Champions League Final: Barça-Dortmund

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dortmund-championsleague70Roman Weidenfeller is the hero of Dortmund as his two penalty saves saw BVB lift the UEFA Champions League for the second-time in the club’s history, winning 4-3 on penalties after coming from behind twice in a thrilling 2-2 draw.

Barcelona had the upper-hand during the first-half, save for a short period where BVB made the most of their wide men to put the Barça centre-backs under pressure, but neither side was able to make the breakthrough. Mats Hummels came closest when his header hit the underside of the bar ten minutes after the interval.

The opening goal came with twenty minutes to play, with – who else? – Lionel Messi at the heart of it. He dragged defenders out of position before playing Andrés Iniesta through to slot home despite offside protests.

There were less than ninety seconds on the clock when Carlos Puyol, playing his last-ever game, was caught out by Julian Schieber on a backpass. Schieber was alert to the opportunity and forced extra-time against the run of play.

Alexis Sanchez put Barcelona back in front after five minutes when he and Messi combined brilliantly to bring the ball forwards at pace and penetrate the penalty area.

Dortmund hit the woodwork twice inside two minutes when Neven Subotic and Felipe Santana were both denied with headers from out-swinging corners either-side of the turnaround.

Inside the final five minutes, BVB cleared a Barça corner and pushed everyone bar Weidenfeller forwards. The ball eventually falling to substitute Jakub Blaszczykowski who lashed home a late equaliser from close range. It was then Weidenfeller’s chance to play hero, saving from Messi and Xavi.


               UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL 2014

              FC BARCELONA 2-2 aet BOR. DORTMUND
                Iniesta 70         Schieber 89
                Sánchez 96         Blaszczykowski 117

                   PENALTY SHOOTOUT (BVB 1st)
                 Sanchez ✔         ✔ Gündogan
                   Piqué ✔         ✔ Götze
                   Messi ✘         ✔ Perisic
                Fabregas ✔         ✘ Schieber
                    Xavi ✘         ✔ Subotic

                 DORTMUND WIN 4-3 ON PENALTIES
                                                  Att: 65,647
    Estádio da Luz, Lisbon. Dry 21°C. Ref: R.Trutz (Slovakia)

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         FC BARCELONA                  BORUSSIA DORTMUND
 1 Victor VALDES          6.8  |  1 Roman WEIDENFELLER     7.0
12 Marc BARTRA            7.0³ |  2 Andreas BECK           7.0
 5 Carles PUYOL (c)       6.9  |  4 Neven SUBOTIC          7.6
 3 Gerard PIQUE           7.4  |  5 Mats HUMMELS (c)       8.3³
22 Eric ABIDAL            7.7  |  3 Marcel SCHMELZER       8.1
20 Javier MASCHERANO      7.4  |  8 Ilkay GÜNDOGAN     [*] 8.8
25 Alex SONG              6.5¹ |  6 Sven BENDER            8.7
 8 Andrés INIESTA     [Y] 8.2  | 11 Marco REUS             5.8¹
 9 Alexis SANCHEZ         8.1  | 26 Dennis PRAET           6.8²
 7 David VILLA            6.7² | 24 Ivan PERISIC           7.0
10 Lionel MESSI           8.5  | 23 Julian SCHIEBER        7.2
------------------------------- -------------------------------
13 José Manuel PINTO       .   | 20 Mitchell LANGERAK       .
 4 Cesc FABREGAS          6.9² |  9 Robert LEWANDOWSKI      .
 6 KIKO Femenía            .   | 10 Mario GOTZE            7.1¹
11 BOJAN                   .   | 15 Felipe SANTANA         7.0³
16 Sergio BUSQUETS        6.3³ | 19 Kevin GROβKREUTZ        .
19 XAVI                   6.9¹ | 22 Julian KOCH             .
21 ADRIANO                 .   | 30 Jakub BLASZCZYKOWSKI   7.3²

Match report by @realtimeFM:

[00] Carlos Puyol leads Barcelona for the final time, before his retirement.

[00] Three changes for Dortmund, led out by one of those: Mats Hummels.

