Champions League: Final Bayern Munich 0-2 Inter Recap and Ratings

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Champions League: Final  Bayern Munich 0-2 Inter Recap and Ratings
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After the smoke settled in the season long UEFA Champions League journey, two clubs were left standing for the Final in Madrid. This duo of successful European sides was made up of Bundegliga Champions Bayern Munich and Serie A Champions Internazionale.

As usual the Final was surrounded by a bulk of headline material. Starting with the fact that both of these prestigious clubs were looking to complete their treble runs in this battle for European glory. Before this match the treble had only been completed successfully five times in UEFA history (Celtic 67,Ajax 72, PSV 88, Manchester United 99, Barcelona 09). Therefore the winner would see their nation to its first treble in history, whether it is Germany or Italy.

 

As if that weren’t enough both managers, Jose Mourinho of Inter and Louis van Gaal of Bayern Munich, both looked to join a diminutive illustrious club of managers to achieve European magnificence on the highest stage with two different clubs.

 

Both clubs were dealt suspension blows for this much anticipated Final. Bayern Munich was missing the attacking winger Franck Ribery and Inter was without tough-minded midfielder Thiago Motta.

 

Bayern Munich was gunning for their fifth European Cup in club history and they clearly have developed the confidence to achieve this. Bayern may not have had the smoothest run to the UEFA Champions League Final, but this German side has proven to be as relentless as they come. From their fight back in the group stage, to their away leg heroics in the Round of 16 and the Quarters. Bayern Munich has developed a never say die attitude and rode it to the Final.

 

Internazionale was hoping to reestablish themselves as European powers with their sights set on their possible third European Cup. Guided by the master tactician Jose Mourinho otherwise known as “The Special One” Inter successfully eliminated tournament favorites Chelsea and defending champions Barcelona en route to the Final. Inter has done this with the combination of exquisite defensive organization and an open exciting attack.

 

The Estadio Santiago Bernabeu was buzzing at full capacity as the proud host for this Final and kickoff provided a site to be remembered including a fabulous pitch.

 

Both sides controlled their share of possession in the initial 15 minutes of the match, feeling out each other’s formations while entering the flow of the match. The only half chance worth of mention was in the 8th minute when Robben blew by Inter defender Chivu to the byline and sent a ball just behind the on running Olic who toed his effort off target.

 

In the 16th minute Bayern had shouts for a penalty when Robben’s cross was met by the head of Van Buyten only for the a wandering Maicon arm to impede the balls travel unintentionally in the box. The referee was blocked and clearly didn’t see the potential infraction, but it was hardly a cry for a spot kick, as the ball was clearly going off target and out of danger itself.

 

In the 18th minute Sneijder’s free kick from a distance out hit a minor deflection to slow up the pace of the ball to help Bayern’s keeper Butt bat away the effort rather routinely.

 

Inter came off as the more patient side in the middle of the first half. They were content to let Bayern have possession and try to dissect their confident defense, as they tolerantly waited for a prime counter attacking opportunity.

 

A Julio Cesar 60 yard long ball was properly headed by Diego Milito accurately to the playmaking Wesley Sneijder who awaited Milito’s spin off and burst by Bayern defender Demichelis and slid the striker in free into the penalty area where Milito confidently faked the blast and shot past the keeper for the opener in the 35th minute. This set the Inter supporters into a frenzy, as Milito has made it a habit of his to strike these critical goals for his Inter side.

 

Inter almost doubled their lead in the 43rd minute when Milito received another good through ball from Sneijder this time wide of the area, where the striker controlled and turned before returning a grounded ball to the streaking Sneijder whose left footed effort was directly at the awaiting Butt.

 

The Nerazzurri held the 1-0 advantage of halftime and they clearly showed the confidence and poise they have displayed all tournament long in the first half of this Final. Their ability to look defensive one second and spring an attack the next had clearly victimized Bayern with the skillful Sneijder and poised and confident Diego Milito being the prime offenders.

