Champions League final talking points: Borussia Dortmund's failure, and where can Bayern Munich go from here?

Alex Livesey

Reactions from Bayern Munich's victory over Borussia Dortmund, and looking into what's next for both sides.

* We hear a lot said about the importance of trophies versus the more pragmatic, economic benefits that a winning team can bring, and although nobody would diminish the importance and glory of the Champions League, Saturday night was special in another way. Yes, trophies bring more glory than a fourth-place finish, but there is also a third tier of achievement — the trophy that stands as the jewel in the crown of a wider achievement, the construction of a great team. Just as 1999 capped off a decade of brilliance for Manchester United, to be followed in the next decade by similar glory for truly great teams at Milan and Barcelona, Bayern's victory tonight proved that this is truly their golden age.

More from our team sites: Bayern Munich blog Bavarian Football Works

* And yet, despite that, Bayern are in the odd position that their real era of glory is only supposed to be just beginning. Pep Guardiola takes over this summer amid rumours of free-spending activity in the transfer market, so it might be questioned just where they can possibly go from here. Defending the trophy might be a start, but the scary thought is that as impressive as this team is, their phenomenal achievements and consistency this season are above how good they actually are on the pitch. In other words: they're already at this level despite the fact they've left themselves a lot of room to improve. That is a frightening thought.

* Bastian Schweinsteiger's apparent injury during the warm-up provided a lot of concern for Bayern Munich fans, but opinion was divided as to how effective he was in that first half. With Bayern playing within themselves, Dortmund created a flurry of chances as their opponents simply couldn't impose themselves on the game. The question is, was Schweinsteiger responsible, failing to provide the drive in midfield necessary for Bayern to settle down? Alternatively, was he actually the smartest man to react, sensing that Dortmund were on top and dropping deep to prevent his side from going into half-time a goal or more down?

* It seemed after the two first-half misses that Arjen Robben would play his traditional role in big games — namely, missing chances. The pair of one-on-ones he squandered had more than just shades of the 2010 World Cup final, when he missed two very similar chances that resulted in a defeat for the Netherlands. Here, he ended up doing the reverse in the end, scoring the winner. Of course, Robben doing so in a big Champions League game at the crucial moment won't be a huge surprise to everyone — Manchester United fans certainly might have seen it coming.

* Due to Mario Gotze's absence, Dortmund were forced to play with more conventional wide players in Jakub Blaszczykowski and Kevin Grosskreutz. It wasn't ideal for BVB, but it certainly wasn't ideal for Bayern either, who really struggled down the flanks all game. Philipp Lahm was as solid as he is in every single game, but Jerome Boateng appeared completely unable to deal with it. Usually when Bayern take a rest, their midfield duo of Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez allow them to completely shut down any attack, but Dortmund's wide play bypassed them, and really should've given them a first-half lead.

* Then again, it's easy to see why Dortmund don't go for this option as a first choice. Grosskreutz can bring much to an otherwise excellent team with his industry, but combined with Blaszczykowski's mediocrity, it left BVB with a dearth of creativity and the quick-thinking required to really turn games of this magnitude. Due to Bayern's relative strengths and weaknesses mentioned above, it was actually felt in the more open periods of second half rather than when they were simply trying to break their opponents down. Twice a counter-attack broke down through Kuba's lack of imagination, when the likes of, well, Mario Gotze could've found the ball to continue the move towards a clear chance.

* Finally, a word on Dortmund's future. With one or two key players out of the door this summer and the race to replace them an uncertain one, even Jurgen Klopp's loyalty must be severely tested. With all the huge jobs that were on offer this summer, it's commendable that he's decided to stay, but he must be feeling that he needs to move on if he can truly create a dynasty. For the foreseeable future, the Bundesliga seems to be Bayern country.

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