It’s Champions League final night and I for one am incredibly excited – mainly because it will signal the end of the hi-larious ‘German’s and their beach towels’ gags that didn’t get immediately tiresome after about the first one. It should also be a cracking match, which I’m excited about in a non-sarcastic way.
It’s an all-German affair in Wembley at the FA’s 150th birthday celebrations which is slightly uncomfortable for all concerned, but the alternative would have been having the Special One smugging things up and trying to steal all the limelight for himself. Yes, it’s every hipsters favourite Borussia Dortmund versus everyone’s favourite over-confident Bavarians, Bayern Munich.
If you’re out and about, unable to get to a TV or in the early stages of a promising relationship and have to watch a Hugh Grant rom-com rather than the football, I’ll be hear to keep you up to date with all the latest goings-on and Andy Townsend bashing.
Feel free to give me a shout with your own observations, queries or Andy Townsend bashing via the comments section below or on the planet Twitter where I’m @MinistryOfGlove.
Borussia Dortmund 1 – 2 Bayern Munich
10.02pm: Wow. Gareth Southgate just said:
It’s was slightly ‘night of the long knives’ they way they got him [Heynckes] out
Interesting reference when describing a German team. We’ll see how that one plays out.
9.50pm: Borussia Dortmund trudge by the cup and to make matters worse, they have to pretend they’re glad to see Angela Merkel.
9.41pm: Great final, great fans – now all that’s left is for Adrian Chiles to ruin it with some inane post-match observations.
9.35pm: FULL TIME! It’s BAYERN who make amends for last year’s hurt as the referee brings it to an end. It’s deserved on the balance of play. Dortmund gave a good account of themselves, but didn’t create as much as the German champions.
9.34pm: SUB! Bayern waste a bit more time by bringing Gomez on for Mandzukic.
9.32pm: SUBS! Dortmund make changes as Schieber comes on for Blaszczykowski and Sahin replaces Bender. Bayern take Ribery off and give Gustavo a run out.
There’s three added minutes and they’re nearly all gone.
9.30pm: GOAL! BAYERN! It’s Arjen Robben. He’s missed a few chances tonight, but he may have got the one that matters. He picks up a knockdown from Ribery and slides it past Weidenfaller. Possibly the most important miskick of his career.
9.28pm: CHANCE! Weidenfaller saves again – this time Schweinsteiger blasts a shot from the edge of the box. It was pretty much straight at him, but he made it look more difficult than that.
9.25pm: Robben dribbles, still manages to foul an opponent. Five minutes to go and it’s 4/11 that we’re going to extra time.
9.21pm: Those Germans and their penalties – it could happen:
— Bernard O'Toole (@BernardOToole) May 25, 2013
9.20pm: OUCH! It’s all square on the ‘lucky to be on the pitch front’ now. Robert Lewandowski stands on Boateng’s ankle, but the referee doesn’t see it. The cameras do and it looked pretty blatant.
9.19pm: Another chance for Bayern. Muller is through on goal, he sort of gets fouled, but still passes to Mandzukic who shots, but can only find the side-netting from a tight angle. In truth, Muller should have gone a bit ‘Arjen Robben’ on that and taken the shot himself.
9.17pm: Lewandowski has a ‘goal’ disallowed for handball and up the other end, Alaba fires in a first time shot from about 25 yards out that Weidenfaller gets to at the expense of a corner.
9.15pm: YELLOW CARDS! Ribery and Grosskruetz go into the book for a crappy coming together.
9.13pm: AMAZING STUFF! Muller skins the Dortmund defence and he tries to square the ball to Robben. Just as it looks like he’s going to tap it in from about six inches out, Subotic swings a leg at it and somehow clears it. Brilliant stuff from the Serbian defender.
9.12pm: It’s going to be a nerve-wracking final 20 minutes or so. About time for ITV to go to an ad.
9.09pm: GOAL! Gundogan sticks it to Neuer’s left with confidence and it’s all square. Bit of a kick in the nuts for anyone who backed Lewandowksi to score at anytime as he declined the chance to take it after Neuer saved one of his about three weeks ago. There’s still time though.
9.08pm: PENALTY! DORTMUND! Dante with a clumsy foul on Reus.
9.07pm: More half-arsed penalty appeals from Dortmund. Again it’s Pisczcek and it might have been a foul, but the fact it happened outside the box undermines their chances of getting a penalty.
