Champions League Final: 6 Key Stats That Tell the Story of Bayern Munich's Win

Matt CheethamCorrespondent IMay 25, 2013

Champions League Final: 6 Key Stats That Tell the Story of Bayern Munich's Win

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    Arjen Robben's dramatic late strike ensured it was Bayern Munich who lifted the 2012-13 Champions League trophy at Wembley Stadium.

    The Dutchman's late burst and slick finish secured a 2-1 win over domestic rivals, Borussia Dortmund, sealing his side's first European Cup since 2001.

    It's also the fifth in their history, moving Bayern level with Liverpool and behind only AC Milan and Real Madrid as Europe's most decorated side.

    As a spectacle the game actually lived up to its pre-match billing as a thoroughly entertaining contest, with both sides playing an attractive brand of football, eager to attack and throw bodies forward.

    Although the final score is always the most crucial statistic in any game, here's a look at some of the other numbers that best defined this contest.

    Statistics via WhoScored.com

Bayern's Attacking Supremacy

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    The basic match stats reveal Bayern's superior attack, firing off 17 shots to their opponent's 12, with 10 on target to Dortmund's seven. 

    Teams tend to average four or five shots on target per game and Bayern's Champions League average is 6.5 this season, highlighting just how efficient they were in the final third to register 10 in this match.

    The Bavarians also managed almost double as many passes as their opponents, completing 400 to Dortmund's 237, and enjoyed over 60 percent of possession.

    As the game progressed, this increasing supremacy led to a more direct approach from Dortmund, who hit over 20 percent of their passes long, compared to 15 percent from Bayern.

Dortmund Edge the Territory

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    While Bayern may have dictated the tempo and bossed the possession, Dortmund certainly had their fair share of offensive opportunities and time in the opposition's half.

    Despite significantly less time on the ball, their energetic pressing ensured they edged the territory battle and won play in key areas of the field.

    Bayern remained keen to build from the back and Dortmund's early pressure convinced Jupp Heynckes to alter his approach, with Bastian Schweinsteiger frequently lured back to try and move his side forward.

    As a result of this, the ball remained in Bayern's half for 52 percent of the game, contributing to the attacking display on show.

Dortmund's Failure to Make Early Dominance Count

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    When Dortmund assess this game they will look back and rue the first quarter of the match where they failed to make an intense period of pressure count on the scoreline.

    Before 25 minutes were up, Klopp's side had managed six shots on goal, forced five corners and attempted six dribbles in attacking areaswith Bayern not registering a single shot, corner or dribble during that time.

    The Bavarians still dominated the possession, with 65 percent, but Dortmund were far more fluent, incisive and cohesive in their play.

    Bayern have conceded an average of just 8.2 shots per game in the Bundesliga this season, and 9.4 in the Champions League, emphasising just how impressive this opening spell was from Dortmund.

    However, the fact it wasn't capitalised on and Bayern were then able to rouse themselves, switch their approach and click into gear cost Dortmund dearly.

Neuer Stands Tall

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    During this opening siege from Dortmund, Manuel Neuer stood tall in Bayern's goal, saving four shots in the first 25 minutes and five by halftime.

    He showed smart reactions to deny Jakub Blaszczykowski, Robert Lewandowski, Marco Reus and Sven Bender and certainly strengthened the arguments of those who consider him the world's best in goal.

    While he was not as active as his opposite man, he was called upon far more frequently than he has been used to. Neuer averages just two saves per game in the Bundesliga this season and made two in 120 minutes during last year's final against Chelsea.

    The five saves he made in the first half were remarkably the most he's been tested in an opening period all season, again emphasising Dortmund's early dominance and his own impressive ability. In the end, Dortmund could only beat him from the penalty spot.

Dortmund's Nullified Left Flank

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    One of the major talking points leading up to the final was how the excellent Mario Gotze would be missing for Borussia Dortmund.

    While Marco Reus impressed playing closer than usual to Robert Lewandowski, Gotze's absence was indeed a telling factor and greatly reduced Dortmund's left-sided threat.

    With Reus playing more central, Kevin Grosskreutz came into the side to play ahead of Marcel Schmelzer, although both struggled to make an impression, especially going forward.

    Schmelzer had an especially tough time attempting to suppress Arjen Robben, and completed just 10 passes in the entire match, only two of which were in the final third.

    Grosskreutz was similarly peripheral. He completed just 19 passes, only seven of which were in the final third, although he did slot through a couple of clever passes early on.

    In contrast, Bayern's David Alaba attempted almost three times as many passes (61) at left-back and somehow managed 29 passes before Schmelzer even completed one.

    The left-sided duo recorded the fewest passes of any starter and, without Gotze and Reus interchanging, Dortmund were unable to mount a considerable threat from that flank.

Robben Delivers... Finally

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    Arjen Robben's late finish and ultimate redemption will rightly steal a large portion of column inches over the next few days.

    After such a disappointing final the year before against Chelsea, adding to his previous heartaches in 2010, his winning goal unsurprisingly brought the Dutchman to tears at the final whistle.

    Up until that goal, his own shooting statistics in European finals were a rather dismal 24 shots, no goals and a conversion rate of zero percent from the best part of three finals.

    He had squandered several glorious chances, fluffed a number of one-on-ones and seemed destined to be remembered alongside some of the poorest main stage performers in history.

    However, with one deft prod past Roman Weidenfeller, all is forgiven. He upped that conversion rate to four percent, etched his name in the history books and duly won his side their most coveted trophy.

     

    Statistics via WhoScored