[00] Barcelona get us underway here at the home of Benfica, and immediately give captain Carlos Puyol the ball in his last-ever professional game. He gets it moving across the back so all four defenders and goalkeeper get an early touch.

[03] Free-kick given against Alexis Sanchez in the Dortmund penalty area.

[04] Lionel Messi makes his first run at the BVB back four, but Mats Hummels wins the ball cleanly.

[05] Sanchez gets a cross to the back post where David Villa is waiting, but he can’t shrug off the attention from Neven Subotic, and the Dortmund man clears.

[09] Alexis Sanchez and Sven Bender are having a great battle on Barcelona’s right-hand side, with Bender getting the better of him most of the time, but Sanchez looks dangerous.

[12] Dortmund get the ball forward quickly but each time they’ve overrun it in the final third. Neither side has had a clear shot at goal yet.

[16] Puyol and Hummels are mopping up everything at either end.

[17] Lionel Messi makes a mazy run towards the edge of the penalty arc and fires at goal. Weidenfeller gets a hand to the rising shot and tips it over the top. First shot at goal, first corner of the match.

[17] First corner becomes a second when Subotic heads Iniesta’s delivery back behind goal.

[17] …and again from the other side. Subotic heads that one clear. Sanchez picks up the loose ball, gets down the left and whips a cross in for Messi who dives at the ball but his header is saved easily by Weidenfeller.

[22] Dortmund’s potential success today will likely come from Sven Bender’s strength on the ball tonight. He’s dropping back to protect the back four and so far it’s working more often than not. BVB really need more composure in getting the ball forwards and keeping possession though.

[25] Marco Reus has been quiet so far, but he’s got round Abidal and has his cross into the box deflected behind by Pique. Corner for Dortmund.

[25] The corner is headed away by Abidal, but drops for Reus on the edge of the box. His rocket towards goal smashes intio Bartra and loops towards the top corner but Pique gets his body behind it and it’s bundled away.

[27] Ivan Perisic sends a free-kick in from the right, and Mats Hummels flicks his header a yard wide of the far post. Can BVB keep this spell of pressure up?

[28] Andreas Beck is very fortunate to escape a booking when he lunges in and flattens David Silva. From the free-kick, Subotic heads the ball behind for another Barca corner.

[30] Sanchez sells Schmelzer a dummy and gets inside the area, but for a great challenge from Bender to survive with just conceding a corner.

[31] Hummels heads the delivery away, but Iniesta pops a looping cross back into the box. Pique gets it back across the face of goal. Schieber is the coolest man in the ground as he nods it safely into his own ‘keeper’s hands.

[32] Another Barca corner. Cleared away. It’s all coming from Iniesta and Sanchez down their right-hand side.

[33] Denis Praet smashes one towards the top corner from 25 yards out but it whistles over the top. That would have been some goal!

[35] David Villa hits a shot from 20 yards out, it clips the top of the bar with Weidenfeller beaten.

[35] Dortmund concede possession straight from the goal kick, and the ball ends up with Iniesta on the edge of the box. His drive is deflected, wrong foots Weidenfeller, but Marcel Schmelzer gets back to clear it off the line.

[40] Puyol goes through the back of Schieber a yard outside the box, dead central. Ivan Perisic tries to bend it around the wall but doesn’t get enough backlift on it and it’s wide.

[43] Another Barca corner when Bender denies Sanchez from getting past him. It’s headed over the top.

HALF-TIME: FC Barcelona 0-0 Borussia Dortmund (UCL Final 2014)

[HT] Barcelona have made two changes at the break: Xavi replaces Alex Song (6.5)¹ and Cesc Fabgreas takes the place of David Villa (6.7)². Dortmund unchanged. Looks like Barca are going for an extra man to over-run the midfield.

[46] Cesc Fabregas makes his first touch with a fantastic challenge on Praet as the Belgian was about to pull the trigger 20 yards out, on a move straight from the kick-off.

[47] Straight up the other end, and Barca win a corner. Messi comes to collect it at the near post but he’s double-marked and he can’t get a cross in.

