A good day for Germans all round today, well except for Dortmund obviously. Jürgen Klopp did not get to walk off into the sunset with a Pokal winners medal around his neck, he didn’t get his fairy tale ending. Wolfsburg however got to end their season with a fitting tribute to Junior Malanda who died in a road traffic accident during the winter break. The Wolfsburg players wore special shirts with no. 19 on them in honour of his memory. They beat Dortmund 3-1 to win their first ever DFB Pokal.
Video of all the goals:
Elsewhere in the world there were three other Germans who were victorious with their clubs today. In England Per Mertesacker and Mesut Özil were victorious in today’s FA Cup final with Arsenal beating Aston Villa 4-0, Mertesacker getting the third goal in the 62nd minute. In Spain Marc-Andre Ter Stegen played as Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao 3-1 in the Copa del Ray final.
Dortmund can have no complaints, they came out with all guns blazing and took the early lead with an Aubameyang goal but after the first 20 minutes they just disappeared. Wolfsburg were by far the better side and it showed, the defensive difficulties and errors that have plagued Dortmund all season once again making their presence felt here. A problem that was made worse by the decision to leave Sven Bender on the bench, instead Sebastian Kehl getting to start ahead of him in his final ever game for the club. Pragmatism should have triumphed over emotion there. Dortmund may feel that everything went against them with a few decisions that maybe should have gone their way, including a couple of penalty calls but truth is Wolfsburg simply got the better of them. They made the most of their chances and were organized better in terms of their defence. Today was a fair representation of how Dortmund’s season went, they just didn’t do enough.
Who knows, if Marco Reus hadn’t missed when he did, maybe they could have got back in the game. Another interesting choice for Dortmund was Langerak starting ahead of Weidenfeller, an interesting choice but not necessarily the wrong one. Langerak has gotten more playing time this season, I have to admit there were a few moments where I pictured Weidenfeller in goal but not in a good way, I pictured how he would have got it wrong, he hasn’t had the best of seasons after all. But then again, he’s not the one who conceded the fastest goal in Bundesliga history, Langerak did that on the opening day of the season against Leverkusen, nine seconds it took them to score.
I’m disappointed personally, I wanted Wolfsburg to lose simply because they were the ones who knocked Freiburg out of the competition. Still the day did as promised provide plenty of excitement, the game was fun to watch, Jogi was at the game along with Hansi and I have video of not only that but the post match interview with him and thus my decision to watch it on Sky instead of ARD is vindicated. To round things off, seeing them at the game gave me an idea for the next chapter of Jogi’s adventures.
2. Bundesliga Count-down – 54 days to go.
Another good thing that the weekend served up was getting the SC Freiburg badge and Jonathan Schmid in Friday’s lot of stickers. Thanks to getting Marc-Oliver Kempf today, that means I only have one more Freiburger to get and the page will be complete, Oliver Sorg is the last man standing. I had hoped that Freiburg would get to be the first page I completed, that honour goes to Eintracht Frankfurt instead. I’m not too unhappy with that, they are after all one of Jogi’s teams and I quite like them in their own right. Today was my last lot of stickers, the final fourteen packets, I like that they started and ended with Hansi, the first sticker was a Hoffenheim player and the last sticker was the Bayern badge. However the painful irony of having fourteen packets left is not lost on me, 14th being the position Freiburg were in going in to the final day of the season. I was going to post my favourites here but I figure they’d be better off in another post, seeing as how there’s enough pictures with the ones from today’s game.