For the first time in the team's 103-year history, Borussia Dortmund have won the German league-cup double. Both titles came at the expense of Bayern Munich, who lost 5-2 in Saturday's cup final in Berlin.
Bayern's best hope coming into Saturday's German Cup final may have been the sheer unlikelihood that Borussia Dortmund's streak of good fortune at Bayern's expense would continue unabated. After conceding the league title to Dortmund by eight points, surely Bayern couldn't let the cup slip away, too, could they? Losing the last four matches against Dortmund must have been enough for Bayern, wouldn't a fifth be too much? Despite their highly-anticipated Champions League final at home against Chelsea next weekend, Bayern would surely pull it together for the sake of pride in Germany, right?
Not only did Dortmund once again get the best of Bayern Munich in the cup final, completing the club's first league-cup double in its 103-year history, Jürgen Klopp's Dortmund side embarrassed Bayern 5-2, putting Bayern in a must-win situation against Chelsea in the Champions League if they hope to save any face this season.
Bayern's bad luck started after just three minutes, when midfielder Luiz Gustavo sent a slow pass back to keeper Manuel Neuer. Dortmund's Jakub Blaszczykowski intercepted the ball and passed to Shinji Kagawa, who simply had to put the ball in the open net.
Kagawa played an excellent game in what may have been his last for Dortmund. Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson was on hand in Berlin, reportedly weighing a bid for Kagawa for next season.
Five minutes later after Kagawa's first display of brilliance under the watchful eye of Ferguson, Bayern striker Mario Gomez challenged Dortmund keeper Roman Weidenfeller near the goal. Weidenfeller got to the ball, but the knee from a stumbling Gomez caught him in the ribs.
Weidenfeller subbed due to injury
Despite clearly being in pain, Weidenfeller stayed in the game and had another one-on-one collision with Gomez in the 23rd minute. Gomez took the brunt of it the second time, but Weidenfeller was given a yellow card and Bayern was awarded a penalty.
Arjen Robben took the penalty for Bayern, seeking redemption against Weidenfeller for the last league matchup between the two teams, when Weidenfeller held a Robben penalty late in the game and prevented Bayern from tying the game and salvaging a point. It was Bayern's last chance at catching Dortmund in the league.
Still hurting from his first collision with Gomez, Weidenfeller was subbed in the 34th minute for Dortmund's Australian backup keeper, Mitchell Langerak, who started in two previous cup games this season. Weidenfeller was taken to the hospital, and x-rays revealed nothing was broken.
After tying the game and with the prospect of playing nearly an hour against Dortmund's relatively untested second-string keeper, Bayern must have liked their prospects for the rest of the match. But two goals before the end of the half for Dortmund - a penalty converted by Mats Hummels and a counterattack that saw Kagawa send a perfectly-timed pass through to Robert Lewandowski - put them back in the driver's seat, leading 3-1 at halftime.
Capitalizing on mistakes
Dortmund came out for the second half playing much more defensively, but a perfectly executed counterattack led to their fourth goal in the 58th minute. Kagawa came up the middle flanked by Lewandowski on the right, and eventually by Kevin Grosskreutz sprinting up the left. Kagawa passed to Grosskreutz, who tunneled Bayern midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger to get the ball to Lewandowski, who only had Neuer left to beat.
With Bayern paying for every single mistake - and there were plenty - Franck Ribery got one goal back in the 75th minute, displaying excellent dribbling and putting a shot past Langerak who had no change of making a save.
Dortmund weren't finished, though, and punished Bayern for yet another error. Neuer intercepted a cross but let it slip away from him, allowing Lukasz Piszczek to steal it and send a lobbing cross over to Lewandowski, who headed away Dortmund's fifth and final goal.
"As a Dortmunder, you can't imagine a better cup final than that," said Klopp after the match. "We were ice cold, had great goals… it's hard to put into words what is going on with this team."
Record year for Dortmund, one last chance for Bayern
Dortmund's win extends a 23-game unbeaten streak in all competitions that dates back to December. For Bayern, the loss is another disappointment that comes at the hands of their top rivals of late. Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes didn't mince words after the match.
"We started in the third minute to give away gifts," he said after the game. "Defensively we had a catastrophic performance. When you make such mistakes you cannot expect to win."
Looking ahead to next week's Champions League final against Chelsea, which will be played at Bayern's home stadium, the Allianz Arena in Munich, Heynckes was sure his team would be ready.
"We've still got a big goal in front of us," he said. "I think by the final, everyone will have recovered from the shock. It will be a completely different game."
Author: Matt Zuvela
Editor: Spencer Kimball