been a glorious season for Jupp Heynckes’ men.

Dortmund haven’t won the Champions league since 1997 after a 3-1 victory over Italian Giants Juventus at the Olympiastadion in Munich, a match which included current Aston Villa manager, Paul Lambert. It will surely be their greatest moment to date, but this match will be a brilliant opportunity for this young team to make a real statement in European football.

Whilst they may not be the most prolific team in the tournament, having only scored 23 to Bayern’s 29, they can boast the second most prolific goal scorer in Robert Lewandowski, who has netted 2 less than Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.

This will be Dortmund’s second ever European final, and they will relish the chance to rewrite the history books. A real blow for them will be not having Mario Götze available through a knee injury sustained in the second leg of Dortmund’s semi-final clash with Real Madrid.

The young German has had a massive part to play in Dortmund’s European adventure this season and has been a key figure in attack for them. He quite possibly could have been somewhat a controversial figure in the final following the confirmation of his summer move to Bayern from Dortmund. If Götze was fit to play, this would have been his last ever game in a Dortmund shirt.

So, how will this game be won and lost?

Effectiveness of Dortmund’s Counterattack

Robert Lewandowski and Mario GotzeDortmund are a team that have quite often defended deeply, so they can try to hit team on the counterattack. Not many teams in Europe are better in this transition than Jurgen Klopp’s side. This tactic depends on the effectiveness of their holding midfielders, Sven Bender and İlkay Gündoğan.

As Dortmund concede space, it leaves them with a fair bit of work to do and some ground to cover. They need to ensure they’re preventing the likes of Thomas Müller from getting into space and finding an opening for a chance, otherwise Dortmund’s back 4 can be exposed and put under a lot of pressure.

Arjen Robben’s Attacking Flair

The Dutchman showed a completely different side to his game in the semi-finals against Barcelona. Not one for being much of a team player or tracking back, this is something which he willingly did throughout both legs whenever Barcelona attacked.

But, it is in the attacking third where Robben can be most crucial. He is able to drive at Marcell Schmelzer, who sometimes dives into challenges a bit too eagerly when facing his attacker. This may be where the majority of Bayern’s chances come from.

Marco Reus vs Bastian Schweinsteiger & Javi Martínez

Borussia Dortmund 4-1 Real MadridWith Mario Götze injured, the onus is now on Marco Reus to support Robert Lewandowski with his intelligence and touch. In any other game, this wouldn’t be seen as a big problem for the 23-year-old, but he now faces the task of beating Schweinsteiger and Martinez as they look to combat the midfield and be midfield generals.

The duo showed how impressive they are when working together ion the middle of the park when they stopped Xavi and Andres Iniesta from being their influential selves. Reus will no doubt have to be on top of his game to defeat these two.

Dortmund’s Right Flank

The Dortmund right flank is traditionally a strong one, with Polish internationals Lucasz Piszczek and Jakub Blaszczykowski combining smoothly and providing chances for Lewandowski & co. Piszczek’s overlapping has featured rather heavily for Dortmund in the last couple of years. This will be an interesting match up, going up against Franck Ribéry and David Alaba.

Bayern’s Game Changers

If Dortmund’s starting eleven starts strongly, then they will be very tough to beat. But as the game wears on, problems may occur with the players getting tired and fatigue kicking in. If this was to happen, Jupp Heynckes will see this as an advantage to his team, and when you look at his bench, and it has the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, Luis Gustavo, and Mario Gomez, players who are proven to be capable of influencing a game. Klopp on the other hand, cannot call on such calibre, so the last 20 minutes may be tough for his side.

Last 3 meetings:

  • Dortmund 1-1 Bayern (Bundesliga)
  • Bayern 1-0 Dortmund (German Cup)
  • Bayern 1-1 Dortmund (Bundesliga)

When looking at these last 3 results, it looks as if there is nothing to choose between the two sides, and the game looks like it could be fairly open with the team’s styles of play. It will be a brilliant final for everyone, and the side who wins will undoubtedly deserve the title “Champions of Europe.”

Written by OneFutbol

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Bayern Munich 4-0 Barcelona: German Storm Demolishes Barca in First Leg of Semi-Final

Bayern Munich 4-0 BarcelonaThe second most exciting stage of the UEFA Champions League is finally here! 28 teams from all parts of Europe have been eliminated and the strongest 4 remain. Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, and Real Madrid have gotten past tough opponents to get to this stage, and in doing so, have proven to the world that they are worthy of being crowned Champions of Europe. After an exciting draw that saw defending and soon-to-be-crowned champions drawn against each other, it was time to finally see which two teams would make it to the final.

