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Bayern Munich crowned Champions of Europe

Bayern Munich’s stellar season has ended with the UEFA Champions League in Lisbon thanks to former PSG youth academy graduate Kingsley Coman’s second-half header. Kingsley Coman justified his inclusion after Bayern boss Hansi Flick opted for him instead of Ivan Perisic on the left flank of the attack. The defeat in the final will be especially painful for PSG and its Qatari owners. The Qatari owners have spent hundreds of millions on building a team that would deliver the UEFA Champions League, the biggest prize in European soccer. Even though the team’s star-studded lineup, led by Brazilian superstar Neymar and the French world cup winner Mbappe created dangerous chances against Bayern, they couldn’t find a way to make a significant breakthrough. The German champions won the European title for the sixth time in the club’s history with a 1-0 victory over Paris Saint-Germain, placing them joint-third in the overall trophy standings.

Only Real Madrid, who have lifted the title 13 times and AC Millan, who are seven-times winners, have won more UEFA Champions League trophies than Bayern. The win over PSG also ensured that Bayern ended the season with a treble, the second in their history and Europe’s ninth treble in all, denying PSG the same feat in the process.

 

Bayern’s route to UEFA Champions League success

On the road to becoming the new kings of European football, Bayern Munich became the first team to win every single game in the Champions League.

Bayen has also become the third club in history to score 500 Champions League goals. Only Barcelona have scored more goals in a single season (45) than Bayern (42) this season. Bayern’s impeccable run to the 2019-20 Champions League glory began back in September 2019 as they stormed to a perfect haul of 18 points from their six group games, including a memorable 7-2 win at Tottenham and beating both Red star Belgrade and Olympiacos home and away.

When the knockout phase got underway, they beat Chelsea 3-0 at Stamford Bridge before the Covid-19 pandemic halted the competition. The competition finally resumed earlier this month, with Bayern Munich thrashing Chelsea by 4-1 in their second leg. Bayern qualified for the quarter-final to face Barcelona. Due to Covid-19, the match took place on neutral ground in Portugal. Bayern hammered Barcelona by 8-2 and defeated Olympique Lyon by 3-0 in the semi-finals to set up a clash with French Champions PSG. Kingsley Coman’s header in the 59th minute gave them the victory as they completed a perfect 11 game campaign in Europe. Bayern won the final against PSG by playing as a collective team with an excellent football system and not as a team that depends on individuals for success.

 

Why Bayern Munich won the Champions League

Bayern Munich showed bravery and played to their strengths as they didn’t change their gameplan for PSG. They were fully confident in their attacking abilities and persisted with that high line. Bayern boss Flick deserves excellent credit for their performance in the finals.

Flick replaced Niko Kovac in November, initially as caretaker manager, and has gone on to win the treble. For Bayern, it has been a remarkable turnaround for a team that was struggling at the beginning of the season. The appointment of Flick gave Thomas Muller a new life in his career. Muller has been one of the integral members of Flick’s setup this season and a vital cog in his playing philosophy. Since 2013, the Champions League had eluded them after appointing top-class managers in Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti. Guardiola, the Spanish specialist, failed to deliver them the trophy, while Ancelotti, who is one of the most successful managers of this competition, also failed. Flick, who is a former player of the club, knew the ins and out of the club. It, therefore, came as no wonder that he was able to turn things around for Bayern after his appointment.

In winning the Champions League trophy, Flick has now emulated legendary Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes, who landed them the first treble in the club’s history in 2013. Another reason why Bayern won the Champions League is the Lewandowski factor. The Polish hitman has been in the best shape of his career, ending up as the top scorer of the Champions League this season with 15 goals. Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer also contributed a lot to the success of this Bayern team. He gave a stellar performance throughout the campaign, making crucial match-winning saves. The squad’s depth at Bayern Munich was also a factor that contributed to Bayern winning the Champions League. Bayern’s bench had the likes of Coutinho, Perisic, Pavard, Tolisso, and Sule. These players could feature prominently for the majority of the top teams in Europe. From the way Bayern have dominated this season’s Champions League, it won’t be a surprise if they continue to dominate European football for the next few years or more.

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