I have seen Bayern lose many games. I saw them lose control under Juergen Klinsmann and fall into a huge ditch as they crashed to Barcelona in the 2008 Champions League. The result that night was 4-0. I went to bed with a heavy heart, knowing that we had been beaten by a much superior side. Bayern was humiliated by Wolfsburg, 5-1, that season. Under Louis Van Gaal, Bayern lost to Mainz in the first half of the season. None of those defeats hurt as much as last night's one.
When Bayern lost the Champions League final, most Bayern fans were sad but proud. Their team had done them proud and got a rapturous welcome at the Marienplatz in Munich following their return from Madrid. Bayern had been beaten by a tactically astute and extremely well balanced side and very few Bayern fans actually begrudged Inter Milan.
Yet yesterday night was just painful. Yesterday night shattered me badly. I always say that it is better to be comprehensively beaten than to be beaten due to something as trivial as away goals. Bayern needed away goals to get past two rounds last season, but the rule came back to haunt them this season. Most of us remember the offside goal Miroslav Klose scored to give Bayern the lead following the first leg.
Samuel Eto'o was offside when Inter took the lead in the fourth minute. Following that goal, the first half was one of the most magnificent displays of Bayern's attacking style. Bayern was unlucky to go into the break with a 2-1 lead. The fans were in full voice; they felt their team was finally giving them something to smile about in a dismal season filled with conflicts in the hierarchy. And, yet, something happened in the dressing room at half-time.
Was the defeat Van Gaal's fault?
Bayern came out and showed weariness. The players were lazy and were putting in very little effort to close out the match. When Wesley Sneijder scored, the fans suddenly quietened as they realized that their beloved Bayern Munich was about to shatter their hearts with another disgraceful performance with their shabby defending. In the 88th minute, the only person who made himself heard was Goran Pandev.
Everyone knew that the end of the road had come for Bayern Munich. Bayern dreams of lifting the European Cup one day once again fall by the wayside. The club will never win until the defence is completely overhauled. A team with a fantastic attack and the world's best fullback, Philipp Lahm, deserves much more than one-legged defenders such as Daniel Van Buyten, the hapless and worthless Breno as well as the makeshift left-back, Danijel Pranjic.
They deserve to be coached by someone who is prepared to give a young side his all, such as former Bayern player Thorsten Fink. If not Fink, they deserve someone like Jupp Heynckes at their helm. The team is young and highly talented. This team needs a motivator amongst their midst, such as Leonardo, who made history last night by overturning the first leg home defeat to progress to the next stage.
The team is beleaguered and how they will come out of their recent rut is beyond everyone. They have lost four of their previous five games. Louis Van Gaal is to blame in each and every way. He destroyed what he created and is continuing to destroy Bayern more and more day by day. He puts no importance in defensive organization and has correctly paid the price.
However, because of him, Bayern and the fans have had to pay. For the fans, it will be tough to get up on Saturday. For the players, it will be even harder. Philipp Lahm spoke about his disappointment while Thomas Mueller had a tough time grasping the truth. Arjen Robben feels the team must win on Saturday against Freiburg at least to make it to next season's CL.
At the moment, it is still incredibly difficult to take in the defeat. The months will pass by and Bayern will be back to their winning ways, but last night's defeat will always remain as one of the most unforgettable and painful defeats in the history of this wonderful club.