Created on 05-12-2010 at 00:00 AM
There was no debate as to the man of the match at the Schalke Arena on Saturday. Unfortunately, he was in goal for Bayern’s opponents. Manuel Neuer defied the double winners with superb saves from Bastian Schweinsteiger (22nd minute), Toni Kroos (34, 38, 54) and Mario Gomez (90), earning the label “world class” from footballing luminaries Franz Beckenbauer and Felix Magath. And almost inevitably, the Schalke shot-stopper also enjoyed his share of the luck on offer, as Schweinsteiger smacked a 39th-minute shot against the bar, and Gomez and Franck Ribéry both declined golden opportunities towards the end of the first 45 minutes.
“We should have been two or even three-nil up by half-time,” lamented Mark van Bommel. “If we’d taken the lead, we’d have gone on and won comfortably,” stated Philipp Lahm. However, goals are what counts, and at the final whistle, Schalke had scored two to Bayern’s none. “That's an unbelievable defeat,” raged Louis van Gaal, “we were the better team, we created all sorts of chances, clear-cut chances too, but we didn’t score. I’m very disappointed.”