[48] Alexis Sanchez has switched to the left and he turns Beck inside and out on a run down the wing, cutting inside and firing a low drive inches wide. Good tactical move from Barcelona there, Sanchez was being out-muscled by Bender in the first half.

[50] Iniesta wins Barcelona another corner.

[52] Good work from Dortmund down their left, with Schmelzer and Bender getting the ball forward and wide, but Reus makes a hash of the cross.

[54] Iniesta curls one over the top from just inside the box after Sanchez speeds past Schmelzer down the right and eventually gets the ball across the face of goal.

[57] Corner for Dortmund, good work from Bender who finds Gündogan whose ball forwards is headed behind.

[58] CROSSBAR! Mats Hummels powers a header towards goal from Dennis Praet’s corner but it hits the underside of the cross bar and bounces back a yard outside of the goal. There’s a scramble and Gündogan pokes it towards goal before a foul is given.

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[59] End-to-end stuff as Barcelona have a corner at the other end. Cleared away and Dortmund counter, but it breaks down just over halfway.

[60] Alexis Sanchez has a go from 18 yards but Weidenfeller is equal to it.

[63] Another Barca corner. Hummels and Schmelzer get the deliveries away.

[65] And another. It eventually falls to Abidal who curls it back towards goal with Weidenfeller beaten, but Hummels clears off the line.

[68] Barcelona win another corner, then a further one. Hummels having to clear at the near post. How long can BVB weather this storm?

[70] 1-0 BARCELONA! Dortmund finally crack as Barcelona work the ball in from the right. Lionel Messi picks it up on the edge of the box and slips it to Andrés Iniesta who is played onside by Beck. He simply can’t miss from twelve yards out.

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[70] Protests from a couple of Dortmund players, but replays show that Iniesta checked his run just as Messi played it. Beck hesitated and plays him a foot onside.

[70] Dortmund are making a pair of changes: Mario Götze is on for Dennis Praet (6.8)¹, and Jakub Blaszczykowski replaces Marco Reus (5.8)². BVB going for more strength down their flanks. They need to come back at this, Barca don’t often score just the one.

[76] Carlos Puyol bundles Julian Schieber over, not for the first time. Dortmund can whip the ball into the box here. Centre-backs coming forwards.

[77] Ivan Perisic goes for the shot which surprises Valdés, but it skims the top of the bar and is over the top.

[85] We’re into the final five minutes and Barca are closing the game out well.

[86] Messi jinxes inside the box, under pressure from Hummels. His run drags another defender out of position leaving Fabregas unmarked on the edge of the box, but Messi tries to turn and shoot instead of laying it off, and he’s well wide.

[88] Dortmund make a hash of a short free-kick and Barcelona can soak up time here.

[89] EQUALISER FOR DORTMUND! Carlos Puyol sinks to his knees in disbelief as he gifts BVB a leveller with 73 seconds of normal time remaining. Bartra throws him the ball short, and Puyol goes to play it all the way back to Valdés, woefully under-hitting it. Julian Schieber reads the pass, and slots home from the edge of the box.

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[90] Two additional minutes.

FULL-TIME (90′): FC Barcelona 1-1 Borussia Dortmund (UCL Final 2014)

[90] We’ll have a further half-hour of football this season. It’s 1-1 here and Dortmund were handed that last-gasp equaliser on a plate.

[90] Both sides have made their third and final change. Barcelona have sent on Sergio Busquets for Bartra (7.0)³, and Dortmund replace an exhausted-looking Mats Hummels (8.3) with Felipe Santana³.

[94] First chance of extra-time falls to Sanchez, whose mazy run on a counter attack ended with a shot looping into Weidenfeller’s hands from 15 yards out.

[96] 2-1 BARCELONA! Lionel Messi sets up a second goal for Barca as he and Alexis Sanchez work the ball into the Dortmund area. Messi playing a great one-two to lay it off for Sanchez to drill home from 15 yards.

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[102] Ivan Perisic changes up a gear and leaves Puyol for dead. His shot looks like it’s creeping wide from 20 yards but Valdés isn’t so sure and gets a hand on it to push it behind.

