Bayern, Chelsea gear up for grudge match
Champions League winners Bayern Munich and Europa League holders Chelsea meet in the European Super Cup today with the usually relaxed atmosphere surrounding the match spiced up as there are several scores to be settled.Updated: Aug 30, 2013 13:19 IST
Champions League winners Bayern Munich and Europa League holders Chelsea meet in the European Super Cup on Friday with the usually relaxed atmosphere surrounding the match spiced up as there are several scores to be settled.
Bayern still feel they should have won the Champions League a year earlier only to be beaten by Chelsea on penalties -- even worse for the Germans was it came at their stadium, the Allianz Arena.
Chelsea’s manager at the time Roberto di Matteo is no longer there — he was sacked only a few months later and his replacement Rafael Benitez salvaged something from the season in landing the Europa League.
The present incumbent Jose Mourinho — Benitez’ spell as caretaker manager ended at the end of last season — will be eager to put one over Bayern’s coach Pep Guardiola, his nemesis from his days in Spain.
Barcelona under Guardiola outshone Mourinho’s Real Madrid, and the latter’s largely unhappy reign there came to an end at the end of last season.
That left the self-anointed ‘Special One’ needing to prove he has not lost his touch at delivering trophies, and where better to start than by beating his old rival in the process.
Guardiola for his part took a year out - stepping aside after Real ended Barcelona’s reign as champions in 2012 — and returned refreshed to take over a Bayern side that last season under Jupp Heynckes became the first German club to win the domestic double and the Champions League.
Guardiola, though, can deliver something that Bayern coaches have not managed and win the Super Cup after the club failed to do so on three previous occasions.
“It’s a unique chance for us players to win this trophy,” said Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
“It’s a final, and a match against the Europa League winners, and that’s Chelsea. We still have something to clear with them, and take revenge, so hopefully we can win in Prague.”
A win will give Chelsea their second Super Cup, with the club having previously won it in 1998.
First Published: Aug 30, 2013 00:33 IST