Monday, May 6, 2013

Borussia and Bayern turn Champions League Final into Feiertag

As the original field of 32 in this year’s Champions League Tournament began to decrease so did the number of EPL sides left in the tourney, as well as most favorites. So when it got down to the final four sides one might surmise that the upsets had run their course and we would see the old rivals from Spain square off in a storied final that would add another chapter to their history. However Bayern Munich seemed like a side on a mission after losing in the final last year on their home soil in a dramatic PK loss on Drogba’s last goals as a Chelsea striker, one to tie late and the last to win the game, shootout, and championship. Matched up with Barcelona and Lionel Messi in the semi-final, although slowed by a hamstring injury Bayern for intent and purposes wrapped up their spot in the final in the first leg with a shocking 4-0 victory in Munich, as Thomas Müller scored twice and despite losing possession 63-37% it seemed like there were 14 Bayern players on the pitch. After that first leg it was foregone conclusion that they would get their second consecutive shot at the title. It’s a testament to the character of the side that they were even able to get back into the mix after such a heartbreaking defeat, but they were more than competitive they made it all the way back to final. The second leg was not much better as Bayern left no doubters whom the better side was with another solid 3-0 win to hand Real Madrid their worst ever net aggregate loss in a major competition 7-0. On the other side they will meet their countrymen from the North were pulling off an upset of their own as most were expecting Ronoldo to steal the show, and at half-time of the first leg he had as it was 1-1, but from there the match and a spot in the Finals belonged to Robert Lewandowski’s and the Black & Gold. Three second half goals put him in the record books and Dortmund in the Final. The second leg was more formality than anything else as Real made it respectable in the second leg with a 2-0 win but even those came in the final seven minutes of the match. So all of Europe may be watching on May 25th but there will certainly be a concentrated focus as for the first time ever two German sides will be battling for more than the hardware, as it’s also a North/South rivalry with even more on the line for the countrymen involved. This is an unexpected final for the football world but it truly is a once in a century moment for the Nation and aside from a World Cup match on home soil this is about as big as it gets. It’s a good thing the Final falls on a Saturday as half the nation would be calling in sick so they might as well make it a holiday (Feiertag in German) because half will be celebrating when it is all said and done and the celebration may last until Monday.

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