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Bobby McMahon

Bobby McMahon

You can see me on Soccer Central most Mondays and Thursdays on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada. I write a regular column for and and frequently guest on various podcasts and radio shows.


Bayern Munich v Chelsea Champions League Final – Inside The Lines

Written by on May 21, 2012 | 8 Comments »
Posted in UEFA Champions League

Here are some things that I felt stood out as I went over the statistics from the Bayern Munich versus Chelsea Champions League Final. Some are very obvious to anyone who watched the game, some others maybe not so much. If some of the images are overly small please click on the image and it open in another window and in a larger format.

Bayern Munich dominated the attempts on goal 43 to Chelsea’s 9. But less than half of Bayern’s attempts got past a Chelsea defender.

Chelsea conceded many more fouls – almost twice as many.

In a situation where a team finds it is under as much pressure as Chelsea it not unusual to find the defensive midfield players committing fouls as panic sets in. It was not the case with John Obi Mikel and Frank Lampard.In fact Mikel was called for a foul only twice and Lampard once. The Chelsea players that racked up the most fouls were Kalou and Luiz.

Mueller was taken out of the game just after he gave Bayern the lead. Mata, surprisingly, went the full 120 minutes. Nominally both played behind the strikers but Mueller could be found more often than not on the right side while Mata operated on a longer leash.

First half

Second half

The impression from watching the match was that Mueller was by far the more involved of the two but the passing statistics at least would seem to show otherwise.

Arjen Robben’s part in the Final will be debated long and hard by Bayern supporters and neutral supporters.


 In total 15 attempts on goal and only 5 made Petr Cech work.

Fernando Torres came on as a substitute for Kalou as soon as Bayern Munich took the lead. His willingness to chase and work the Bayern Munich defence during extra time offered the Chelsea defence some much needed breathing room. I felt his contribution – as limited as it was to 36 minutes – has been undervalued.

And finally to the two main strikers Mario Gomez and Didier Drogba.

Dashboard – Yellow X – successful tackle; Purple X – Failed tackle; Green diamond – interception; Purple I – Block; Orange o – Successful clearance; Purple o – Failed clearance; Orange inverted v – successful aerial dual; Purple inverted v – failed aerial dual; Blue arrow – Successful pass; Red arrow – Failed pass


While Gomez started strongly in the first 45 minutes he drifted out of the game over the next 75 minutes + added time. Drogba was much more consistent throughout the entire match – including of the course the last crucial penalty kick.

If there are any stats you might like to see illustrated just include under the comments section and I will do my best to add another post during the week.

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8 responses to “Bayern Munich v Chelsea Champions League Final – Inside The Lines”

  1. Jack says:

    I thought a key choice was to bring Schweinsteiger back into the defense to deal with balls from Cech and goal kicks against Drogba. He defense was instrumental in reducing early threats against the central defense, but how much did the extra work take out of him and how much did it limit his overall offensive contribution? Is this why Gomez disappeared – a lack of service from the midfield?

    The removal of Muller proved fatal, in my opinion, but Schweinsteiger’s defensive heavy responsibilities were a bleeding wound for much of the match.

  2. AC Gentos says:

    I liked the way of looking of these stats. However, let’s just say that catenaccio won over Attacking minded beautiful football once more like in 2010 semi of Barca vs Inter. Since 2008 (dominant at the time) balanced style of football final the score is: Attacking football 2 – Catenaccio 2. Thanks a lot Mourinho for screwing beautiful Chelsea up in just 2 years back in 04-05, thanks a lot for creating such monsters to halt the beautiful style minded playing teams! Keep turning Madrid into your next monster, although you know that as soon as you get that CL title you will be sacked immediately as they will go back to where they belong. And lastly, Abramovic& Berlusconi and co. : please invest in beautiful style. You don’t need another title like this. God I missed Zola’s Chelsea or Henry’s Arsenal. Thank you Barca!

  3. Ed Gomes says:

    I love how Mourinho gets blamed for playing, or should I say winning ugly.
    People tend to forget that Inter were very aggressive vs Barca in the 1st leg. It was Busquets with his dive and acting that killed the 2nd leg.

    By the way Real scored a ton of goals this season. They were in attack mode all year, and if anything they lacked a solid organized defense.