 

After a tardy sluggish return to the pitch for Inter they were almost punished by an electric start from an anxiously trailing Bayern side.

 

A nifty heal pass from Olic spaced the Inter defense in the 46th minute when Altintop laid off for Muller in the area, only for the young German to be denied by a leg save from Julio Cesar

 

Inter responded with a chance of their own just seconds later in the 47th minute when Milito found Pandev in the danger area only for Pandev’s lofted effort to be tipped over the bar by Butt.

 

In the 63rd minute, Robben’s bullet free kick from the corner of the area led to some traffic and confusion in the box, but a strong and well-positioned Cambiasso headed the ball away before it found its way on net.

 

Bayern continued the pressure in the 65th minute when Robben got space to unleash one of his famous far post curlers, but Inter keeper Julio Cesar was up for the challenge and leaped and stretched just enough to deny Robben’s quality effort.

 

In the 70th minute, “Il Principe” Diego Milito did what he does best in his recent top form. Milito gathered a pass on the counter attack and simply dribbled his defender into the area before inside outing van Buyten swiftly, and side footing another strike into the back of the net for the enormous 2-0 advantage.

 

At this point of the match Bayern set it out into all out attack mode with substitutes Klose and Gomez sent on. At the same time though Inter constantly had ten men behind the ball and their defensive shape with a 2-0 lead made it commonplace for constant shot blocking and routine cross clearances.

 

From this point on Inter satisfyingly sat back and soaked up the Bayern attack successfully and cruised to the final whistle and the 2-0 Champions League Final victory.

 

Inter were clearly the better side and outperformed Bayern both tactically and in execution. Inter’s defense once again proved to be too organized and disciplined for a one dimensional Bayern attack to dissect. Inter’s counterattack and creativity also proved to be too much for an average Bayern backline. In the end a marvelous Diego Milito hit the net twice and pushed himself and his Inter side forever into UEFA history.

 

This gave Internazionale their third European Cup and launched their season and their manager into futbol history. The sixth ever treble in UEFA history and the third manager ever to win the European Cup with two clubs, Jose Mourinho. This capped off a perfect season of success and achievement for this experienced and ultra talented Inter squad.

 

Inter’s victory also was a huge triumph for Calcio. The Serie A has now assured themselves of the four Champions League positions for at least the upcoming two years.

 

Inter will now likely push towards the offseason with numerous rumors flying about. Will Jose Mourinho stay in Madrid to manage Real Madrid? Who will take over as manager? What players will want out if Mourinho departs? What Italian talent can this Inter side bring in?

 

For Bayern Munich despite being outclassed and outdid in this Final the Bavarians have nothing to be ashamed of. They fought hard and proved themselves throughout the competition and just ran into a better side in the Final. They should wear their runner up medals with pride and are left to wonder if Franck Ribery could have been the difference for the German side in tonight’s Final.

 

 

 

Player Ratings

 

Bayern Munich

 

Butt   6.0-  The German keeper batted away multiple efforts from Sneijder and made a jumping save on Pandev that was impressive. Was not at fault for either of Milito’s goals.

 

Lahm   5.5-  The German wing back didn’t have his normal production in the attack up the wing thanks to an organized Inter defense. Was also caught out of position of multiple Inter counterattacks.

 

Van Buyten   5.5- The Belgian center back had a solid first half, but was taking to the cleaners on Milito’s second goal. He surely will hang his head when he sees those replays.

 

Demichelis   5.0-  The Argentine catches the blame for the first Inter goal, as he was beaten in the air by a shorter Milito and then was burnt by his run which led to the strike. Was constantly out of position and just outdone by his fellow Argentine.

 

Badstuber   6.0- The German defender did solid in defending his territory and keeping Eto’o and Maicon quiet, but also could have been more aggressive in being the last man to intervene Milito’s strike in the 35th minute.

