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Bayern defeat Dortmund in Wembley thriller

Arjen Robben scored a heart-stopping 89th-minute winner to earn Bayern Munich a dramatic 2-1 win over German rivals Borussia Dortmund on Saturday after a thrilling Champions League final at London's Wembley Stadium.

Bayern defeat Dortmund in Wembley thriller
Photo: DPA

With extra time beckoning, Robben collected a back-heel from Franck Ribery, eluded the challenge of Mats Hummels and rolled a delicate shot past Roman Weidenfeller to give Bayern their fifth European crown.

It was a moment of long-awaited deliverance for both Bayern and Robben, after defeats for the Bavarians in the final of the competition in 2010 and again in 2012, when they lost a cruel penalty shoot-out to Chelsea on home soil.

Robben had set Bayern on the way to victory after an hour of the first all-German final when he teed up Mario Mandzukic for the opener, only for Ilkay Gundogan to equalise from the penalty spot in the 68th minute.

Victory made Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes only the fourth manager to win the trophy with two different clubs, after a 1998 triumph with Real Madrid, as he prepares to step aside for incoming successor Pep Guardiola.

Having already claimed the German title, Bayern will now look to complete an unprecedented treble by beating Stuttgart in the German Cup final next weekend.

There was no second title for 1997 winners Dortmund, but Jürgen Klopp’s side more than played their part on a night of gripping drama in front of 86,298 fans at the home of English football.

The player who had generated the most column inches in the weeks leading up to the game was in the stands for kick-off; a hamstring injury having denied Mario Götze a farewell appearance for Dortmund before his €37-million move to Bayern.

His transfer was the latest show of strength from a side who romped to the Bundesliga title by a record-breaking 25-point margin, but Bayern were left looking like the underdogs as Dortmund flew out of the blocks.

Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer had to save from Robert Lewandowski, Jakub Blaszczykowski, Marco Reus and Sven Bender, before Bayern finally came to life when Weidenfeller tipped a Mandzukic header onto the bar.

Javi Martinez sent a header onto the roof of the net from the resulting corner, but the best chances of the first half both fell to Robben.

On the half hour, Thomas Müller’s pass sent him clean through on goal, but the angle was prohibitive for a left-footed player and Weidenfeller rushed out swiftly to make a sprawling save.

The Dutchman found himself with only the goalkeeper to beat again moments before half-time when the ball fell kindly for him in a tussle with Hummels, but Weidenfeller stood up bravely and blocked with his face.

In between, Neuer produced a superb last-ditch block to thwart Lewandowski, who had deftly rolled Jerome Boateng from a Reus pass, as the play passed from one end to the other at breathless speed.

It looked as if another major final was set to pass Robben by, but on the hour he atoned for his earlier misses by creating the opening goal.

Ribery rolled a pass towards the byline and Robben evaded the offside trap by a matter of inches before nudging the ball beyond Weidenfeller and crossing for Mandzukic to hook the ball home from a yard.

Dortmund might have been forgiven for feeling deflated given their first-half exertions, but instead they drew level.

Dante was penalised for an untidy high foul on Reus inside the area and Gundogan steered his penalty into the bottom-right corner to send the hordes of yellow-shirted fans behind Neuer’s goal leaping from their seats.

Moments later, Dortmund were indebted to a breathtaking piece of defending from Neven Subotic, who slid in to hook Müller’s goal-bound shot off the line as Robben closed in for a tap-in.

But Bayern continued to push, Weidenfeller repelling fierce strikes from David Alaba and Bastian Schweinsteiger, before Robben tiptoed through the Dortmund defence to score a famous late winner.

AFP/mry

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EXPLAINED: The Covid rules for attending German football matches

The German Bundesliga kicks off on Friday evening with a match in Mönchengladbach. Here's a run-down of the Covid rules for football fans itching to join the crowds at the stadium.

EXPLAINED: The Covid rules for attending German football matches
Crowds cheer at a match between FC Kaiserslautern and Borussia Mönchengladbach, on August 9th, 2021. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Uwe Anspach

All eyes will be on Mönchengladbach this evening as the Bundesliga season kicks off with a match against reigning champions Bayern Munich – and this time, a crowd will be present in the stadium.

READ ALSO: German football fans get green light to return to stadiums next season

With several states liberalising their rules for public gatherings in recent months, many football fans are looking forward to enjoying a lively atmosphere at football matches once more. 

There’s just one problem: there are different rules for different stadiums. Here’s what you need to know about the Covid rules before you book your ticket for any of the upcoming fixtures. 

How many fans are allowed in the stadiums? 

According to a recent decision by the federal and state governments, football stadiums around the country are allowed to fill half of their seats and sell up to 25,000 tickets to fans. 

Of course, how much this limit affects the overall atmosphere – and the football clubs’ bottoms lines – depends on the capacity of the stadium. In Borussia Dortmund this weekend, the full 25,000 tickets have been sold – but that only equates to 30 percent of the stadium’s full capacity.

READ ALSO: German football: Which Bundesliga club should I support?

Meanwhile, in the stadium owned by Berlin’s FC Union, selling just 11,000 tickets is enough to fill half of the available seats. 

What do I need to show to get in? 

That really depends on the stadium in question, although in general anyone over the age of six will need to show a negative test or proof of vaccination or recovery – the so-called ‘3G’ rule – to enter the grounds. But other clubs, such as FC Cologne, have decided to only permit people who are vaccinated or recovered to attend matches from August 28th onwards – with exceptions for people who can’t get vaccinated, like children and pregnant woman.

At Mönchengladbach’s Borussia Park stadium, however, unvaccinated fans can enter with a negative test, though visitors who’ve stayed in a high-risk or virus variant area over the past two weeks will be unable to enter – along with people who’ve had recent contact with someone who has Covid. 


If you want to see action like this at FC Cologne’s stadium, you’ll need to get your Covid jabs sorted first. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Robert Michael

Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund has taken a middle ground. While the 3G rule applies in principle, only 1,000 of the available 25,000 tickets will be sold to people who are providing a negative test. The remaining 24,000 seats will only be available for those who are vaccinated against – or recently recovered from – Covid. 

If you’re not vaccinated and are keen to see a match, it’s worth checking on your local club’s website beforehand or sending them an email to double-check whether you will be allowed in. 

What else do I need to know about? 

You’ll need to bring a FPP2 mask with you to matches to wear in your seat and while heading to the bathroom or bar, and also observe social distancing rules – meaning staying 1.5 metres apart from your fellow fans.

In most states, you’ll also need to provide your contact details, which will be saved by the club and potentially passed on to local health authorities in order to monitor a potential Covid outbreak. 

Will these rules continue throughout the season?

That’s still an open question. If infection rates in Germany continue to rise or high-profile superspreading events occur at future matches, the government could potentially crack down further on sports events in autumn.

This could involve limiting the seat numbers even further, or (more controversially), introducing a ‘vaccinated-only’ rule for entering stadiums. 

READ ALSO: Should Germany bring in Covid restrictions for unvaccinated people only?

A recent outbreak of Covid in the Mainz football team has also dampened celebrations slightly in the run-up to the start of the Bundesliga – leaving club owners urgently calling for both fans and footballers to get vaccinated. 

Speaking to WDR ahead of the season’s start, FC Cologne’s managing director Alexander Wehrle said widespread vaccination was the best route back to normality – a message reiterated by Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann. 

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