Saturday’s result in Berlin added an exclamation point to Borussia Dortmund’s unbelievable level of form during 2012, as they defeated Champions League finalist Bayern München 5-2 before a packed house at the Olympiastadion. The victory in a classic Cup matchup of league champion and runnerup gave the Ruhr Valley club its first domestic double in its 103 year history while extending their mastery over the red-clad Bavarians to five consecutive matches. It was the third capture of the Pokal ‘pot’ for BvB.
The superb Shinji Kagawa made plain Dortmund’s intentions for double dominance very early on as he dented Bayern’s net in only the third minute of action. Jurgen Klopp’s men held that lead until Arjen Robben converted a penalty kick to knot the score at 1-1 in the 25th minute.
But Dortmund set the bar too high for Bayern to cross later in the first half. Defender Mats Hummels converted his penalty kick in the 41st minute while the prolific Robert Lewandowski scored the first of what would be his three Pokal final goals in stoppage time to give Dortmund a 3-1 lead going into intermission. The only negative for Dortmund after 45 minutes was the loss of sturdy goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller, who suffered a knock in a collision with Mario Gomez in the 34th minute and had to be replaced by young Australian backup Mitch Langerak.
The second half opened with the Bavarians pushing to get back into the game, but quality crosses from the right flank went unanswered and Bayern always seemed a step slow, with passes in the final third just not quite weighted properly or just a wee bit offtarget. Of course, much of that perception had to do with the quality of Dortmund’s defending led by center back Hummels. Dortmund instead were the next team to score, as Lewandowski buried Die Bayern with 30 minutes yet remaining in the match as he scored to create an insurmountable 4-1 lead in favor of BvB. Backup goalkeeper Langerak had one scary moment when he ventured far out of goal to barely break up a Bayern attack, but Jupp Heynckes’ men couldn’t take advantage of Dortmund’s empty goal, but overall performed well in his most important appearance ever for Die Schwarzgelben.
Franck Ribery continued his fine performance, playing with fire and determination, to score a quality goal to halve Dortmund’s advantage in the 75th minute, but only the most die-hard Bayern fans could envision a complete comeback at that stage of the match. Lewandowski put a blunt end to those few wavering hopes six minutes later, as a ball eluded Manuel Neuer’s usual firm grasp, leaving an alert Lukasz Piszczek to make a well-aimed cross that found his Polish countryman at the far post. Lewandowski headed in to complete his hat trick and seal Dortmund’s day, and season, of glory.
Thus it was left to Borussia Dortmund to lift the trophy after a sullen group of Bayern players received their post-match medals. Amid waving yellow and black banners held by the many Dortmund fans in Berlin, team captain Sebastian Kehl lifted the trophy high as a beaming Jurgen Klopp and his ecstatic players celebrated. A new heavyweight champion has been crowned in Germany — the Dortmund side of two consecutive league titles and a Pokal trophy earned by continued exhibition of a most enthralling type of football. Congratulations to Borussia Dortmund !!! Meanwhile a quality Bayern squad will have another chance for glory next Saturday against Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League final at their Allianz Arena home.
Look for Cris Nyari’s tactical recap of the DFB Pokal final later on the Bundesliga Fanatic.
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