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Bayern snatches Super Cup from Chelsea
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 01 - 09 - 2013

PRAGUE — Bayern Munich gained some revenge for the 2012 Champions League final defeat by Chelsea when it beat the Premier League club 5-4 on penalties after a thrilling UEFA Super Cup ended 2-2 at the end of extra-time Friday.
The first nine penalties were all scored before Chelsea substitute Romelu Lukaku had a tame effort saved by keeper Manuel Neuer to give the Champions League winners victory over the Europa League holders.
Earlier, Fernando Torres put the Londoners ahead with a sublime first-time finish from a cross by Andre Schuerrle in the eighth minute and Franck Ribery equalized with a 25-meter drive that eluded a diving Petr Cech in the 47th.
Chelsea had Brazil midfielder Ramires sent off in the 85th minute for a second bookable offense but Jose Mourinho's 10 men went back in front three minutes into extra-time.
Eden Hazard picked the ball up on the left flank and cut inside two defenders to unleash a venomous right-foot strike that went straight through Neuer's hands.
Pep Guardiola's Bayern continued to dominate possession, much like they did under Jupp Heynckes in the Champions League final 15 months ago, but were thwarted by an outstanding performance from Cech who pulled off a string of fine saves.
It seemed as though Chelsea, which also looked dangerous on the counter attack, would hold on for victory until substitute Javi Martinez dramatically leveled for Bayern from close range with the last kick of extra-time.
“They take the cup but the best team lost,” coach Mourinho told Sky Sports.
“For me we were by far the best team. Bayern had 15 minutes in the second half which they dominated but even with 10 men we played fantastically.”
The game began with Bayern on the front foot and it came as a surprise when the recalled Torres found the top corner of the net after good work by Schuerrle and Hazard.
Cech had to make a fingertip save to deny Bayern dangerman Ribery in the 22nd minute but the France winger eventually broke through two minutes into the second half with a shot that the Chelsea keeper could have stopped.
Bayern looked the classier team although Chelsea almost went back in front when defender Dante slipped in the penalty area. Schuerrle pounced on the loose ball and released Oscar who missed a golden opportunity with the goal gaping.
Chelsea went close again when Branislav Ivanovic headed against the crossbar and David Luiz forced a smart low save from Neuer.
Ramires was shown a red card for a reckless challenge on substitute Mario Goetze before Belgium winger Hazard put Chelsea back into the lead.
Bayern laid siege to the opposition goal for most of extra-time and Chelsea needed Cech, playing in his native country, to pull off save after save to deny the Bavarians an equalizer.
The Czech Republic international, however, was powerless to stop Javi Martinez when the ball deflected into his path six meters out just seconds before the final whistle.— Reuters


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