Wasteful Bayern prove the most generous of hosts

The Germans could control the pre-match ritual but you can't choreograph a game

Munich

Bayern Munich lost the European Cup in their own stadium and there would be no consolation. They were at home, they dominated every aspect of the match, they hit the post, they had a goal disallowed – they even, entirely against national stereotype, missed a penalty. In the end it came down to a shoot-out at the end where their own fans sat. This, too, they squandered – they had every possible advantage.

It was the most one-sided European Cup final since the last time Bayern Munich faced English opposition for club football's greatest prize. In 1999 they had been overturned by a Manchester United side who barely loosed off a shot at goal until stoppage time. Here, they laid a siege to the Chelsea game for virtually two hours.

Before kick-off a whole end of the stadium was transformed into a wall of red and white with the slogan "Our City, Our Stadium, Our Trophy". In the middle was a vast European Cup. Wembley had not shown its colours for Manchester United last season.

However, this was not in any sense a neutral venue any more than the Olympic Stadium was for Liverpool in1984. The result was the same,a 1-1 draw and penalties, won by the away team.

Then Joe Fagan's side had walked out to face Roma singing: "I Don't Know What It Is But I Like It." Frank Lampard might as well have led his side in a chorus of "This is the Self-Preservation Society". Most of the night was spent merely attempting to survive.

Bayern Munich might have been able to control the pre-match ritual and turn the club song, "Stern des Sudens" (Star of the South) into a banner-waving rally but you cannot choreograph a game of football, not even a European Cup final in your own stadium.

This was a match that did not run to its timetable. Bayern had known for two years that the 2012 European Cup final was to be played in their stadium and, as the season reached its climax, Jupp Heynckes' side must have thought that they would have to overcome Barcelona to take the trophy for the fifth time.

Instead they foundthemselves facing not the best footballing side to have existed but the sixth-best side in the Premier League – and one that was apparently ruined by suspensions. How much simpler did they want it to be?

And yet while in the words of their captain, Philipp Lahm, they "knew every blade of grass on the pitch", this was no ordinary home match. This was the game of their lives and it came with the pressure of their lives.

When Robben stepped up to take his penalty, Bastian Schweinsteiger, the man who had taken the decisive, ice-cold penalty in the semi-final in Madrid, could not bear to watch. Later, he missed the biggest penalty of all.

The stress on Bayern was intense and had been for weeks. It had been given the build-up of an FA Cup final from circa 1972, bar the absence of "It's a Cup Final Knockout", which given the fact that the Germans consider Benny Hill to be a comic genius, might have gone down very well in Munich.

We were told that Bayern's squad would breakfast in the Dolce Hotel in Unterschiessheim at 10.30, that they would have a game of head tennis in the grounds at around 11. Everything bar the time of the first goal had been mapped out.

In the absence of Paul the Octopus, who had predicted the results of all Germany's matches in the 2006 World Cup, Bild, which as a newspaper is The Sun without the subtlety, had found a dachshund called Sissi, who having preferred a bowl of food marked with Bayern Munich's colours, had guaranteed a German victory.

After this long, draining night, she is unlikely to be offered a long-term contract.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
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
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
News
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.

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
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