 

Schweinsteiger   5.5- The German was slick in the midfield early on. He disrupted a couple Inter attacks and spread possession for his Bayern side. But it was downhill from there, as he became ineffective and lost possession too many times.

 

Van Bommel   5.5-  The Dutch captain was solid in the midfield in the first half, but became visually frustrated as the match wore on and it affected his performance.

 

Altintop   5.5- The Turkish midfielder who replaced Ribery in the starting eleven. Set up Muller for Bayern’s best opportunity of the night. Subbed out in the 63rd minute.

 

Robben  7.0-  The Dutch hero throughout the knockout stages was a thorn in the Inter side. He blew by Chivu a handful of times, but the Germans failed to capitalize. Clearly the most dangerous Bayern attacker throughout the match, but must have been frustrated by all the attention and double teams that were thrown at him all night.

 

Muller  5.5- The young German worked hard and gave his full effort, but he came up empty on some key opportunities for his side.

 

Olic   5.5- The Croatian was a hard worker up front, but besides a missed half chance inside the six-yard box in the 8th minute. He was barely given an opportunity after that.  Clever pass led to Bayern’s early dangerous second half chance. Subbed out in the 74th minute

 

Substitutes

 

 Klose  4.5- A complete ghost for his 30 minutes on the pitch.

 

Gomez  5.0- His 20 minute appearance was barely noticeable.

 

 

 

 

 

Inter

 

Julio Cesar   6.5- The Brazilian keeper recorded a clean sheet in a Final. Two crucial saves on Muller and Robben impressed.

 

Chivu   5.0- The Romanian had his troubles with the pacey Robben on the wing and clearly needed help every time Robben has possession. Subbed out in the 68th minute.

 

Samuel   7.0- The Argentine center back was once again a huge contributor in the back line of Inter’s defense. He headed away multiple crosses from the danger area and played his part in frustrating the Bayern strikers.

 

Lucio   6.5- The Brazilian center back was as stout as usual with another strong physical display in the back for Inter.

 

Maicon   6.0- The Brazilian was rather quiet, as not much activity initiated from his territory for either side. Stayed at home more often than not and played his role in a solid Inter defensive display.

 

Cambiasso   7.0- The Argentine continued his strong bullish role by in front of the defensive line, as he cleared away an uncountable amount of crosses and passes deep in the Inter end. Constantly worked hard and in position for several takeaways and multiple frustrations for the Germans.

 

Zanetti   6.5- The captain’s 700th match with Inter will be one he remembers forever. The Argentine continued to live up to his consistent reputation with another solid display. Responsible for numerous takeaways and successfully helping to contain and shutout Robben.

 

Sneijder   7.5- The Dutch playmaker put some tremendous one touch passing on display and provided Milito with the assist on the first goal. His role on this Inter side has been critical throughout the whole season and he has repeatedly came through when it matters most.

 

Pandev   5.5- The Macedonian had a sloppy first half in which he gave away possession way too many times, but he recovered in the second half when his constant hustle and fouls suffered frustrated the Germans. Subbed out in the 79th minute.

 

Eto’o   5.5- The Cameroonian contributed as a role player once again for his Inter side. His pass lead to Milito’s second goal.

 

Milito   8.0- “Il Principe” lived up to the name with a phenomenal showing in the UEFA Champions League Final. He scored his two goals with such composure, skill, and preciseness. No brainer selection for Man of the Match and serious contender for Man of the Competition.

 

Substitutes

 

 Stankovic  5.5- Subbed in for the final 20 minutes or so to contribute to the defensive midfield.

 

Muntari  N/A-

 

Materazzi  N/A- The only Italian to appear in the match for this Inter Championship side.

 

 

Referee- Howard Webb  6.5- Stayed out of the players way in this match and was hardly put in a difficult position or given a difficult decision.

 

Man of the Match-   Diego Milito

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