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From Munich to Munich

Bayern’s route to the ‘Final at home’

It’s done and dusted. Bayern Munich have realised the dream of the Finale dahoam, the final at home. FCB will be the first club to play in a Champions League final at their own ground. But the route was anything but straightforward. First came the qualifying round and the Group of Death, then the knockout stage with the defeat away to FC Basel, and finally the semi-final thriller against Real Madrid. Bayern took 14 games to get from Munich to Munich with the climax of the penalty shoot-out at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid. retells the story of the journey to the Allianz Arena.

Bayern’s route to the final at home:

17 August 2011, qualifying round first leg: FCB 2 FC Zürich 0
FCB embarked on their ‘final at home’ mission with a game on their own patch - and produced an impressive display against the Swiss league runners-up. Bayern registered 21 shots at goal at the Allianz Arena with the visitors from Switzerland only clocking up three goalscoring efforts in response. Only the woodwork and Zürich keeper Johnny Leoni prevented a more convincing win for Bayern, who ran out deserved winners thanks to goals from Bastian Schweinsteiger (8) and Arjen Robben (72). Zürich went a man down in the last minute of the match when central defender Mathieu received his marching orders for a second bookable offence. “The result was OK but we should have won by a bigger margin,” declared Philipp Lahm.

23 August 2011, qualifying round second leg: FC Zürich 0 FCB 1
A lightning strike from Mario Gomez (7) at the Letzigrund Stadium destroyed the hosts’ lingering hopes of going through to the next round. Bayern controlled the game and could have won by more than one goal. “If you’re FC Bayern Munich and you’ve had so many successes on the European stage over the past 30 or 40 years, then it’s important to play in the Champions League rather than the Europa League,” declared Karl-Heinz Rummenigge after Bayern qualified for the group stage of the Champions League for the 15th time.

14 September 2011, Group A Matchday 1: FC Villarreal 0 FCB 2
First group match, first win and top of the table straightaway - FCB made a perfect start to the group stage at Villarreal. Another early goal (Toni Kroos on seven minutes) put Bayern in the driving seat and only the woodwork and Villarreal keeper Diego López enabled the hosts to keep out the second goal for so long at Estadio El Madrigal. Rafinha finally sealed the deal on 76 minutes. “That was a very, very good start,” said Gomez after the final whistle. Speaking at the post-match banquet, Rummenigge declared: “I hope we’re going on a long journey, and turn our dreams into reality in the end.”