Bayern Munich Beat Stuttgart, Achieve 'Immortality' with Historic Treble
Bayern Munich survived a Stuttgart fight-back in Berlin to win the 2013 DFB-Pokal final 3-2—a victory that saw them become just the seventh European club, and first from Germany, to complete a league, Champions League and domestic cup treble.
In the run-up to Saturday’s match at the Olympiastadion, Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge suggested his side could attain "immortality" with a win over their Bundesliga rivals, and although a pair of second-half goals from Stuttgart winger Martin Harnik made for a thrilling finish, in the end the Bavarian giants were not to be denied their historic accomplishment.
Thomas Muller opened the scoring with a 37th-minute penalty, and shortly after Mario Gomez had completed his brace midway through the second half, Harnik struck twice in the space of nine minutes to set up some late dramatics.
But it was too little, too late, as Bayern held on for the 3-2 win.
Stuttgart might have been worth a goal in the opening 25 minutes, but just as he did against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final, Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer made a series of vital saves—most notably on Georg Niedermeier, following a free-kick that managed to evade the Bayern defense.
But Bayern settled comfortably after the scare, and eight minutes prior to the break, they were awarded a penalty when Ibrahima Traore pulled captain Philipp Lahm to the ground just inside the area.
Bayern denied a clear penalty after Robben was taken down by Tasci. Let off for Stuttgart as the referee points for a corner.— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) June 1, 2013
The decision had the look of a make-up call, as only nine minutes earlier referee Manuel Grafe had turned a blind eye to a Serdar Tasci challenge on Arjen Robben that should have sent the Bundesliga and Champions League winners to the spot.
Still, it was a clear foul on the Germany right-back, and after sending Stuttgart goalkeeper Sven Ulreich the wrong way, Thomas Muller opened the scoring with a calm finish inside the left post.
1-0 (37') Müller from a spot kick. Bayern München have converted all 8 penalties awarded to them in German Cup finals (excl. shootouts).— Infostrada Sports (@InfostradaLive) June 1, 2013
It took only three minutes after the restart for Bayern to double their lead, and once again Lahm was involved—completing a neat exchange with Robben before squaring the ball across the face of the goal for Mario Gomez to tap in.
The two-goal lead became three on the hour-mark, and for a second time in 12 minutes, Gomez required just a single touch to find the back of the net, this time having received an accurate cross from Muller.
The goal was Gomez’s final act of the night and perhaps of his Bayern career, as Mario Mandzukic replaced the want-away Bayern striker in the 62nd minute.
Bayern manager Jupp Heynckes might have done well to continue with Gomez, however, as in the 71st minute, momentum swung back in Stuttgart’s favour after Harnik’s well-placed header from Gotoku Sakai’s exquisite cross left Neuer with no chance whatsoever.
Sub #Sakai with the cross to Harnik's head, splendid finish to far-top-corner. Neuer blameless.— DW - Sports (@dw_sports) June 1, 2013
Then, with 10 minutes of normal time remaining, Harnik struck again.
Sakai, who had come on for left-back Cristian Molinaro, found himself in acres of space on the left-hand side of the Bayern box but could only hit the upright when the ball fell randomly to him. Harnik then had a go and was stopped by Neuer, but he buried the rebound to pull his side within a goal.
Mandzukic might have restored Bayern’s two-goal advantage late on, and in the third minute of added time, Shinji Okazaki misplaced a free header from in close that might have sent the match to extra time.
The final whistle came as a bit of relief for Bayern, but it took only a moment for the sense of history to sink in.
Only Celtic, Ajax, PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United, Barcelona and Inter Milan had completed the treble before Saturday, but with their 3-2 win over Stuttgart, Bayern Munich added a seventh name to that most historic of clubs.
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