A tearful Pep Guardiola added another trophy to his already glittering haul when the departing coach’s Bayern Munich side beat Borussia Dortmund 4-3 on penalties. The Bavarians claimed a record-extending 18th German Cup.
Both teams had plenty of chances on a warm Saturday night at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, but were unable to break the deadlock in 120 intense minutes of regulation time and the match went to penalties.
Dortmund’s Sven Bender had his spot kick saved by Manuel Neuer before Sokratis Papastathopoulos shaved the outside of the post with his penalty. Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Bürki kept his side alive when he blocked Joshua Kimmich’s weak effort but Douglas Costa sealed Bayern’s triumph with a confident finish.
Guardiola heads for Manchester City having led the Bundesliga champions to an 11th domestic double, but with the disappointment of failing to win the Champions League in three seasons in Germany. Bayern have claimed seven trophies during the Spaniard’s reign, to add to the 14, including two Champions Leagues, he won in four years in charge at Barcelona.
“Titles are just numbers to me, the fans are happy,” Guardiola told ARD television.
“These three years at Bayern were wonderful for me, I will miss my players,” added the 45-year-old.
Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel admitted responsibility for the defeat.
“I am angry,” he said. “I should have picked different penalty takes. My mistake.”
Full gas, but no goals
The Olympic Stadium provided a magnificent venue for the 73rd final, with the red attire of the Bayern fans marking an eye-catching contrast with the yellow and black of the Dortmund supporters.
Almost 80,000 packed into the vast arena witnessed a cagey opening, with Thomas Müller’s fierce long-range effort for Bayern the only meaningful scoring chance in the early stages. Müller threatened again in the 22nd minute when he flashed a header past the post at a corner before Costa forced a sharp save from Bürki in the 33rd.
Dortmund were looking to catch Bayern on the break and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang raced straight up the other end but failed to hit the target with an angled effort.
Bayern winger Franck Ribery was perhaps lucky to stay on the pitch when he appeared to gouge Gonzalo Castro’s eye shortly after. Bender had a good chance two minutes before the break but scuffed his volley into the ground and Neuer made a comfortable catch.
First finess, then fatigue
Smoke from flares set off by Dortmund fans enveloped the stadium at the start of the second period before Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski just failed to turn in a Ribery cross at full stretch. Bayern were starting to look more dangerous and the Dortmund defense did well to deny Müller after good work from Costa before Aubameyang fired wildly over when well placed.
Lewandowski was equally wasteful in the 64th minute when he was set up by Müller and Aubameyang wasted a glorious chance five minutes before the end of regulation time.
Dortmund center back and captain Mats Hummels, who is joining Bayern next season, bowed out with a suspected injury before the start of extra time and it was left to Erik Durm to make a superb last-ditch tackle to deny Lewandowski after the restart. With penalties looming and the players clearly tiring, Henrikh Mkhitaryan pulled an effort narrowly wide for Dortmund and David Alaba’s effort for Bayern with the outside of a boot was well saved by Bürki.
After the shootout success, the Bayern players grabbed Guardiola and tossed him in the air as their fans celebrated wildly in the stands.