Bayern Munich should be playing for their second straight UEFA Champions League title. Last year's shocking loss to Chelsea in a match played in Bayern's home stadium has been a driving force behind the team all season. Tomorrow against Borussia Dortmund, they'll finally get a chance at erasing the memories from last May.
Before the final kicks off though, let's look back at how Bayern arrived at Wembley Stadium for a shot at redemption.
Bayern qualified for this season's Champions League after finishing second in the Bundesliga last season and earning an automatic place in the group stages. Last August they were drawn into Group F along with Valencia, BATE Borisov and Lille. It was a group they were expected to dominate and while they won the group via a tiebreaker over Valencia, it was never in doubt that Bayern would advance into the knockout rounds despite never looking overly impressive.
After a 2-1 victory over Valencia in the opening round of the group stages, Bayern slipped up against BATE Borisov, losing 3-1 to the Belarusian club. After a fairly unimpressive 1-0 win over Lille, Bayern smashed Lille in the return match 6-1. A drawn against Valencia led to some final day drama about who would win the group but a 4-1 smashing of BATE secured the top spot for the Germans.
Bayern were matched up against Arsenal in the Round of 16 and advanced despite looking shaky in the first leg and losing the second leg at home. Bayern won the opener at the Emirates 3-1 but never looked great despite the lopsided scoreline. The second leg was abysmal as Arsenal scored twice for the 2-0 win as Bayern held on to advance on away goals.
The struggles in the second leg against Arsenal served as a wake up call for Jupp Heynckes's side and they cranked things up for the next two rounds.
The Germans dismantled Juventus on the quarterfinals earning 2-0 wins ib both legs of the tie and cruising into an anticipated semifinal match-up against Barcelona. Unfortunately for neutrals, the tie was a lopsided affar as Bayern ran circles around Barcelona and embarrassed the Catalan giants 7-0 on aggregate.
The only negative that came out of the semifinal rout was the loss of Toni Kroos to a muscle tear that has seemingly ended the midfielder's season.