Borussia Dortmund v FC Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Final

4:36 pm – Full Time

It’s Bayern Munich’s night to celebrate in London. From goat to hero, Arjen Robben avenges Bayern’s soul crushing defeat last year. What a game. Bayern Munich are the Champions of Europe for the fifth time.

4:31 pm

GOAL! And wouldn’t you know it’s Robben with the go-ahead marker. Hashtag Sad Robben had a nice run, but it’s time for it to die. Heartbreak city for Dortmund’s supporters.

Gif via FeintZebra

4:29 pm

Lahm plays a ball into Muller, who elects for the dummy leaving the ball on a platter for Schweinsteiger. Weidenfeller comes up big again.

4:24 pm

 

4:17 pm

Alaba challenges Weidenfeller with an excellent shot. Dortmund’s keeper parries it away.

4:14 pm

Neven Subotic makes an incredible defensive play, eliminating Robben’s chance for an easy tap in. Man oh man.

4:10 pm

GOAL! Everything is happening now. Dante fouls Reus in the box and Rizzoli gives the penalty. Gundogan ties it up. Oh boy. Here’s the foul on Reus.

Gif via FeintZebra

4:01 pm

GOAL! Ribery finds Robben streaking into the box. The Dutchman sends a ball across the goal line that gets tapped in by Mario Mandzukic. Camera pans to Mario Goetze. So many emotions.

3:58 pm

Boateng takes an inadvertent boot to the face but looks to be alright.

3:52 pm

 

3:50 pm

Schweinsteiger has been terrific, Gundogan not so much. The Bayern midfielder completed 91% of his passes in the first half compared to a 78% clip for Gundogan.

3:46 pm

The second half is underway.

3:31 pm – Halftime

It’s 0-0 at halftime. Both teams have had legitimate chances at goal only to be denied by Neuer and Weidenfeller. The German keepers have put on a clinic thus far, foiling their attackers with excellent positioning and sound anticipation. Robben and Bayern Munich came on towards the end of the half, but this game has been pretty damn even. Captivating stuff at Wembley, as it should be when the Champions League title is on the line.

3:28 pm

Hummels is caught out giving Robben ANOTHER chance. This time Weidenfeller stops him with his face. #SadRobben lives.

3:22 pm

BVB push back via Reus, who sends Lewandowski in on Neuer. Bayern’s keeper makes the save. BM come the other way, Robben once again with the chance. Game is opening up now.

3:16 pm

Robben finds himself alone on the right wing, one-on-one with Weidenfeller. Dortmund’s keeper comes up huge. Bayern are on a run right now. They’ve asserted themselves well after a shaky opening 20 minutes. Here’s Ribery elbowing Lewandowski.

Gif via @FeintZebra

3:12 pm

And there it almost was. Franck Ribéry sends an excellent ball into the box that Mandzukic gets his head to, only to be foiled by Weidenfeller.

3:08 pm

Sven Bender with the latest shot on the Bayern goal. If BVB don’t score soon their fans have to worry about a goal against the run of play. Those are the back breakers.

3:05 pm

Dortmund come close. Again. Reus breaks away from Boateng and Neuer is required to save the day again. Nerves? What nerves.

3:00 pm

BVB is taking the game to Bayern. Lewandowski plays off an advantage given by Rizzoli, sending a threatening shot at goal that is stopped by Neuer. On the ensuing corner Neuer makes another save on Blaszczykowski to keep the score level. Dortmund looks fantastic.

2:56 pm

Blaszczykowski sends a shot hurtling over the bar after some good work in the midfield by Marco Reus. Goetze? Who needs him.

2:52 pm

Another corner for BVB as Gundogan sends a ball in that requires a touch from Boateng. Both teams feeling each other out thus far.

2:48 pm

Lewandowski has an early chance deflected for a corner. Nothing comes of it. Dortmund will need the Polish star to do his best Drogba impression.

2:46 pm

Here we go!

2:38 pm

Bayern’s ‘warrior’ looks a little out of shape. The spectacle has reached its climax and the game hasn’t started yet. Real Talk: this is pretty ridiculous.

2:34 pm

A game of human chess leads the pre-match ceremonies. We’re all pawns in the end.

2:28 pm

 

So there’s that.

Preamble

Webster’s dictionary defines champion as the winner of first prize or first place in a competition. Webster’s defines league as a group of sports teams that regularly play each other. Finally, Webster’s defines final as relating to the ultimate purpose or result of a process. This is why you don’t write lede paragraphs at 5 am in the morning.

The day has come for the champions of champions to be crowned in London. 180,000 German football fans are in the English capital to observe the most highly anticipated match of the season. Dortmund will be without talisman Mario Goetze. Jurgen Klopp could push İlkay Gündoğan into an attacking role in order to compensate for the absence of Judas Goetze. Bayern Munich is fully fit aside from long term injuries to Holger Badstuber and Toni Kroos.

Italian Nicola Rizzoli is your referee. He’s offciated big games before, including the 2010 UEFA Cup Final and three matches at Euro 2012. Rizzoli is an architect in his spare time.

Weather

15 degrees, clear skies and a 20% chance of rain. Expect rain.

The lineups

Bayern Munich Starting XI: Neuer; Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Alaba; Martinez, Schweinsteiger; Ribery, Muller, Robben; Mandzukic

Borussia Dortmund Starting XI: Weidenfeller; Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer; Gundogan, Bender; Blaszczykowski, Reus, Grosskreutz; Lewandowski

The prediction

Dortmund 2-2 Bayern (BVB win on penalties) – Robert Lewandowski will be the difference.