Champions League Final

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Saturday 25 May:

Bayern Munich have lifted the Champions League trophy at Wembley after a 3-0 win over Arsenal, who played more than 80 minutes with ten men after Laurent Koscielny’s early straight red card for an elbow on Pizarro. Bayern took less than five minutes to exploit the numerical advantage as Arsenal struggled to switch to a back three, Thomas Muller finishing well after a surging run from captain Philip Lahm.

The lead was doubled mid-way through the first-half when Ribery danced his way through the centre of the park to slide in Bastien Schweinsteiger in a similar fashion to the opener. Arsenal huffed and puffed and created opportunities, with Jack Wilshere twice coming close but Muller’s second goal 23 minutes from time effectively killed the game off as a contest. A full livetweet report is below.

PREVIEW (24 May): Arsenal and Bayern Munich will go head-to-head tomorrow for the most highly-regarded trophy in club football, the UEFA Champions League. Twelve matches and eight months ago, both clubs took to the field in the first of their six group games that would eventually see the two sides claim their right to walk out at Wembley tomorrow night. Arsenal make the short 12-mile journey across London after their 4th-placed finish in the Premier League this season, while Bayern travel to the English capital as reigning German champions having wrestled the Bundesliga trophy back after two years at Borussia Dortmund, and looking to avenge last year’s shootout defeat to Chelsea.

Arsenal have already faced German opposition in the competition, meeting Borussia Monchengladbach in the group stage, drawing 1-1 away before a 2-1 win at the Emirates. Bayern can go one better, however, having seen off Manchester City at the semi-final stage with an impressive 2-0 win in Manchester cemented with a 2-1 win at home to book their place in the final. Both sides won their groups, going into the Round of 16 undefeated, though both sides suffered a loss during the knockout stages before progressing on aggregate.

The Gunners can certainly boast the performance of the tournament so far. After being commended for a resilient 0-0 draw at the Bernabeu, Arsenal then blew away Real Madrid 6-0 at the Emirates courtesy of a Lucas Podolski hat-trick. Bayern will draw inspiration from their 5-0 home win over AC Milan in the quarter-final stage to turn around the tie after a lacklustre 2-0 defeat in the Italian capital. Arsenal have scored 30 goals in their twelve Champions League matches this season, conceding ten.

Being without the services of Theo Walcott (tendonitis, knee) will be a major blow for Arsenal, who will also give a late fitness tests to Mikel Arteta (ankle) and Aaron Ramsey (shin) though manager Arsene Wenger indicated that he expected the pair to miss out on the starting XI. Bayern will be without defenders Dante and David Alaba who both have broken bones in their feet, but may be able to welcome Arjen Robben (groin) and Toni Kroos (concussion) to their midfield after missing recent action.

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Route To The Final – Arsenal:

  • Group A: Shakhtar Donetsk (h) 3-0, (a) 2-1
  • Group A: Borussia Monchengladbach (h) 2-1, (a) 1-1
  • Group A: FC Basel (h) 2-0, (a) 1-1
  • R16: Olympiakos (h) 6-1, (a) 4-3
  • QF: Real Madrid (h) 6-0, (a) 0-0
  • SF: FC Porto (h) 1-0, (a) 1-2

Route To The Final – Bayern Munich:

  • Group B: FC Nordsjaelland (h) 4-0, (a) 3-0
  • Group B: Celtic (h) 2-0, (a) 2-0
  • Group B: Valencia (h) 2-0, (a) 3-3
  • R16: Juventus (h) 0-0, (a) 2-2
  • QF: AC Milan (h) 5-0, (a) 0-2
  • SF: Manchester City (h) 2-1, (a) 2-0

Sky Bet Odds: Arsenal 6-4F, Draw 2-1, Bayern Munich 13-8

UEFA Champions League Final
Arsenal 0-3 Bayern Munich

Saturday 25th May 2013, Wembley, London
Ref: Tom Henning Ovrebo | Weather: Dry 12°C

Arsenal (4-5-1):  Szczesny – Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen – Diaby, Ever, Wilshere, Cazorla, Podolski – Kweuke
Substitutes: Fabianksi, Giroud, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gibbs, Gervinho, Arshavin, Djorou

Bayern Munich (4-5-1): Neuer – Lahm, Martinez, Boateng, Badstuber – Luiz Gustavo, Schweinsteiger, Muller, Pizarro, Ribery – Gomez
Substitutes: Starke, Contento, Rafinha, Kroos, Mandzukic, Tymoschuk, Shaqiri

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Guardian: “I anticipate a nervy game and I think it will most likely go all the way to penalties. Aaron Ramsey and Dante will both be missed by their respective sides.”

