Pep at ease with Bayern tenure

Bayern Munich's outgoing coach Pep Guardiola is comforted by Jerome Boateng after being overwhelmed with emotion following the German Cup final against Dortmund. The Bavarians overcame their fierce rivals to lift the cup, scant reward for missing out
Bayern Munich's outgoing coach Pep Guardiola is comforted by Jerome Boateng after being overwhelmed with emotion following the German Cup final against Dortmund. PHOTOS: REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Bayern Munich's outgoing coach Pep Guardiola is comforted by Jerome Boateng after being overwhelmed with emotion following the German Cup final against Dortmund. The Bavarians overcame their fierce rivals to lift the cup, scant reward for missing out
The Bavarians overcame their fierce rivals to lift the cup, scant reward for missing out on the Champions League.PHOTOS: REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

City-bound manager in tears after Cup final as he ends time in Germany on a high note

BERLIN • Pep Guardiola believes Bayern Munich are in good hands after watching his side beat Borussia Dortmund 4-3 on penalties to win the German Cup final in his final match in charge of the Bavarian giants.

"Now I can say it was the right decision to come and coach at an awesome club," said the Spaniard, who is heading to Premier League side Manchester City. "Bayern Munich will have a great future with these players and this mentality."

His men proved their mettle in the shoot-out after neither side were able to find the net in 120 minutes of football.

Douglas Costa beat Roman Buerki after Dortmund missed two penalties to give Bayern victory and provide Guardiola with a seventh and final title in Germany.

Guardiola hugged and kissed his players after the win in front of a roaring 74,000 crowd at the Olympic stadium, which softened the disappointment of Bayern's third consecutive Champions League semi-final exit under the Spaniard.

"I had to win, win, win from the start and had the support of many great people. I am satisfied to be leaving with such a game," he said.

It was also a farewell for Dortmund captain Mats Hummels, who will join Bayern next season, having now lost his third straight cup final.

"It is obviously bitter to come that close every time and fail," said the defender. "We fought a good battle and we are very disappointed. For me, my time at Dortmund was unforgettable and I will miss them all."

The meeting between Germany's top two sides lived up to the hype in terms of the intensity but chances were few and far between.

A drilled header that sailed narrowly wide from Thomas Mueller was Bayern's best opportunity while Dortmund had to wait 42 minutes for their first shot on target.

Bayern, who will be managed by Italian Carlo Ancelotti next term, upped the tempo after the break, using the speed of Franck Ribery and Costa on the wings to try to pierce the Dortmund defence. Thiago and Bundesliga top scorer Robert Lewandowski twice went close.

It was Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who missed the biggest chance, however, when he fired over the bar in the 85th minute with only 'keeper Manuel Neuer to beat.

After players from both sides ran out of steam and struggled with cramp in extra time, the Bavarians stayed focused in the shoot-out.

Sven Bender and Sokratis Papastathopoulos missed for Dortmund. Bayern youngster Joshua Kimmich had his penalty saved, but Brazilian Costa sealed the win.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2016, with the headline 'Pep at ease with Bayern tenure'. Print Edition | Subscribe