[104] CROSSBAR! Götze wins Dortmund a corner. Gündogan’s out-curler from the right is met by Felipe Santana eight yards out but it smashes off the crossbar.

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HALF-TIME, ET (105′): FC Barcelona 2-1 Borussia Dortmund (UCL Final 2014)

[105] Fifteen minutes for Dortmund to find an equaliser. They get us underway for this final quarter of an hour. It’s either the only trophy of the season for Barcelona, or can Dortmund be the seventh side to do the domestic league, domestic cup and Champions League treble?

[107] BVB win themselves a corner after ninety seconds, Blaszczykowski and Gündogan surge forwards before the former has a cross-cum-shot knocked behind.

[107] WOODWORK! Neven Subotic is inches wide of finding the top corner from the corner. Everyone thought that was in, no doubt about that. Sanchez is one relieved man on the line. Replays show it actually clipped the post.

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[112] Andrés Iniesta thinks he’s won a corner off Neven Subotic but the Slovakian referee is calling him over as the two tangle. Caution for the Barcelona man. First of the game.

[114] Two more corners for Barcelona, both cleared away by Santana and then Subotic respectively.

[115] Cesc Fabregas has a go from 22 yards out but miscues it and it drops well wide.

[116] Xavi is tripped by Marcel Schmelzer on the right, and Fabregas whips the ball into the box. Santana gets it away and a second cross is hammered clear. Dortmund pushing everyone forward on the counter.

[117] EQUALISER FOR DORTMUND! Borussia Dortmund poured forwards en masse. There’s eight yellow shirts in the box as Ivan Perisic squares it for Mario Götze. He slides it to the far post where Jakub Blasczykowski smashes home from eight yards out. There’s less than four minutes to play. Bedlam on the BVB bench!

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[120] Ivan Perisic looks like he’s been caught by Sanchez and is going to need treatment. This stoppage and the Dortmund celebrations mean we’re going to have three minutes of added time. Sixteen of these players have been out there for over two hours. We’re moments away from a shootout.

[120+3] Messi is behind the back four and takes the ball down on his chest brilliantly, but he’s ruled offside. That might be it.

FULL-TIME (120′): FC Barcelona 2-2 Borussia Dortmund (UCL Final 2014)

PENALTY SHOOTOUT: Dortmund will go first.

1-0: Ilkay Gündogan SCORES for Dortmund. Smashes it down the middle.

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1-1: Alexis Sánchez SCORES when he coolly slots it into the bottom right.

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2-1: Mario Götze SCORES with a fantastic effort into the top left.

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2-2: Gerard Piqué SCORES by slotting low to Weidenfeller’s left.

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3-2: Ivan Perisic SCORES , beating Valdés to his right.

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3-2 SAVED: Roman Weidenfeller goes to his left and pushes Lionel Messi’s mid-height effort away. Two assists, but no goal for the tournament’s top scorer. Advantage: Dortmund!

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3-2 SAVED: Julian Schieber takes a short tun up and tries to clip it to Victor Valdés’s right, but the ‘keeper goes the same way and saves.

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3-3: Cesc Fabregas SCORES, slamming it into the top right corner. Effectively sudden-death now. Three-each from four kicks apiece.

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4-3: Neven Subotic SCORES, slotting past Valdés. Xavi must score for Barcelona.

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4-3 SAVED: Roman Weidenfeller is at full-stretch to fingertip Xavi’s penalty past his left-hand post and Borussia Dortmund have won it 4-3 in the shootout!

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RESULT: FC Barcelona 2-2 aet, 3-4 pens Borussia Dortmund (UCL Final 2014)

Roman Weidenfeller is bundled by every member of the Dortmund squad as his fine penalty saves have won it for the German double-winners, who become only the seventh club to lift the Champions League (or European Cup) after winning their domestic top flight and national cup. Late, late goals for BVB saw them pull level twice and deny Barcelona any silverware this season.

A simply stunning first season at the club for manager Grayson Surman. We’ll have further reaction tomorrow as Der BVB are off to party!

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