Bayern "very, very proud" of season despite final defeat
"It wasn't meant to be today. I can't blame my players at all." That was Jupp Heynckes' short and sweet analysis of the DFB Cup final defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt. Bayern tried everything in the 3-1 loss, but the ball just would not go in. With 22-8 shots, 77 per cent possession and winning 56 per cent of challenges, all the stats spoke for another FCB title at the Olympiastadion in Berlin. But the Bavarians just failed to convert their chances.
Frankfurt, on the other hand, fought passionately and were clinical in taking theirs. "I'd like to congratulate Eintracht Frankfurt. For me, they deserved to win today," said a respectful chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. "Frankfurt did really well. They played the game they could. They tried to disrupt us and to counter, which they did really well," added sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.
Self-criticism from Bayern
Nevertheless, it was an "unnecessary defeat" according to Heynckes with the numerous chances that fell the record champions' way. Much like in the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid, the ball simply did not want to go in. "We were just missing the final inch we needed. The ball twice came down off the crossbar but bounced out," said an aggrieved Thomas Müller. No team had previously struck the woodwork twice in a DFB Cup final since detailed data collection began.
At the other end, both goals from Ante Rebic came out of FCB errors. Even Robert Lewandowski's equaliser early in the second half failed to turn the game around. Mijat Gacinovic added a third late in injury time with all Bayern players in the Frankfurt half. "It was a combination of our own mistakes and a lack of luck," summarised Müller after Bayern were denied a penalty in injury time with the score at 2-1.
However, no one wanted to detract from the performances in recent months. With a sixth Bundesliga title in succession, a place in the Champions League semi-final and the final of the DFB Cup, Bayern have had a "really, really good season" according to Salihamidzic. "I'd like to thank you guys for a good season, which today was unfortunately tinged with a defeat that none of you deserved," Rummenigge added in summary of the campaign.
For that, the Bayern players and staff are still able to see out the season with a small celebration and some drinks. They did something great this year, but it doesn't always work out.