Mon, May 21, 2012 - Page 20 News List

Dream turns to nightmare for Bayern

LOSING THEIR PLACE:For Chelsea, which have gone through major ups and downs this year, to beat Bayern adds to worries the Munich team are losing to Dortmund

AFP, MUNICH, GERMANY

Chelsea’s Ivorian forward Didier Drogba, left, celebrates as Bayern Munich’s German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer looks on after Drogba scored the last penalty in their UEFA Champions League final soccer match at the Fussball Arena Stadium in Munich, Germany, on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

Bayern Munich’s Champions League dream final turned into a nightmare on Saturday as Chelsea ruined their homecoming party to leave the German giants trophyless for the second season in a row.

Chelsea’s dramatic 4-3 victory on penalties at the Allianz Arena, after the match finished 1-1 following extra time, ended Bayern’s dreams of a fifth European title and their first Champions League crown since 2001.

“It’s like a nightmare,” Bayern’s director of sport Christian Nerlinger said. “When you see how the game played itself out, it’s like a bad film.”

“This is frustrating and depressing to digest. This defeat is very difficult to take,” Nerlinger said.

The Bavarian giants have now lost two of their past three Champions League finals following their 2-0 defeat at the hands of Jose Mourinho-coached Inter in Madrid in 2010.

“The disappointment is huge,” goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said after Chelsea’s Didier Drogba scored the winning spot-kick. “The players were all sitting with their heads down in the dressing room, there wasn’t much talking.”

Bayern blew their second final in seven days as Ivica Olic and vice captain Bastian Schweinsteiger missed penalties in the shoot-out, which gave the Blues their first European title.

“That’s football,” said Bayern’s Thomas Mueller, whose second-half header had put Bayern ahead before Drogba equalized two minutes from time as the game eventually went to penalties after extra time. “As we have often seen in the past, it’s not always the deserving winner who is left holding the trophy.”

“It’s hard to put the disappointment into words, but football isn’t everything,” Mueller said.

Having been hammered 5-2 by Dortmund in the German Cup final at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium the previous Saturday, Bayern’s stars again collected losers’ medals as their dream final in Munich ended in tatters.

Since it was announced two years ago that Bayern’s Allianz Arena would host this year’s final, the Bavarians have dreamed of lifting the trophy dahoam — meaning at home in the Bavarian dialect.

Having already conceded this season’s German league and cup titles to Borussia Dortmund, defeat to Chelsea means this is the first time since the 1995 to 1996 campaign that Bayern have failed to win any titles in back-to-back seasons.

Bayern’s domination of German soccer looks to be under serious threat by Dortmund as Jurgen Klopp’s team have won the last two Bundesliga campaigns.

They have also beaten Munich on all of their last five meetings dating back to February 2010.

Bayern blew their bid to become both the first team since Inter at San Siro in 1965 to be crowned European champions at home and the first club to lift the Champions League title at home.

The Bavarians had just two days now to pick themselves up before their friendly against World Cup finalists Holland at the Allianz Arena tomorrow in a pre-Euro 2012 warm-up match for the Dutch.

The match was arranged as part of a compensation deal for Bayern after Dutch winger Arjen Robben returned from the 2010 World Cup with a hamstring injury that kept him out of soccer until early last year.

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