It is no secret that most of Bayern Munich’s squad endured a sleepless night following the penalty shoot-out defeat to Chelsea in Saturday’s UEFA Champions League final. But after hours of reflection, at least some are able to put it all into perspective.
Bayern had 43 shots to the Blues’ nine, while also delivering 20 corners to the Premier League outfit’s one. Despite the lopsided statistics, Chelsea were clinical and took every chance they needed to claim the trophy that was written in their destiny.
The Bundesliga side’s manager Jupp Heynckes was one of the first to congratulate Chelsea and remind his crestfallen players that the bitter result at Allianz Arena is only a part of the game.
“It (recovery) will definitely need a few days. But it’s all part of life as a footballer: victories, major honors, and also major disappointment,” said Heynckes, who also presided over the club’s disappointing Bundesliga and German Cup losses to Borussia Dortmund earlier in the season.
Moving on to his assessment of the match, the manager added: “It’s simple: we missed too many chances. And once you’ve taken the lead after 83 minutes, you have to protect it to the end.”
Indeed, Bayern missed too many chances, including Arjen Robben’s unsuccessful penalty early in the extra time and a denied spot-kick each from Bastian Schweinsteiger and the departing Ivica Olic.
Thomas Muller, who had given Bayern the lead on their own turf in the 83rd minute, admitted being devastated but was also philosophical enough to plan for what lies ahead.
The Germany international stated: “I couldn’t close my eyes. I still can’t believe we didn’t win. So bitter! Football can be cruel!”
He then conceded: “That is football, we have seen it in the past. It is not always the better team that have the cup in the end.
“When you score in front of your own fans so close to the end and then you watch Chelsea holding the cup, you can see that a lot has happened. It is hard to find words for that, but football is not everything.”
Club president Uli Hoeness summed it up nicely, admitting that his side was ultimately humbled this season despite performing well for the most part. This experience places the Bavarian side on par with the 2002 Bayer ‘Neverkusen’ team but Hoeness remains proud nonetheless.
“I’m really sorry for the team, who basically had a magnificent Champions League season. The players are totally down,” he concluded.