Borussia Dortmund 1 Bayern Munich 2 match report: Arjen Robben proves Mr Reliant for for Bayern

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Dutchman scores late winner to make sure Munich don't make it three straight European final defeats as they triumph in thrilling all-German showdown

Wembley

The 75 per cent of the German population willing Borussia Dortmund, the romantic underdogs, to become Champions' League winners here last night were thwarted by Arjen Robben's late goal that decided one of the most thrilling European finals of recent memory. So often a loser on the big day – including a World Cup final – the former Chelsea winger added the continent's greatest club prize to his FA Cup winner's medal with Chelsea by keeping his head for a fine finish having set up by Franck Ribéry.

If Borussia tired in the last half-hour as a result of their relentless earlier pressing and harrying, they contributed in a manner to make their yellow wall of supporters proud. They are some underdogs, this team whose bark and bite shocked Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid 4-1 in the semi-final. Falling behind to the Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic just before the hour, they equalised through Ilkay Gündogan's penalty only seven minutes later, only to fail and fall right at the death.

Those supporters brought all the noise and passion of the Westfalenstadion from the Ruhr to suburban London and were undoubtedly the noisier, although the defence's wall proved less solid when Bayern finally applied some pressure. Although Robben was named as the official man of the match, Dortmund could claim to have had the genuine best performer in midfielder Marco Reus, justifying those who believe that he is more important to the team than even Mario Götze, who to the disgust of their supporters is bound for Bayern at a cost of £31m. Whether Robert Lewandowski, who had few chances last night, is to join him remains as yet unresolved.

The game lived up to everything the partisan fans and the few neutrals were hoping for. Borussia dominated for the first 25 minutes, then conceded chances. The earliest ones were theirs, however, and required Germany's No 1 goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to be at his sharpest. In the 13th minute he turned a fine drive from Lewandowski over the bar as the referee Nicola Rizzoli played advantage after a foul on Reus. Before the corner was cleared, Bayern left too much space down their left and Reus crossed low to the near post where Jakub Blaszczykowski shot first time, Neuer instinctively parrying with his outstretched leg.

The goalkeeper then took no chances in fisting away Reus's shot and from the subsequent corner – Dortmund's fourth in quick succession – Sven Bender met Kevin Grosskreutz's cut-back and Neuer had to save again.

Yet midway through the half, as if a bell had sounded, the flow changed; and would only be interrupted before the interval by one break in which Lewandowski, fed by Reus, ran out of room too close to Neuer.

The needle that has grown up over the past few seasons of intense rivalry was never far away and Ribéry was fortunate not to receive the game's first card for throwing an arm at Lewandowski.

Relieved, he immediately crossed for Mandzukic to have a header pushed on to the bar and over for a corner, from which Javi Martinez headed on to the roof of the net.

Robben had been wandering across the line from his berth on the right to bring Bayern into the game and three times in a few minutes he spurned an opportunity for the opening goal. Twice the left-back Marcel Schmelzer had gone missing but the former Chelsea man could not take advantage, allowing Roman Weidenfeller to save, then getting the ball caught under his foot and winning no more than a corner.

Finally, one long pass put the central defender Mats Hummels in trouble and when Robben swung a foot, the ball hit Weidenfeller in the face for a painful but crucial save.

At last 86,298 paying spectators and the huge worldwide television audience could catch their breath.

When play resumed they saw a rare period of scrappy football suddenly ended by two chances for Bayern, the second of which they took. If the first was difficult, a flicked-on corner coming at Mandzukic too fast, the second was unmissable. Ribéry sent Robben to the byline to jab a square cross beyond Schmelzer's lunge, leaving the Croatian striker with a jubilant tap-in in front of the Bavarian hordes.

Their joy was short-lived. The Brazilian Dante was guilty of a careless high foot on Reus that brought an obvious penalty. Gündogan took four short steps and cut the ball past Neuer, helpless for the first time.

As players tired, the space grew and Bayern began to make the better use of it. In one extraordinary incident Müller broke down the right and his shot eluded Weidenfeller and was going in until the right-back Neven Subotic somehow scraped the ball away, bringing a leap and clenched fist from the hyperactive Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp.

The Klopptimists at the other end must have been concerned and Weidenfeller had to save from fierce 25-yarders by David Alaba and Bastian Schweinsteiger, who showed no sign of the apparently heavy knock he took during the warm-up.

The favourites had come to look the more likely winners and they proved it with barely 90 seconds left on the big-screen clocks. A little flick by Ribéry and one lucky touch off a defender fell perfectly for Robben, who still had a defender and a goalkeeper to sidestep before a calmest of finishes.

Bayern finished 25 points ahead of Dortmund in the Bundesliga, with 98 goals against 18, yet the gap never looked anything like that last night. They do, however, have a fifth European Cup – joining Liverpool on the list – to go with five losing finals, two of them in the past four years.

Borussia Dortmund (4-2-3-1): Weidenfeller; Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer; Bender (Sahin, 90), Gündogan; Blaszczykowski (Schieber, 90), Reus, Grosskreutz; Lewandowski.

Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Alaba; Javi Martinez, Schweinsteiger; Robben, Müller, Ribéry (Dias, 90); Mandzukic (Gomez, 90).

Referee Nicola Rizzoli (Italy).

Man of the match Robben (Bayern Munich).

Match rating 9/10.

News
Howard Marks has been diagnosed with inoperable cancer, he has announced
people
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
Rowan Atkinson at the wheel of his McLaren F1 GTR sports car
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us