Perhaps, if Thomas Mueller had scored on his excellent chance, right after the break, things might have gone differently? We’ll never know.
Bayern, as they have done all season, controlled the percentage of possession and led the shots on goal statistic. But Inter’s rock-solid defense and devastating fast-breaks won them the day. Diego Milito absolutely shone, scoring in each half; assisted by Sneijder first, and then by Eto’o.
Sitting in the Bayern supporters section, on the corner, I could sense we were in trouble about 15 minutes in. While we were controlling the tempo, there was just something--- missing. Well, a couple of things. While Hamit Altintop had a good match, he lacks the creativity to make things happen, seemingly out of nothing, like Franck Ribery does so well. So, this forced Arjen Robben to make all the moves. And, in turn, gave “The Special One” the opportunity to have his players double, and sometimes triple, cover the Dutchman. And while he wasn’t completely shackled, Arjen was denied, for most of the match, that patented, wonderful cut-in move we all love so much.
Good on ya, Jose Mourinho! You managed a brilliant match, with a cadre of major talent. I’m sure you’re up to the task, next season, standing on the sidelines at the Estadio Bernabeu.
And after the smoke and confetti had cleared, with the Bayern faithful still chanting; former defender, Lucio, trotted over to the German side, with his family, and rightly picked up a Bayern shawl and placed it around his shoulders. He received a standing ovation for that classy move, as do the supporters themselves.
Four hours after the match, I was partying in a tapas bar, with my old and new Muenchener friends, when a Spaniard remarked to me, “It’s like you guys won the whole damn thing!” To which I replied, “In a way, we did.”
No, we didn’t bring home that third trophy. But we did bring home a sense of accomplishment, and a rock-solid foundation on which to build many more fantastic seasons for Bayern Munich. And who knows what’s next? Perhaps, in 2012, we’ll be playing for a home crowd in the Champions League final in Munich. That might be the sweetest of all…
Bayern is back. Prepare accordingly.
Author’s note: It is with great sadness that I write this blog, but also with great anticipation; as I now move my focus to the Deutsche Nationalfussballmannschaft. I hope you will follow my World Cup blog, for Germany, on this site.
Thank you, dear readers, for all of the wonderful comments this season! It’s been wonderful to have you all along for the ride!
And a very, especially big “thank you” to Dom Raynor, here at Soccernet, for giving me the opportunity to voice my opinion, as flawed as it may sometimes be.
And one final footnote, I’ll post pictures from my trip to Madrid as soon as I can figure how to upload them. :) Auf geht’s Bayern!