Can Rummenigge's rallying cry lift Bayern after night to forget in Berlin
22:00 GMT, 13 May 2012
22:00 GMT, 13 May 2012
The venue was neutral Berlin, rather than the Allianz Arena, but it must still have gladdened Roberto Di Matteo’s heart to see Bayern Munich torn apart before a 75,000 capacity crowd and nationwide television audience of millions in a one-sided German Cup final.
Home territory beckons for Saturday’s Champions’ League final, but Bayern may be in no fit state to take advantage after a 5-2 rout by Borussia Dortmund that left them in disarray.
Heynckes was expected to rest several key players for the Chelsea showdown but took a calculated gamble by fielding virtually a full-strength side.
Rallying cry: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge addressed his bruised and battered players after their humiliating defeat to Borussia Dortmund
They emerged injury-free, but morale took such a mauling that Bayern legend Karl-Heinz Rummenigge felt compelled to act at a post-match banquet that was described by one onlooker as being 'like a funeral'.
Looking at one downcast face after another at the tables ranged before him, the Bayern chairman climbed to his feet and said: 'It is important now to remember you have the chance to redeem yourselves next weekend.
'Whatever you do, you must not underestimate Chelsea. Their season depends on this result, and they have shown they can rise to the most difficult of challenges. You must expect the Chelsea players to produce the best performance of their lives.
'But this is your moment. It is your destiny to be remembered for the events of next Saturday, not tonight. This is a unique opportunity to make history by winning the Champions' League trophy at our stadium. I ask you kindly to take it. In fact, I demand you do.'
Down and out: Bayern were beaten 5-2 in the German Cup Final in Berlin
The enthusiastic applause that greeted Rummenigge's stirring address suggested Heynckes' chastened players may, after all, be ready to banish the memory of being shown up by hat-trick marksman Robert Lewandowski’s finishing and Manchester United target Shinji Kagawa’s prompting from central midfield.
Di Matteo will still be encouraged by the way recently-crowned Bundesliga champions Dortmund were given a helping hand as early as the third minute, as a series of defensive lapses allowed Kagawa to force home the opening goal.
Few Bayern players emerged with any credit from an error-strewn performance, but there was at least some evidence of the qualities needed against Chelsea as they levelled from the spot in the 23rd minute.
Bastian Scheinsteiger sent Mario Gomez clear with a slide-rule pass, and when Roman Weidenfeller sent the Bayern striker sprawling, a test of nerve awaited Arjen Robben.
Weidenfeller saved a Robben penalty in a 1-0 Dortmund win that sealed the title at Bayern’s expense only three weeks earlier, but there was no trace of uncertainty or hesitation from the former Chelsea winger as he calmly sent the keeper the wrong way.
Fire them up: Dortmund's total dominance will have affected Munich's morale
It will hardly help Petr Cech’s Munich preparations that Robben’s last two spot-kicks against Dortmund have been to the keeper’s left, while his sidefooted effort against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu just squeezed past Iker Casillas’ outstretched right hand.
The sight of Weidenfeller giving way to rookie Australian keeper Mitch Langerak in the 34th minute, after a hefty collision with Gomez, might have filled Bayern with renewed hope. It was soon undone by more defensive frailty, though, as a clumsy foul by Jerome Boateng gave Mats Hummels the chance to restore Dortmund’s lead with a 40th-minute penalty.
Kagawa set up Lewandowski with a clever reverse pass in the 45th minute and had Bayern chasing shadows in the 58th minute, as he led a lightning counter-attack that ended with Dortmund’s big Poland marksman firing past an unprotected Neuer.
Hat-trick hero: Robert Lewandowski
Little had been seen of Franck Ribery, but Di Matteo will be mindful of what he can produce, even on an off day, as he brilliantly engineered a yard of space on the edge of the area and whipped a low left-foot shot into the far corner.
Neuer inexplicably let the ball slip, though, after having it in his grasp, to gift Lewandowski his hat-trick goal, and while the Dortmund celebrations began, there was only frustration and recrimination for Bayern.
Schweinsteiger might have had a second yellow card from a less lenient referee, after an impetuous foul on Lewandowski, while Boateng apologised in the dressing room for stalling a possible Bayern recovery with his costly error.
Di Matteo will have taken it all in, and may also have noted that Dortmund have now reeled off five straight wins against Bayern.
Their dominance is at least partly down to restricting the service to danger man Gomez. The ploy worked once more, and Bayern’s players duly trudged off, looking defeated and deflated.
Chelsea beware, though. Rummenigge’s rallying cry may just have picked them up off the floor.