This game, man.
Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund had already played to a 0-0 draw this season, but this one takes the cake. Both teams left everything on the pitch. This was rampaging physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. And Bayern had just the slimmest margin of focus left as they won on penalties, 4-3.
The first half was a remarkably cagey affair from both sides. Bayern for their part shutdown Julian Weigl in the middle limiting him to just 13 touches while Thiago Alcantara and Arturo Vidal duked it out with Henrik Mkhitaryan and Gonzalo Castro.
Neither side found much space in the middle to construct attacks, pushing Bayern Munich to the wings and relying almost exclusively on Douglas Costa and Franck Ribery to generate attacking impetus. Dortmund kept Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wide right pushing into the space behind David Alaba, restricting the Austrian from moving foo far forward to support Franck Ribery. For Bayern, Joshua Kimmich and Philipp Lahm combined on the right to restrict Marco Reus.
The first half was a tactical masterclass in shutdown play from both Pep Guardiola and Thomas Tuchel and highlighted just why these are two of the most highly thought of coaches in the world.
The second half further underlined those facts as the game came to life. Bayern and Dortmund had copious chances as they fought, scrapped, and clawed their way in a match that featured high octane offense and high octane defense. It was a heart attack inducing inexorable crawl towards extra time. Wide open late chances from Franck Ribery and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang highlighted a dramatic conclusion but neither opportunity felt like they would go in. This game would not allow it. This game would be fulfilled beyond the 90.
Full time xG map for the Pokal final. For all Bayern's possession they couldn't break through, and Auba missed his. pic.twitter.com/EI9SdUtkC4— Michael Caley (@MC_of_A) May 21, 2016
And to extra time it went. Bayern had chances cleared away by resolute defending. Dortmund's counterattacks went lacking as Bayern defenders put them in bad positions to capitalize effectively. Both teams were tired. Both teams were mentally exhausted. The cramps were coming fast and furious for both sides. Franck Ribery went off with a cramp so severe he crawled and flopped over a barrier using it as a fulcrum to stretch his muscles.
Kagawa scored. Bayern responded through Arturo Vidal. 1-1
Manuel Neuer saved. Advantage Bayern. Robert Lewandowski doesn't miss. 2-1
Sokratis hits the post. Kimmich mishits his penalty. Tired legs take their effect. 2-1
Aubameyang finished the chance he couldn't put away in normal time. Thomas Müller gives Bayern the advantage again. 3-2
Marco Reus. 3-3
Douglas Costa. The man who has cemented his place in Bayern Munich's future, put his shot through the clawing hands of Roman Burkii. 4-3.
Bayern Munich are the 2015/2106 DFB Pokal winners.