LONDON (CBSNewYork/AP) — Arjen Robben scored in the 89th minute to give Bayern Munich a 2-1 win over German rival Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final Saturday night, ending four years of frustration for his team in Europe’s biggest tournament.
Robben ran onto Franck Ribery’s stylish backheeled flick in the penalty area and put the ball past Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller to send Bayern to its first Champions League victory since 2001 and fifth overall European Cup. Bayern had lost two of the last three finals, including a penalty-kicks defeat to Chelsea last year in Munich.
“This means a lot. I still have not grasped it,” Robben said. “There are so many emotions.”
In a game that featured a slew of chances for both teams, Mario Mandzukic put Bayern ahead in the 60th minute at Wembley Stadium, and Ilkay Gundogan evened the score on a penalty kick eight minutes later after defender Dante fouled Marco Reus in the area.
Robben, who missed two great chances in the first half, then finally came through for Bayern to set off wild celebrations in the red-and-white end of Wembley. Robben’s overtime penalty kick was saved in last year’s final, causing some Bayern fans to turn against him. A year later, after the final whistle sounded, he strode with his arms raised toward the section of jubilant Bayern fans.
“It was very even. They had chances. We had chances,” Robben said. “Then the last minute, I was quicker to the ball. I missed two chances before that, but I stayed calm.”
Robben set up the first goal for Bayern, taking a pass from Ribery and drawing Weidenfeller out before squaring for Mandzukic, who could hardly miss from a few yards out.
But the lead didn’t last long. Dante clumsily clattered into Reus in the penalty area, and Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli pointed to the spot. Gundogan sent goalkeeper Manuel Neuer the wrong way before slotting his kick into the right side of the net.
Dortmund defender Neven Subotic became the first American to play in a Champions League final and made an outstanding sliding clearance to prevent a goal in the 72nd. The 24-year-old grew up in Salt Lake City and Bradenton, Fla., and played for the U.S. under-17 and under-20 teams before switching to the senior national team of Serbia, where he was born.
The game marked the Bayern finale for coach Jupp Heynckes, who won his second Champions League trophy after leading Real Madrid to the title in 1998. He will be replaced by former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola.
Bayern entered as the favorite, although that message didn’t seem to have filtered through to Juergen Klopp’s Dortmund team, which seemed intent on dictating play from the start. It largely succeeded for the first 25 minutes as well, although it was Bayern that ended up with the best chances of the first half.
Mandezukic came closest when his header was tipped onto the bar by Weidenfeller in the 26th, and the goalkeeper then denied Robben four minutes later when the speedy winger raced clear toward the goal.
Before that, Neuer had been by far the busier goalkeeper, making a point-blank save from Jakub Blaszczykowski and diving to stop an effort from Sven Bender. Neuer also pushed away long efforts from Reus and Robert Lewandowski before denying the Polish striker again from close range in the 35th.
Robben had the final chance of the half when he beat Mats Hummels to a long ball into the area in the 42nd, but fired his volley straight into Weidenfeller’s face.
You May Also Be Interested In These Stories
- Marcell Ozuna Snaps Slump As Cardinals Top Mets
- Bats Carry Yankees Over Twins Despite Rough Start From Sonny Gray
- Giants’ Manning More Concerned With New Offense Than Upcoming Draft
- Memorial Mass For Mets Legend Rusty Staub Held At St. Patrick’s Cathedral
(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)