  4. Joao says:

    Thank you Ed for pointing out to Ac gentle that Mou is not strictly a defensive manager. As a manager I have been enthralled by the beautiful football we play. I honestly consider Barca’s tiki-taka more negative than parking the bus. You are withholding possession in a cowardly way to hide your defiencies as a defense. A truly entertaining team would allow the opponents the ability to attack them. The Barca’s team in 2008-09 was the best because they scored more and allowed opponents to attack them, to me this was the most entertaining team to watch during that season. However as they became more concerned with hiding their weakness they used possession to prevent attacks. As a result they scored less and became a boring side at least in my opinion. Chelsea deserved to win the Champions League as they were tough, resilient, and opppurunistic. They took their best chance and Bayern could not find the killer blow. Congrats Chelsea.

  5. Joao says:

    I meant Madrid fan in the second sentence.

  6. Gbenga says:


    Great analysis… I am a big Bayern fan and still can’t believe how a team could dominate and not win a game like this, not that we haven’t seen that type of football being played before, but Bayern had a lot going for them and enough to win. I told a friend before the game, only two players would give Bayern problems, Didier Drogba and Petr Cech.

    Based on the personal they had going into the game, I felt Bayern had the upper hand and would find the game easy to deal with. I believe Bayern’s issue has a lot to do with mental than just playing football. Also Henyckes made the terrible decision in taking out Mueller and bringing on Van Buyten when they weren’t under any pressure at all. Why he made that sub, we will never know…

    This substitution was similar to the one Otmar Hitzfield made in Barcelona in 1999 against Man Utd, when he made the bad decision of taking out Mario Basler and Lothar Matthäus who had the game under control. It wasn’t until those two were taking out that Man Utd started coming forward and led to those two goals they scored late in the game. I saw the same thing again on Saturday. Very sad….

  7. AC Gentos says:

    @ Joao Sabrosa Pinto Quaresmola…whatever..The voice of reason himself (Bobby McMahon) has said that what Real is playing now its not in their chemistry, this type of football is what they played in their ’50s when they won 5 consecutive CL titles, pragmatic, efficient and even cynical. Scoring many goals doesn’t make them very enjoyable, remember Ronaldo may score almost scores as many goals as Messi but it’s the way of scoring of the latter that amazes the football fans. By the way Ronaldo its a great player in its own way, Mourinho its the best coach around as far as for motivating players, getting the results. However, for some teams like the likes of Milan, Bayern, Barca, Arsenal and Real the style is more important than the results. They have plenty of cups don’t they? The likes of Inter Milan and Chelsea needed a CL title before thinking of which way they get it. And Real hired Mou just to stop Barca for now and I am pretty sure Real will be much more enjoyable to watch when Mou leaves with the young talents they have.

  8. John Bladen says:


    Like Muller, Gomez’ finishing was very poor. That said, one of the few things I agree with the match commentators on was the fact that Ribery & Robben’s ball hogging (and wayward shooting) ways left the big forward more or less out of the game after the first half an hour (or thereabouts). I imagine it is particularly galling to BM fans that Robben kept (and wasted) practically every chance he had during the 120m, then felt himself unable to contribute in the PKs. He’s a great player, but someone who does that really needs to go away.

    As Jack suggested above, keeping Schweinsteiger back to help the defense exacerbated the Gomez “feed” problem. I wonder a bit about that tactical decision given that Chelsea was essentially unable to string 3 passes together in the first half. Would you have moved him up? Or was it the fact that he played back that kept Chelsea off balance (not from what I saw, but…)?

    Still, one can’t say Munich didn’t create chances. They certainly created more than enough “good” scoring opportunities against a stout Chelsea defense to have earned at least a couple of regulation time goals. That they scored only one (and that a fortunate bounce) is down as much to Bayern’s very poor finishing as to Chelsea’s very good defense. They pressured Bayern’s attackers relentlessly and barring a half dozen ill considered Luiz ‘defenses’ and the stupid Drogba PK, really didn’t give up any mistakes.

    I know it will sound like I’m glossing over a very good Chelsea defensive performance, but I really put this title down more to Bayern’s failure to take the decent chances they created. I don’t think even the most ardent Chelsea fan could claim they outplayed their opponent in this one…

    Muller v Mata graphic was very interesting. Didn’t notice that in game…

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