Some observations from the match:
- Shinji Kagawa was immense for Dortmund, scoring after just three minutes and setting up Robert Lewandowski’s first of three goals just prior to the break. The 23-year-old Japan international, who scored 17 goals and earned 13 assists in 43 matches for Dortmund this season, always seems to have his body positioned perfectly in relation to the ball, and his creativity going forward makes him one of the best playmakers in German football. He’s unlikely to be at Dortmund next season, however. Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson watched the match from the stands and is rumoured to be preparing a bid for the player this summer. Kagawa is out of contract next season and has put off agreeing a contract extension with the German champions.
- I’m not sure what match Bayern Munich captain Phillip Lahm was talking about when he said, “When you look at the 90 minutes we were clearly the better team, but we lost 5-2.” Bayern’s possession was rarely meaningful, and if it wasn’t for the stat-sheet you’d never know Thomas Muller actually played in the game. Bayern were wobbly at the back and unimaginative in attack. They lost by three goals to a side that thrilled everyone who watched them. How that equates to Bayern being “the better team” is beyond me, and if Lahm’s measure of success is the same next Saturday as it was this he can kiss the Champions League goodbye as well.
- I’ve been raving about Jakub “Kuba” Blaszczykowski all season, so I was delighted to see him put in yet another solid performance on the final day of Dortmund’s campaign. Kuba was something of a forgotten man at the beginning of the season due to Mario Gotze’s meteoric ascendency to superstardom, but an autumn injury to Gotze put the 26-year-old Poland captain back in the spotlight and what followed was more than five months of excellent football. His intelligent read on the play that led to Dortmund’s first goal in the cup final was just another example of the sort of contribution he made game in, game out during the season.
- Robert Lewandowski will be joining Blaszczykowski later this month as the Polish national team makes its Euro 2012 preparations. The 23-year-old striker, who scored a hat-trick against Bayern, bagged 30 goals for the first time in his career this season and has established himself as one of Europe’s most reliable finishers. He and Blaszczykowski will be joined in the Poland squad by Lukasz Piszczek, Dortmund’s 26-year-old right-back who has recently been drawing the attention of Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho.
Elsewhere across Europe, Galatasaray won the Turkish title after a 0-0 draw with local rivals Fenerbahce, Académica’s last-day heroics helped them avoid relegation in Portugal and Pescara moved atop Serie B in the race for automatic promotion with a 2-0 win at home to Torino.
- The top eight sides in the Turkish Süper Lig go into two groups after the completion of the regular schedule to determine the championship, the Champions League positions and the Europa League spots. Galatasaray and Fenerbahce played to a scoreless draw in the fierce Istanbul Derby, Saturday, which meant Galatasaray finished the season as champions and equalled their archrivals’ record of 18 league titles. Hundreds of Fenerbahce fans clashed with police and occupied the pitch following the match, and pepper spray had to be used to disperse the mob as the players fled down the tunnel. Galatasaray go directly into the Champions League group stage while Fenerbahce will join the tournament in the third qualifying round. Trabzonspor, Besiktas and Bursaspor will play in the Europa League next season.
- An 81st minute goal by striker Edinho ensured another season of top-flight football for Académica as the guests edged Guimaraes 2-1 on the final day of the season. The win proved only to be insurance, however, as Uniao Leiria were relegated after losing 3-2 at home to Nacional while Feirense’s fate was sealed with a 3-1 loss at Gil Vicente.
- Pescara closed in on automatic promotion from Serie B with a 2-0 win at home to Torino, Saturday. Torino came into the match atop the division by two points but now trail Pescara by one with three matches to play. Three points behind are Sassuolo, who lead the promotion playoff teams with 74 points. Samdoria, who were relegated last spring, bring up the rear of the playoff positions but have a four-point cushion on seventh-place Padova.
Follow Jerrad Peters on Twitter @peterssoccer