The British media devoted page after page of reactions to Manchester United’s elimination from the Champions League following the late comeback by Bayern Munich at Old Trafford on Wednesday night. As expected, the German media also provided a huge amount of coverage to what one newspaper described as a “little footballing miracle” while lavishing praise on Dutch manager Louis van Gaal and his team. Here is a small taste of it.
Dream Goal rescues Bayern – Sportbild describes how “will, morality and Arjen Robben” triumphed to send Bayern Munich into the semi-finals, where they will face Lyon. The articles describes the night’s events as a “little footballing miracle” conjured by a “stroke of genius” from Franck Ribéry.
They were “sly” mind games from Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, it continues, after he named Wayne Rooney in the starting line up. Falling 3-0 behind, the Germans endured “quite a sleepy” 40 minutes before coming to life.
The “turbo dribbling” Arjen Robben scored the crucial goal that sealed the match, capping a “magical evening” that had begun with disaster.
Robben shoots Bayern into semis – Kicker labels this Bayern performance as “their greatest” in Europe since they last won the trophy in 2001. It is suggested that the naming of Rooney up front “paralyzed” the Bundesliga leaders and left them looking like “extras in a bad movie”.
The critical take on Bayern’s first half performance continues with poor man marking and an inaccurate passing game just two flaws in a “lengthy list of shortcomings”. The turning points are cited as Rafael’s sending off and Robben’s “superb” goal which secured their passage.
Bayern reach Champions League semis – Raphael Honigstein says Arjen Robben is “a man for the big moments”. Honigstein, in his piece for Der Tagesspiegel equates the early 3-0 deficit at the Theatre of Dreams to the resounding defeat Bayern suffered at the hands of Barcelona last season. Thus, with dark memories lcoming to light, it seemed the Germans might crumble at the hands of the English champions.
Has the British media provided a balanced coverage of United’s elimination?