When the final whistle blew, there was little question that Inter Milan were truly the champions of Europe. They controlled the pace of the game, had the better of the chances, and despite not dominating possession, tore the Munich back line apart on the counter-attack. Eto’o, despite not bagging a Champions League Final goal, looked dangerous, and surely helped free up his strike-mate Diego Milito for his somewhat historic brace. Really, the entire Inter side was phenomenal today. The defense did not budge, the midfield made it difficult for Bayern to do anything with their possession, and the attack, though not plentiful as far as possession, made fine work of a good defense. Inter are deserving champions
Man of the Match- Diego Milito
This is a no-brainer, but I figured I should write it anyway. His brace was obviously impressive, but its timing was even better. His first, in the 34th minute, came just at a time when Inter needed to seize momentum and prove to Bayernr that their possession would not guarantee them victory. The second in the 70th minute really sealed it up. He is one of very few men to net a brace in a Champions League Final, and although it has not been an ideal campaign, but this surely makes up for it. A great personal achievement for Milito, to be sure.
No matter who won today, we would have our 7th treble winner in history, and Inter came out on top. They did not do any of the three with particular dominance, but after edging AS Roma in Serie A, and beating AS Roma in the Coppa Italia, Inter took their phenomenal skill out on Bayern Munich this time in claiming the third leg of the historic treble. It happened last year with Barcelona, but we should really appreciate this achievement for how impressive it is. This is the 7th time in history that any team has done it, from the days of Manchester United dominance, to the galacticos of Real Madrid, to AC Milan’s dominance, it has only been done 7 times. Inter deserve as much credit as they can get their hands on for this achievement.
For me, the Inter Milan defense was stunning. I saw maybe four shots the entire game where Bayern was moving toward the goal when they got the shot off. Otherwise, they were forced left, right, and even backwards before having to try to get one past Julio Cesar. Bayern even managed to make one of those a venomous volley to the corner, but Cesar leapt to action, deflecting it wide. Arjen Robben, who had been on fire, really did not get much as Maicon, Lucio, Chivu, and Samuel really were superb today. On those rare occasions when Bayern did get a shot, Cesar was just more than Munich could handle. The Inter defense has been stiff all year, but today it really shined.
Mourinho and Money
Perhaps it is too early to wonder about if we have seen the last game of Mourinho at Inter, but it is a fair question. The final was at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu (home of Madrid), and if you think the locals will not do everything in their power to bring the charismatic, but controversial, coach make a move to Madrid, then you are crazy. We will certainly talk about this more and more as the summer moves on, but I certainly think Madrid will make a monster bid for the manager.and it will be too much to resist for Mourinho. It will be a great loss for Inter, but it cannot be said he left the trophy case empty.
No one can say Inter did not earn their title. They went through Chelsea, which was many people’s pick to win this year. They went through Barcelona, almost everyone else’s pick to win the Champions League. Finally, they went through the only team remaining, sending Bayern Munich to defeat and sending Inter to their well-earned spot atop European Football.