Barcelona headed to Munich on the back of a hard-earned 1-0 win against Levante in the Spanish Liga BBVA. Bayern Munich would head into this game with, perhaps, more confidence from a 6-1 win in Hanover, along with a strong home support behind them. 68,000 spectators went to the Allianz for what would be, at least to the home side, a great match.

First Half

This game started well for the Bavarians; their first chance coming in just 2 minutes after Viktor Kassai blew the first whistle. This was deeply encouraging for them, as they wanted nothing more than to score early goals. Fortunately for the Spanish visitors, Victor Valdes was wide awake to save an Arjen Robben shot. The visitors had their first real chance 7 minutes later, when they were awarded the first corner of the game. Gerard Pique headed wide.

Bayern Munich 4-0 BarcelonaFrom then on, the home side continued to threaten near the Barcelona goal. Finally, 25 minutes into the game, Thomas Muller met a Dante pass, provided by a Robben cross, and put the ball past Valdes to score the first goal of the game. This goal was enough to wake up the Spanish side, who wasted no time trying to get things level. Unfortunately for them, the ball forward was a little over-hit, and the Germans were able to escape all the way until the half-time whistle was blown.

Second Half

The Catalans knew what they had to do in the second half, and seemed determined to do so after the half-time break. Things got harder for them, however, when the hosts added to their tally just 4 minutes in. Bayern were doing so well on set-pieces, as their second goal came, yet again, from a corner. Arjen Robben’s corner got to Mario Gomez, through Thomas Muller, and the 17-year-old German made sure to put this one into the net.

And Heynckes side just wasn’t done yet; 3 minutes after their second goal, Muller got a good chance to make it a brace, but was just unlucky. The visitors knew they had to score fast, but their hosts didn’t think so. The only thing they had over their hosts was possession at this point, and it wasn’t taking them anywhere. Attempts kept coming in for Bayern, and the Spanish giants were lagging.

Bayern Munich 4-0 BarcelonaA good chance to get an important goal at the Allianz for Barcelona came in the 70th minute, but an off-balance Marc Bartra was unfortunate. Manuel Neuer had managed to escape so far and seemed to be enjoying it, naturally! 3 minutes afterwards, Luis Gustavo came in for a happy, but tired, Mario Gomez, and the home side added a 3rd goal. Arjen Robben finally got one for himself, very well assisted by Bastian Schweinsteiger.

The visitors knew they had to score and score soon! 15 minutes from time, another good chance came for Marc Bartra, but the youngster put too much on it to the disappointment of Tito & co. The question on everyone’s mind at this point was: “Where, oh where is Lionel Messi?” The Argentinian had been overpowered for a huge part of the game, and it was evident that Bayern had studied him very well.

As if they hadn’t had enough problems throughout the night, Barcelona conceded a fourth goal, and it was surely over for the Spanish side. Thomas Muller, who shortly after this made way for Pizarro, finally got his brace; all of it was made possible by some great work by David Alaba and Franck Ribery. Even if Barcelona would score, they wouldn’t be able to score 4 with only 10 minutes remaining on the clock, at least not against this team!

Bayern Munich 4-0 BarcelonaJupp Heynckes and his Spanish counterpart both made some last-minutes substitutions and introduced Shaqiri and David Villa respectively. These two wouldn’t see too much except a very good chance for Bayern to make it 5-0 in added time. Fortunately for Barca, Arjen Robben missed the target and it remained 4-0 to the German hosts.The Spanish side will now have to work, not just double or triple, but quadruple hard in the second leg of this tie if they are to reach the final instead of Bayern; something which now seems very, very unlikely. We all know how strong they can be, however, so anything is still possible. Who knows, we might see some surprises at the Camp Nou next Wednesday evening.

Bayern Munich-Barcelona
  • 36% Possession 64%
  • 9/4 Attempts on Target/Off Target 2/2
  • 13 Total Attempts 4
  • 4 Goals 0
  • 1 Saves 3
  • 11 Free Kicks 19
  • 16/10 Fouls Committed/Suffered 10/16
  • 3/0 Yellow/Red Cards 4/0

Jupp Heynckes and Tito Vilanova lined up the following squads:

Bayern Starting XI

Neuer | Dante, Boateng, Lahm (c) | Martinez, Robben, Alaba, Schweinsteiger, Ribery, Muller | Gomez
Subs: Starke, Van Buyten, Rafinha, Shaqiri, Tymoshcuk, Pizarro, and Gustavo

Barcelona Starting XI

Valdes | Dani Alves, Pique, Bartra, Alba | Xavi (c), Iniesta, Busquets | Sanchez, Messi, Pedro
Subs: Pinto, Montoya, Abidal, Fabregas, Thiago Alcantara, Villa, and Song

Final Score: Bayern Munich 4-0 Barcelona

Muller 25′, 82′, Gomez 49′, Robben 73′

Written by Ange Marline