Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014

Bayern Munich end best-ever season with historic treble

Written by Associated Press | Berlin | Posted: June 3, 2013 12:48 am

In his last game as coach before handing the reins to Pep Guardiola,Jupp Heynckes led Bayern Munich to its first treble by beating Stuttgart 3-2 in the German Cup final on Saturday.

It sealed Bayern’s best ever season,one week after Heynckes delivered the Champions League trophy by beating Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in London,and eight after he masterminded the fastest Bundesliga title in 50 years of the league.

“When you break nearly every record in the league,and in the manner we played football,then of course it’s something quite extraordinary. The Champions League is the crowning achievement and now there’s the German Cup,’’ said Heynckes,who had previously only won the trophy once,as a player with hometown club Borussia Moenchengladbach in 1973.

“It’s an emotional moment,’’ Heynckes said. “The team gave themselves and me a super present. The treble is unique,” he said.

No other German side had won the treble of domestic league,cup and European Cup,while Bayern became just the seventh overall to achieve the feat,after Celtic in 1967,Ajax in 1972,PSV Eindhoven in 1988,Manchester United in 1999,Guardiola’s Barcelona in 2009,and Inter Milan in 2010.

“This will be hard to top,” Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer said.

In his second season at Bayern,Heynckes finishes his third stint having delivered the club’s record 16th German Cup,a 23rd German championship title achieved by smashing a host of records and — most importantly — its fifth European Cup.

Heynckes remained tight-lipped on his future plans,saying only that he will reveal “whether I continue (at another club) or not’’ at a press conference in Munich on Tuesday. He has previously dropped strong hints that he’ll retire,but has been linked by Spanish media to the vacant position at Real Madrid,where he won the Champions League in 1998.

His latest success was not delivered without some nerves at the end. A Thomas Mueller penalty in the 37th minute and two goals from Mario Gomez put Bayern in a commanding position by the 61st,but Stuttgart ensured a nervy finale when Martin Harnik pulled one back and then scored again with 10 minutes remaining.

Bayern began by bossing possession. Arjen Robben’s effort was deflected just wide by Stuttgart ‘keeper Sven Ulreich,who was to make a number of saves later in the game.

Reflex saves

Neuer was forced into two reflex saves on the line,and then Alexandru Maxim went close again,shooting just wide after he was set up by Ibrahima Traore.

It looked like Robben was denied a clear penalty in the 31st,when Stuttgart captain Serdar Tasci missed the ball and kicked the Bayern winger instead. Referee Manuel Graefe gave a corner.

Graefe pointed to the penalty spot five minutes later,however,when Traore bundled over Philipp Lahm,and Mueller duly converted. Gomez scored from close range three minutes after the break,when Lahm’s cross rebounded off his right shin to his left leg,back to his right and in. Mueller crossed for Gomez’s second. Heynckes then took the Germany striker off to a great reception after what may have been his last Bayern game.

Harnik scored what looked like a consolation with a fine header in the 71st,but it was continued…

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