9.06pm: 25 minutes to go and the balance is well and truly in Bayern’s favour now. The match odds are: Dortmund 18/1 | Draw 4/1 | Bayern 1/5
9.03pm: Andy Townsend whips out the thesaurus to tell us Borussia Dortmund don’t need to panic just yet:
Dortmund need to take their time. Bide their time
9pm: WHAT A CHANCE! The ball gets flicked on to Mandzukic and … as I type Bayern have scored!
GOAL! Madzukic! Ribery and Robben combine nicely and in a welcome turn of events, the Dutchman passes to a team-mate. The aforementioned Croatian makes amends for missing that half chance and sweeps the ball into an empty net to give Bayern the lead.
8.54pm: Michel Platini and Angela Merkel are pictured in the stands arguing over who has had the shittest idea in the course of their respective tenures. It’s a score draw.
8.51pm: Well played:
What's the difference between time and Arjen Robben? Time passes…
— Genius Football (@GeniusFootball) May 25, 2013
8.47pm: I missed this from the font of all wisdom that is Andy Townsend first time around:
8.46pm: The teams are back out on the pitch. Dortmund get the second half underway and Marco Reus looks particularly focused:
8.39pm: ITV are discussing the Frank Ribery elbow incident and he certainly looks lucky to have stayed on the pitch. Easily his worst decision since he decided not to as that French prostitute for her ID.
8.37pm: Dortmund did pretty well in that first half, but it’s Bayern who are the big favourites to win it from here. The match odds are: Dortmund 10/3 | Draw 7/4 | Bayern EVENS
8.36pm: Ha ha!
Bender trying to get the Dortmund crowd going as he comes off for half-time… pic.twitter.com/obLkp9uYeP
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) May 25, 2013
8.31pm: HALF TIME! It’s time for the half time bollockings – although I’d imagine in the case of Klopp, it’s not a bollocking, he just lights some incense, gets his players to sit in the lotus position, hold hands and discuss their feelings after the first 45 minutes.
It’s been one of the better scoreless draws at half time that you’re ever likely to see with both teams enjoying good spells. If that keep it up for the second half we should all be happy – maybe even Roy Keane.
8.28pm: ANOTHER CHANCE! Arjen Robben is presented with another glorious chance and this time ‘smacking the ball into the goalkeeper’s face’ is his chosen method of wasting it.
8.26pm: After a string of great saves, Manuel Neuer looks happy with himself:
8.22pm: Arjen Robben turns a great chance into a half chance and Dortmund clear it for a corner.
From the corner Thomas Muller heads a tame Peter Crouch style header wide when he should have done better.
8.21pm: GREAT SAVE! Lewandowski does brilliantly to turn the Bayern defender, but from about seven yards out, Neuer closes him down quickly and gets the shot away. The goalkeepers have been excellent so far.
8.15pm: GREAT CHANCE! Arjen Robben is played in on goal and when given the option of passing to a team-mate who has an open goal or trying to beat Weidenfaller, he takes on the shot and is thwarted. Did anyone ever really think he was going to pass?
8.14pm: YELLOW CARD! Dante goes into the book for a poor attempt at the Fellaini fro. Or else a cynical body check on Reus.
8.12pm: CHANCE! Bayern finally make a mark on the game as a Mandzukic header forces Weidenfaller into a reaction save. Corner Bayern.
The Bavarians follow it up with another header that goes just narrowly over.
8.10pm: The referee briefly gets in the way of a Dortmund attack and instantly overtakes Bayern in the possession stats.
8.09pm: If you happen to the rom-com victim I mentioned in my intro above and things end up going well tonight, Kelly Cates (nee Dalglish) has a 140 characters of warning:
If you're thinking of having unprotected sex tonight, 2yo just got out of bed, removed nappy, pooed on 4yo's floor, trod in it. #poo
— Kelly Cates (@KellyCates) May 25, 2013
8.07pm: CHANCE! Neuer has been busier than that ‘German towel joke’. This time a Lars Bender shot from about ten yards out causes him some minor irritation which he deals with.
8.05pm: CHANCE! Nice play from Dortmund and Marco Reus forces Neuer into another slightly over-dramatic save.
8.03pm: Dortmund have made the better start to the game, but they’ve nothing to show for it except for Jurgen Klopp winning a few extra cool points.
7.59pm: Lewandowski has a decent shot from about 25 yards out that Neuer makes look more difficult than it was, but ultimately keeps it out.
GREAT CHANCE! That’s followed up by a first time shot from Blaszczykowski who’s low attempt from about eight yards out is blocked by Neuer.
7.58pm: More shots of Gotze wearing his cap funky style back to front and our very own Amy Eustace points out:
Götze looks like he's fresh out of juvy.
