Think Pep Guardiola is having second thoughts about replacing Jupp Heynckes? I mean all Heynckes did was lead Bayern Munich to the first treble in their history. The 3-2 win over Stuttgart on Saturday meant that Heynckes is the only manager ever to lead a German side to victory in the German Cup, Champions League and Bundesliga titles in the same season.
In the cup final, Thomas Muller fired Bayern in front from the penalty spot and two goals from Mario Gomez gave Jupp Heynckes’ side a commanding lead. A brace from Martin Harnik made the game interesting, although Stuttgart could not find an equaliser.
Only three minutes were on the clock when Arjen Robben was put through left of goal by Javi Martinez and his cross was deflected just wide of the far post. Stuttgart were not going to be lambs to the slaughter, though, and they showed that with their own spirited attacking football which culminated in Antonio Rudiger’s cross being volleyed just inches wide of the far post by Alexandru Maxim with Manuel Neuer beaten.
Neuer was in the thick of the action midway through the first half when he first made a reaction save to deny Vedad Ibisevic, and then scampered across his goal to block Georg Niedermeier’s shot on the goal line. In a game which swung from end to end, the next chance fell Bayern’s way with David Alaba sent through by Muller, but Sven Ulreich made a save with his leg.
Robben had a goalbound volley blocked by Serdar Tasci, who moments earlier had been lucky to get away with a kick at the Dutchman inside the penalty area. The referee waved play on that time but gave a generous penalty in the 36th minute when Philipp Lahm went to ground under pressure from Ibrahima Traore.
Muller stepped up and outwitted Ulreich, sending the ball to the Stuttgart goalkeeper’s right after he had already leapt in the other direction. Bayern doubled their lead almost immediately in the second half with Lahm’s cross an open invitation to Gomez, who somehow managed to bundle the ball in despite hitting it against his standing leg.
The game appeared to be over after an hour when Muller this time set up former Stuttgart striker Gomez with a cross from the right, and he provided a more accomplished finish from seven yards out. Stuttgart refused to lie down, though, and Harnik reduced the arrears ten minutes later with a bullet header beyond Neuer’s reach from Gotoku Sakai’s cross.
Shinji Okazaki had a shot saved by Neuer as Stuttgart surged forwards, getting a second goal with tenminutes remaining when Okazaki hit the post and Harnik scored at the second time of asking, thanks in part to a slight deflection off Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Ulreich scampered forward for a free-kick in stoppage time, but the Swabians were unable to find an equaliser as they, like the rest of the Bundesliga and Europe before them, took their hat off to an all-conquering Bayern side.