Champions League Final Reaction
The all-German Champions League Final at Wembley lived right up to expectations; Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund going at each other hammer and tongs until the game was decided thrillingly by a late Arjen Robben winner.
But now the big questions: is this the start of a period of European supremacy for Bayern and, looking at the even bigger picture, the prelude to the first World Cup triumph for the National side since 1990?
It would seem inconceivable that Bayern will not dominate the Bundesliga next season. They have just won it by 25 points, have signed one of the best players, Mario Gotze, from their only serious rivals (Dortmund) and by all accounts will shortly be signing another, Robert Lewandowski. And, of course they will have Pep Guardiola at the helm so there’s no chance of them becoming complacent or stale. Even odds of around 1/5 could be seen as stealing money.
As for Europe, as usual it’s the bookies who are putting all views into a proper perspective by chalking up their revised odds for next year’s Champion League and here it’s a much closer run thing.
Coral go 3/1 that Bayern will lift the Cup again in 12 months, just in front of Barcelona (7/2), the team that many feel they have usurped as the best team in the world. Real Madrid receive a 5/1 quote before the English clubs, Man United, Man City (both 10/1) and Chelsea (14/1) get a look in.
Arsenal are offered at 25/1, but even they are at shorter odds than Dortmund, who, minus their best players (the gifted Marco Reus will surely also be a target) and perhaps even their charismatic manager, Jurgen Klopp, are now seen as a busted flush after just missing out on their one big shot.
As for world supremacy, Germany are a solid 6/1 chance for Rio, just behind the big three, Brazil (100/30), Argentina (9/2) and Spain (5/1).
Both Bayern and Germany are without doubt now major forces at all levels, but we should be careful not to get carried away. Okay, Barcelona were taken apart by Bayern last month, but it is not very long ago that the Spanish giants were playing a brand of football no team on the planet could match – they were considered by many good judges to be the best team ever – and a few tweaks here and there at the Nou Camp would freshen things up and bring them back up to scratch.
The Premier League teams will also surely get their acts back together fast; our top clubs all have the financial muscle to stay in the fight.
Bayern Munich were good at Wembley, but they weren’t that good, it wasn’t a masterclass, and things might well have turned out differently had Manuel Neuer not been on top of his game as Dortmund peppered his goal in the early stages of the match or if the referee (otherwise excellent) had taken a less lenient view of fouls by Franck Ribery (otherwise one of Bayern’s men of the match) and Dante.
Written by Jon Freeman