Despite his early misses, Arjen Robben kept his focus for all ninety minutes on Saturday before scoring the winning goal as Bayern Munich edged Borussia Dortmund 2-1 to win the 2013 Champions League Final.
The first twenty minutes of the match belonged almost exclusively to Dortmund. They controlled the flow of the match as they pressed forward looking for an early goal. They nearly found it through the foot of Robert Lewandowski. The Polish international uncorked a brilliant strike toward the Bayern goal, but Manuel Neuer was on hand to tip the ball over the crossbar. Neuer was called on several more times in the first half denying Lewandowski and Marco Reus a few more times, and he was up to the challenge each and every time.
Robben had several opportunities to snatch the lead for Bayern in the second part of the first half. However, every time he got through the BVB defense, Roman Weidenfeller was there to make a huge save. In the final moments of the half, Weidenfeller stopped a shot by Mandzukic and two more from Robben, including one with just his face.
Bayern started asserting their control over the match and finally cracked BVB's defense in the 60th minute. Franck Ribery and Robbery combined for a beautiful passing sequence down the left side, splitting the defense. Robben dribbled to the end line before squaring the ball across to Mario Mandzukic for the 1-0 lead. After absorbing all of BVB's pressure in the first half without conceding, the Bavarians struck first blood.
The score was equalized only eight minutes later. Dante fouled Reus in the area, and the referee awarded the penalty. After Neuer stopped Lewandowski's penalty a few weeks ago, Ilkay Gündogan stepped to the spot to take the penalty. Neuer chose the wrong direction on his dive, and the score was 1-1. The goal was against the run of play and was one of Dortmund's few real opportunities in the second half.
Bayern starting turning the screws as time ticked away on the Final. Müller's shot looked destined for the back of the net after he rounded Weidenfeller, but Neven Subotic made a sliding goalline clearance to keep the score knotted at one. Just a few minutes later, Weidenfeller came up huge to keep out a spectacular shot from Alaba. Müller was then through the backline, but Mandzukic was only able to put the ball into the side netting. Weidenfeller then stopped a ferocious volley from Bastian Schweinsteiger to keep it 1-1.
Only minutes remained in the contest when THE goal happened. Jerome Boateng launched a long ball up top to Ribery, and he kept the ball alive long enough for Robben to run on to it. Robben took a touch that sent Weidenfeller to the ground, and the Dutchman slotted the ball to the goalkeeper's left. As the ball trickled over the line to give Bayern 2-1 advantage, the Bayern supporters behind Weidenfeller's goal erupted into cheers. In fact, I'll say they were only slightly louder than myself haha.
The final seconds ticked off the clock, and the referee blew the final whistle. Bayern Munich were crowned Champions of Europe for the fifth time.