The final of the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League, the world’s biggest and most watched club football competition, takes center stage this Saturday night. Chelsea who have never won the competition travel to the Allianz Arena in Munich to face hosts Bayern Munich who have home advantage and will be looking to secure their fifth title.
Here, we take a look at how the Germans got to the finals of Europe’s premier club football competition.
Group Stages – The 4-time Champions League winners were drawn in the group of death which also had English debutants Manchester City, Italian side Napoli and Spain’s Villarreal.
Villarreal 0-2 Bayern Munich, September 14 2011
The Bavarian’s first match of the season saw them make the trip to Estadio El Madrigal to face Spanish outfit Villarreal. Toni Kroos gave the Germans a dream start with a goal just 7 minutes into the match and Brazilian right-back Rafinha struck 14 minutes from time to give Bayern a comfortable 2-0 win.
Bayern Munich 2-0 Manchester City, September 27 2011
Bayern used their experience at the European stage to sweep City aside with Mario Gomez hitting a brace just before half time to give Bayern two wins from two.
Napoli 1-1 Bayern Munich, October 18 2011
A win for Bayern would have all but confirmed their entry into the last 16 and it looked like they would get it after Toni Kroos scored his second goal in the competition with just 2 minutes on the clock. However, Holger Badstuber scored an own goal 6 minutes before the interval and with no goals scored in the second half, the match ended 1-1.
Bayern Munich 3-2 Napoli, November 2 2011
The Bavarians were on a roll in the first half with Mario Gomez hitting a superb hat-trick but resurgent Napoli put some face in the result with Federico Hernandez scoring a brace as the game ended 3-2. Bayern booked their place in the knockout stages with the win.
Bayern Munich 3-1 Chelsea, November 22 2011
Frank Ribery was the star as he scored a brace to ensure the Germans maintained their 100% win record at their own backyard. Jonathan De Guzman had pulled a goal back for the Yellow Submarines after Ribery had put Bayern ahead and Mario Gomez doubled the lead but Ribery capped an impressive performance with a 69th minute strike that confirmed Jupp Heyneck’s side as group winners.
Manchester City 2-0 Bayern Munich, December 7 2011
Having secured their qualification into the last 16, the match was a mere formality for Bayern but City needed to win and hope that Villarreal beat Napoli. David Silva and Yaya Toure both got on the scoresheet for the Citizens to hand Bayern their first defeat in the competition but Napoli’s 2-0 win over Villarreal ensured that they finished second behind Munich as City dropped to the Europa League.
Round of 16 – Bayern’s top-spot finish booked them a date with surprise Group C runners-up Basel.
Basel 1-0 Bayern Munich, February 22 2012
Bayern looked like they would also fall victim to Swiss outfit Basel who had conquered Manchester United in the group stages. Valentin Stocker scored the only goal at the St. Jakob-Park stadium as Bayern suffered a shock defeat heading into the second leg.
Bayern Munich 7-0 Basel, March 13 2012
Mario Gomez scored a quartet or goals as the Bavarians ran rampant against FC Basel. Dutch winger Arjen Robben opened the scoring after 11 minutes, Thomas Muller doubled their lead three minutes before the interval before Gomez took over the show scoring four goals in quick succession. Robben completed the rout with his second and Bayern’s 7th as the Bavarians fired the perfect warning shot to its opponents.
Quarter-Final - Chelsea were drawn against Olympique Marseille
Marseille 0-2 Bayern Munich, March 28 2012
Bayern travelled to the Stade Velodrome in Marseille for their first leg quarterfinal encounter and left two goals to the good with Mario Gomez and Arjen Robben on target.
Bayern Munich 2-0 Marseille, April 3 2012
The 22-time Bundesliga champions easily completed the job with Croat Ivica Olic scoring a brace in the first half to ensure an easy sail into the semis with a 4-0 aggregate win.
Bayern Munich 2-1 Real Madrid, April 17 2012
Mario Gomez scored his 12th goal in the competition to give Bayern a 2-1 win heading into the second leg at Estadio Bernabeu. Frank Ribery put Bayern ahead with a low shot just after the quarter-hour mark but Mesut Ozil scored a priceless away goal for Madrid in the 53rd minute but Gomez ensured that Bayern held a slim advantage heading into the second leg.
Real Madrid 2-1 Bayern Munich (1-3 on Penalties), April 25 2012
Cristiano Ronaldo’s quickfire goals in the 6th and 14th minute got Real Madrid fans at the Bernabeu dreaming of the finals but Arjen Robben struck a penalty midway into the first half to set up an eventful finish to the game. With the match ending 3-3 in normal time, it went into extra time. Nothing could separate the two European giants in extra time either so came the penalties. Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Sergio Ramos all missed their spot kicks while Alaba, Gomez and Bastian Schweinstieger converted for Bayern as they booked their spot in the finals with a 3-1 win.
Bayern Munich v Chelsea, Saturday May 19 2012 at Allianz Arena in Munich
Bayern Munich will miss the services of suspended trio Holger Badstuber, 19-year-old Austria international David Alaba and Luiz Gustavo.
And That's thestifmastrtake!!