Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has rued his side’s inability to finish off Chelsea as the German giants lost Saturday’s Champions League final on penalties despite a dominant performance.
There were several chances for Bayern to put the Blues away but the defiant Premier League side managed to hang on until the very end, when Didier Drogba converted the decisive penalty kick to shock the Allianz Arena.
Neuer saw from the Bayern goal as Mario Gomez missed several early chances before Thomas Muller’s 83rd minute opener. Drogba then headed home from the visitors’ only corner to equalize five minutes later.
Drogba’s heroics became nearly irrelevant five minutes into extra-time, though, when he brought Franck Ribery down inside the Bayern box to send Arjen Robben to the penalty spot.
The Dutchman’s spot-kick was saved by Petr Cech, thus ultimately forcing the match to penalties. Neuer not only saved Juan Mata’s spot-kick right away, but also tucked in one of his own to maintain Bayern’s advantage.
However, Cech once again brought the Blues back to life with saves against Ivica Olic and Bastian Schweinsteiger, forcing Neuer into a must-save situation against Drogba.
The Ivorian made no mistake in the end, allowing Chelsea to claim London’s first ever Champions League title and leaving Neuer, like many of his teammates, at a loss for words.
“Everything pointed to us winning. We were always ahead. We simply should have wrapped it up,” Neuer admitted in his post-match interview at Bayern’s official website.
“We already had one hand on the trophy, which is why it hurts so much,” the 26-year old concluded.
Bayern concluded their frustrating season on a high note with a 3-2 exhibition win at home to the Netherlands national team.
Neuer and his fellow German internationals will now move on to Euro 2012, a tournament where the Deutsch national team suffered a 1-0 final defeat at the hands of defending champions Spain four years ago.