Bundesliga champion FC Bayern München added the DFB Cup championship to their title collection with a 2:0 victory over rival Borussia Dortmund in Berlin. Unlike the league title, which was secured several weeks before the season’s end, this one required extra time to sort.
And, depending on who you ask, perhaps also a bit of fortunate officiating favoring the Bavarians.
With all the storylines available for discussion here — Pep getting a double in his first season, Pep failing to get a triple in his first season, Arjen Robben’s extra-time match-winner, Robert Lewandowski’s last match for Dortmund before heading to the locker room of the other side, etc. — all anyone really wants to discuss was a goal that was not.
In the 64th minute, Nuri Sahin delivered a challenging free kick from near the touch line into the penalty area, drawing Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer off his line to attempt to clear. Neuer was far too late to get to the ball, which was headed forward by Lewandowski, who beat Dante to the ball. The ball was then headed by Mats Hummels toward the unprotected goal and appeared to cross the line by several inches before Dante was able to clear it away, but no goal was awarded.
It must also be said that, although Hummels appeared to be offside by several inches, no offsides call was given.
With that series of events leaving their mark on a very watchable scoreless 90 minutes, the final moved into extra time to determine who would lift the golden cup.
And, again, it was Arjen Robben delivering a dagger to decisively tilt the result in favor of Bayern late in the match.
With the match scoreless, the 107th official minute of the match opened with Franck Ribery finding Robben just north of the penalty spot, where the Dutchman turned a shot directly to BVB keeper Roman Weidenfeller. The ensuing throw back into play was a bit afield of intended target Kevin Großkreutz, giving Jerome Boateng opportunity to engage in a slight bit of gegenpressing to win a ball and step toward the corner of the penalty area to launch a cross toward the far post. Robben found himself free in some open space behind the inattentive Sokratis, and the “Borussia Hunter” again struck a low shot directly at Weidenfeller, but this one with enough heat to catch the keeper off-guard and deflect into goal.
The final margin was provided in the third minute of added time after the second extra-time period, when a Claudio Pizarro pass triggered a Thomas Müller run (well, as much as you can call it a “run” on legs as weary as everyone’s clearly were by this point) behind the Dortmund defense near the center line. Müller got onto the ball and managed to keep himself between pursuing defender Marcel Schmelzer and the ball while darting around Weidenfeller to tuck the 2:0 cleanly into goal and sending the Bayern sideline into celebration of the now-certain double.
The controversy and result will clearly give something for fans of the rival sides to discuss over the summer while a significant number of both rosters head to Brazil for the World Cup, providing plenty of fuel for the burning questions around whether Dortmund hadn’t closed the seemingly wide gap between the two sides since the league title chase was completely one-sided.
After the match, Bayern captain Lahm said his side was “clearly the better side” over the 120 minutes. Pep took a moment to repeat his responsibility for the debacle in the Champions League semifinal, while also issuing a bit of a threat by intimating next year’s side will be better as he continues to build “his” ideal team.
Whatever happens this summer, the two clubs will enter next season as clear favorites for the top two spots in the league, even with their successes inspiring teams below them in the table to action, with transfer activity already hot.
Until then, however, see you in Brazil!