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Clinical Inter end brave Bayern's treble dream

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Clinical Inter end brave Bayern's treble dream

Postby FCBayernNews » Sat May 22, 2010 10:00 pm

Bayern came up agonisingly short of a historic treble on Saturday night, but were ultimately undone by a superbly-drilled and alert Internazionale side in the Champions League final, sharp-shooter Diego Milito netting in each half to seal an ultimately merited victory for the Milan outfit.

The 74,954 capacity crowd at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid saw Bayern control the first-half possession but Inter hold the half-time lead through Milito's goal on the break. Thomas Müller spurned a golden opportunity to level straight after the restart and the Bavarians piled on the pressure, but Milito clinically added a second 20 minutes from time to wrap up the victory.

The result means Bayern fall short of winning a first treble, and coach Louis van Gaal must wait before becoming only the fourth coach to win the Champions League with different clubs - the third being Inter boss José Mourinho, whose success on Saturday night also means the Italian Serie A retains its fourth qualifying spot at the Bundesliga's expense.

Van Gaal made one enforced change to the side which beat Werder Bremen in the cup final to seal the domestic double a week ago, Hamit Altintop deputising as expected for the suspended Franck Ribery.

The rest of the team fundamentally picked itself, with Jörg Butt in goal, Holger Badstuber and Philipp Lahm at left and right-back, Martin Demichelis and Daniel van Buyten in central defence, and Mark van Bommel and Bastian Schweinsteiger anchoring the midfield. Arjen Robben took up station on the right, with Müller supporting Ivica Olic up front.

For the Nerazzurri, Mourinho introduced Cristian Chivu for the suspended Motta, leaving Dejan Stankovic on the bench. Goran Pandev also made the team in a free role behind Argentine hitman Milito, in a tactical change compared to the semi-final second leg against Barcelona.

Once English referee Howard Webb whistled proceedings underway on a balmy evening in the Spanish capital, the match unfolded as the intense tactical contest many had predicted beforehand, with Bayern dominating the ball but the superbly disciplined Inter side pressing high up the field and posing a constant menace on the break.

Müller just failed to connect with Altintop's early cross, Olic dragged his shot well wide from Robben's cut-back, and Hamit earned two corners in quick succession, from the second of which the loose ball seemed to brush Samuel Eto'o's hand, although Munich's shouts for a penalty were muted.

Butt was called into serious action for the first time with 20 minutes played, the keeper beating out Wesley Sneijder's awkward and deflected free-kick, before Robben fired over the bar after good work by Olic and Müller.

Demichelis and Chivu were both booked in a cautious phase after that, before Altintop's probing and Müller's persistence manufactured a couple of half-chances for Van Gaal's men. But calamity struck Munich on 35 minutes when Milito beat Demichelis to keeper Julio Cesar's long clearance, finding Sneijder in far too much space 25 yards from goal. The Dutch midfielder fed the Argentine, who held off two Bayern defenders before coolly slotting past Butt.

Demichelis thwarted Eto'o with a last-ditch lunge, and Sneijder clutched his head in his hands after firing straight at Butt from Milito's lay-off as Inter continued their razor-sharp counter-attacks, but Robben, Olic and Van Bommel all shot wide at the other end as FCB ended the half on the attack.

The second period opened with huge chances at both ends, and terrific saves from both goalkeepers. Müller looked certain to level from Altintop's clever lay-off, but Cesar blocked the youngster's ten-yard effort with his legs, before Butt stretched to tip Pandev's shot over the bar.

The impressive Sneijner curled a dangerous free-kick over the bar, but Bayern raced up the other end and Altintop's drive travelled inches wide of Cesar's near post. Van Gaal's men upped the pressure now, Altintop
warming the Inter keeper's gloves and Olic twisting and turning in the box, before Turkey midfielder Hamit gave way to Miro Klose just under half an hour from the end.

Müller cracked in a goalbound shot from Robben's free-kick, but Esteban Cambiasso headed clear from in front of his goalkeeper, and Robben drew a fine save out of the Milan shot-stopper with a curled effort from the edge of the box. Walter Samuel hurled himself to deny Klose and Olic, but just as Bayern were causing the Inter defence genuine problems, Eto'o delivered the decisive pass to release Milito, the striker wrong-footing Van Buyten and finishing with aplomb to double the advantage.

Mario Gomez took over from Olic for the last quarter of an hour, and Bayern pitched camp in the Inter third of the field, but ex-FCB man Lucio and his team-mates neutralised the threat without undue distress to run down the clock and seal the European crown.

Live match report for by Chris Hamley
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