UEFA Champions League 2013: Why Bayern Munich Is Destined for Title
There hasn't been a better team in Europe than Bayern Munich this season, and the club prove it with a victory over Borussia Dortmund on Saturday in the Champions League final.
And there is plenty of evidence to support that claim.
For starters, Bayern hasn't even lost to Dortmund this season. In four meetings, the Bavarian side has posted two wins and two draws, beating them in the DFL-Supercup and knocking them out of the DFB-Pokal in the quarterfinals.
For another, Bayern has been historically good this year.
Stephan Uersfeld of ESPN points out that the team set Bundesliga records for most points (91), wins (21), away points (47), championship margin (25 points), goal differential (+80), clean sheets (21), longest winning streak (14 games) and longest winning streak to start a season (eight).
Oh, and the 28 games it took them to clinch the title (28) was also a record, as was the one defeat they had on the season and complete lack of away defeats in the league.
That's crazy stuff right there, folks.
And we haven't even gotten into the Champions League yet, where Bayern has lost just twice in 12 games against Europe's elite, including a 4-0 victory over Juventus on aggregate and a 7-0 thrashing of Barcelona on aggregate.
For those of you keeping track at home, that's just three losses on the year in all competitions. That's absurd.
Which team wins?
Six players—Thomas Müller (21), Mario Mandzukic (20), Mario Gomez (17), Claudio Pizarro (13), Arjen Robben (12) and Franck Ribéry (11)—have scored double-digit goals. Eight players have at least eight assists. In the 47 matches he's started, Manuel Neuer and the defense in front of him have conceded just 29 goals.
I could go on and on, but why bother? You get the point.
Now, Dortmund is no pushover. This is a talented, cohesive squad that has some of the brightest young stars in the game today, including Marco Reus, Robert Lewandowski and Mario Goetze.
Oh, except Goetze won't be able to play with a partially torn hamstring, via Paul Carr of ESPN:
Mario Götze out of UCL final (hamstring). He led Dortmund with 5 assists & 19 chances created this UCL season.— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) May 22, 2013
Without its creative maestro in the middle of the pitch, it's hard to see Dortmund slowing down the Bayern Munich championship train. Even if the soon-to-be Bayern Munich man was available—that's right, the rich are getting richer this summer—Dortmund would be the underdogs in this contest.
It just feels like Bayern Munich's year. Don't bet against them on Saturday.
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