— Amy (@amyeustace) May 25, 2013
7.56pm: Ten minutes gone. Blaszczykowski blasts a shot over the bar and the Dortmund fans are great because they react to it with the enthusiasm you’d normally only use for a decent shot.
7.54pm: Tyldesley delivers a load of inane stats with the smugness of someone who is completely unaware that we all have the internet these days.
7.51pm: Clive Tyldesley calls Dortmund ‘a sort of German Crazy Gang’ and seems to think it’s a compliment of some description.
7.50pm: ‘Deeds of doubt?’ Did anyone else hear that?
7.48pm: Free kick against Bender for a tackle from behind. I would make a joke about that, but I’m not Jim Davidson.
7.45pm: Bayern kick off. There’s still time for some excessive praise of Jurgen Klopp.
7.43pm: The teams are out on the pitch for the formalities, but I have to say Arjen Robben looked rather apprehensive in the tunnel before they came out:
7.40pm: Five minutes to go. If you don’t have a bet now, this blog will be deemed a failure and I’ll be forced to work somewhere really embarrassing. Like the Paddy Power Marketing Department.
7.34pm: The heart-breaking side of football. The exact moment Mario Gomez realised he wasn’t in the Bayern starting line-up:
7.25pm: Right, I’m enjoying this a lot, but I’m contractually obliged to talk about betting at some point. We’ve got a fantastic-mega-super-dooper Money-Back Special on the match. Here’s a lovely image to explain it that’s nicer on the eyes that more text:
7.20pm: Oh this is just too good. Adrian Chiles now calls Jurgen Klopp ‘frighteningly likeable’.
Why is it frightening, Chilesy? Are you worried he’s just so likeable it might stir up some deeply buried emotions and you may not be able to control yourself if you bump into him in the mixed zone after the match?
Having a presenter dry-hump one of the manager’s leg would be a low for ITV. And that’s from a station that broadcast Crossroads. Twice.
7.19pm: Ha ha! Famous penalty misser, Gareth Southgate is in no mood to let a fellow pro off the hook for a high profile miss:
Schweinsteiger – don’t forget he missed that penalty in last year’s final
7.16pm: NEW RULE: German teams to guaranteed a place in the Champions League Final every year as long as they produce a song as good as this:
7.09pm: You would want to hope Gotze makes several swaps between Dortmund and Bayern over the next few years to get value for money out of having this shirt made up:
I thought she ruined one perfectly good jersey, but to paraphrase the words of Homer Simpson, ‘correction, two perfectly good jerseys’.
7.04pm: Chiles continues to set a low bar for the evening, pointing out:
Wembley – yellow one end, red the other – it looks like a real … football match
7.02pm: Two minutes into the ITV programme and Adrian Chiles says the word ‘rumbustious’. Roy Keane looks at him with a facial expression that says ‘do you know the inconvenience that is getting a radio mic pack removed from your rectum?’.
7pm: Here’s a picture of Mario Gotze dressed as a member of a mild-mannered mid-90s rap band. There’s no real reason for it.
6.56pm: Tom Williams delivers a Polish flavoured statbomb:
Lewandowski, Piszczek and Blaszczykowski the first Polish players to start a Champions League final since Jerzy Dudek for Liverpool in 2005.
— Tom Williams (@tomwfootball) May 25, 2013
That’s significant because it’s eight years to the day that Dudek somehow managed to do this:
6.51pm: Andy Gray took a look at the Champions League final and gave us his preview of likely events. He then gave us a comprehensive history of feminism and explained in great detail why the American school of individualist feminism was undermining the valid points of the wider movement. One of those claims was true and you can find out which one here.
6.42pm: I’m hearing there’s commotion in the Bayern dressing room as Manuel Neuer has taken a turn for the worse. He certainly looks like there’s something bothering him:
6.34pm: TEAM NEWS
We’re over an hour away from kick-off, but in a delightful nod to stereotypical German efficiency, the teams are already in.
For Bayern, Badstuber and Kroos were always missing out due to injury and Mario Gomez is confined to looking like George McFly duty from the comfort of the bench as Mandzukic leads the attack.
Neuer, Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Alaba; Martinez, Schweinsteiger, Robben, Mueller, Ribery, Mandzukic
Gotze was always going to miss out due to
being owned by Bayern a not at all convenient hamstring injury. Their team still looks strong, but it’s also significantly harder to spell than Bayern’s. Here it is:
Weidenfeller, Pisczcek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer, Bender, Gundogan, Blaszczykowski, Reus, Grosskreutz, Lewandowski