First half livetweets from @realtimeFM:

0′ Norwegian referee Tom Henning Ovrebo gets us underway at Wembley in the Champions League Final!

3′ Badstuber has the first effort on goal, firing a free kick from 25 yards well wide after Diaby’s foul on Pizarro.

9′ RED CARD! Laurent Koscielny has been shown a straight red after he fells Pizarro with an elbow in the middle of the Arsenal half.

10′ SUBSTITUTION: Pizarro’s final has been ended by that flailing elbow, he’s replaced by Toni Kroos for Bayern Munich.

11′ Three players have been sent off in CL Finals now, all from London clubs. Lehman (Arsenal, 1006) and Didier Drogba (Chelsea, 2008).

13′ GOAL! Bayern make the man advantage count within five minutes. Thomas MÜLLER played in by Gomez after a fantastic a run by Lahm. Finishes from 12.

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19′ Period of pressure by Arsenal, but Bayern’s extra man coping well. Wilshere finds room in the box to get into Diaby’s cross but blocked.

25′ GOAL! Bayern double their lead following a striving run from Ribery through the middle, his through ball beats the back three and…

…SCHWEINSTEIGER smashes it first time from just inside the box, low and powerful past the diving Szczesny. 2-0!

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33′ Momentarily down to 10-a-side, Boateng has hurt himself in a challenge with Wilshere who holds him off and fires just wide.

40′ Arsenal counter-attacking well, Cazorla pulls left and sends a cross to the far post but Wilshere’s diving header is straight at Neuer.

45′ Bayern have a glorious chance to make it 3. Ribery finds Kroos in acres of space on the right. His cross finds Gomez, headed inches wide.

45+1′ That’s halftime. Bayern comfortably two-up against 10-man Arsenal after Koscielny’s 9th minute dismissal.

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Second half livetweets from @realtimeFM:

46′ Second half now underway, no changes at the break.

47′ Bayern come out attacking, and only a fingertip save from Szczesny after 63 seconds of the second half denies Mario Gomez.

49′ Gomez clips the bar from the edge of the box. Ribery’s shot is deflected by Sagna straight to Gomez who hits it first time.

51′ Vermaelen (who was shown a yellow a moment ago) heads against the bar and over from an Arsenal corner.

57′ Arshavin has replaced Kweuke and almost makes an immediate impact, he turns on the 18 but fires his shot straight at Neuer.

63′ SUBSTITUTION: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger sends on Djourou for Sagna, straight-swap in the back three.

67′ GOAL! It’s all over as a contest now. MULLER gets his second from close range. Gomez is felled by Vermaelen in the box, but the ball…

…falls to an unmarked Thomas MÜLLER 10 yards out who slots home. Gomez drew the defenders away. Naïve defending, good refereeing, 3-0.

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69′ SUBSTITUTION: Kieran Gibbs replaces Diaby for Arsenal’s third and final change.

75′ Muller, already cautioned, catches Vermaelen late on the halfway line but is shown leniency by the Norwegian referee to Arsenal boos.

77′ Starting to boil over here at Wembley. Vermaelen clatters through Muller but doesn’t even concede a freekick. Muller looks in some pain.

78′ SUBSTITUTION: Tymoschuk replaces Luiz Gustavo, Bayern Munich’s second change.

83′ Cazorla forces a fantastic save from Neuer who then has to scramble away a terrible backpass from Badstuber before Poldolski pounces.

87′ Arshavin creates a little space and frees Cazorla but he shoots early and it’s well wide.

90′ Two minutes of stoppage time will be added on.

90+1′ Mario Gomez bundles the ball into the back of the net from Muller’s cross, but he has been penalised for a foul on Mertesacker.

FULL TIME: Arsenal 0-3 Bayern Munich.

Man of the Match: Thomas Muller (9.0, 2 goals).

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