Indeed, only the heroics of Manuel Neuer and my favorite 12th man- the post- saved Bayern from even bigger blushes and an increased scoreline. Even with the dominance of BvB in the first half, at 60 minutes, when the largely silent Thomas Mueller was replaced by Bastian Schweinsteiger, Munich settled down and the tide began to turn: Dortmund started to look tired and the famous "Bayern-Dusel" was ratcheting up.
And then, inexplicably, the Dutch clutch-man Arjen Robben's "Comedy of Errors" began. After a weak Dortmund corner, the ball found its way to Grosskreutz in the box, and his entirely saveable effort was deflected away from Neuer with a cheeky back-heel by Pole Robert Lewandowski. The rest of the Bayern players in the box had committed to an off-side trap, but no one told Arjen about it. He was the lone player that kept Lewandowski on-side.
Yes, the lone goal was against the run of play, and it had finally started to feel like things were going die Roten's way. It played out a few minutes later as Borussia's goalkeeper Roman Wiedenfeller brought down Robben in the box. Arjen Robben, who has a 100% penalty conversion rate in the Bundesliga, shot low and weakly; saved, of course, by Wiedenfeller. And to add insult to injury, Neven Subotic, who wrongly thought Arjen had taken a dive, got up in the face of the Dutchman, very publicly berating him.
But, it wasn't over yet for the Dutch winger. A couple of minutes after the missed penalty, the ball landed at Arjen's feet inside of three yards from goal. A sitter, you would think. And on any other day, you would be correct. Instead, he skyed the ball to Mars.
"It's embarrassing," Robben said. "It's so disappointing, I don't know what to say." A lot of people on Twitter knew what to say, though. Cries to sell him, and not renew his contract before the summer reverberated through the Twitterverse. And to that I say, are you having a laugh? We would have been nothing without Arjen Robben over the last few seasons. We certainly wouldn't have made the Champions League final in 2010, and we certainly wouldn't have won the DFB Pokal in that same year.
Yes. Arjen Robben had the most horrific match of his career. And yes, it came at the most inopportune time. But, to relegate him to the trash heap after a one-off seems a bit harsh. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you...
And a bit of Respekt: All due congratulations go to Juergen Klopp and his Schwarzgelben. He has done a fantastic job with his young squad. In fact, beating Bayern four times in a row is a Bundesliga feat that hasn't happened for 20 some-odd years. They are passionate. They are hungry. And, I think they are here to stay. Now, if they can only get that bit about being successful in Europe figured out...
Finally, while winning the treble seems very highly unlikely- although Dortmund has a much tougher run of remaining matches than we do- a double is most definitely still in play. Mainz on the weekend, and then the master semi-final tie against Real Madrid starts next week. Not even mentioning our DFB Pokal final against these same Dortmunders in May. They can't beat us five times in a row, now, can they?!
Buck up, Bayern Munich. Get back to work. One second-placed match does not a season make.
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