Bayern Munich took on RB Leipzig in the final of the 2018/19 German Cup on Saturday evening and secured its 19th national cup trophy by winning 3-0, to go along with their 29th Bundesliga title that the Bavarians took a week earlier.
The match was not nearly as easy as the somewhat lopsided score line would suggest. Two fantastic goals by Robert Lewandowski and a no less amazing strike by Kingsley Coman, sandwiched in between them received most of the headlines.
Yet, perhaps the greatest hero of the game was goalkeeper Manuel Neuer who had played for the first time since his latest injury about a month ago. He made several crucial saves, largely at the beginning of each half, when Leipzig pushed for a goal the most. The scores then had been 0-0 and 1-0 respectively.
The outcome of the cup final could, and likely would have been very different, had Neuer not made those saves.
As it turned out, the golden German Cup trophy made its way to Munich yet again. Though the Bavarians had not won it since 2016. The architect of last season’s defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt was the same man as the architect of last Saturday’s triumph, coach Niko Kovač.
This season was the first for him as Bayern Munich coach. As difficult and troublesome as it was for him, the national double which he and his team ultimately achieved is certainly nothing to scoff at.
He made tactical mistakes in the Champions League encounters with Liverpool FC, which no one can deny. However, in the meantime, we have seen that Liverpool is one of, if not the best team in the world.
It is quite likely that the Reds from Anfield would have torn apart those from Bavaria in even worse ways, had the latter played a more positive style.
In any case, the coaching staff deserves plenty of praise for the success this season. To put the cherry on top of it, the Bayern Munich Reserves have come back from 4-1 on aggregate down to the VfL Wolfsburg to win promotion to the Third Division on Sunday.