Monday, April 16, 2012

The final opposed old foxes of Bayern to the ‘newcomers’ St. Etienne. Unquestionably, it was a triumph of French football – the country did not reach European finals since Reims in the late 1950s. The opponents new well enough each other, though, for they met at earlier round for the same cup one year before. Back then Bayern won quite easily, but now many saw St. Etienne the better team. The squads were the same really, but Bayern was aging and had terrible domestic season. Looked like the days of Beckenbauer & Co were over. The French were much younger and at the top of their form, reaching their maturity as a team. Bayern added nothing new to their game, but the French improved – adding physicality and stamina. They had the edge. Both clubs had problems with injured players, but Kramer decided to field his injured man; Herbin was unable to use Farison and left Rocheteau on the bench. Hoeness was out of form and young Rummenigge was considered inexperienced for match of this scale, so St. Etienne, having bigger choice of players, was still in better position. The match started sluggishly – it was immediately clear that Bayern aimed to slow down the tempo and concentrate the battle in midfield. St. Etienne tried to play, the Germans tried to destroy the French efforts. Eventually the game became better, but only thanks to St. Etienne – the Germans were largely defending.
Muller attacking? On standstill photo – yes.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge may be scoring with this header? Pictures are deceiving – Bayern was rarely in attack.
St. Etienne was clearly the better team and the more entertaining, but it was not enough. In the second half it became painfully clear that will shall decide the game. Came the fatal 57th minute… Beckenbauer took a free kick and passed the ball to Roth, who mightily kicked the ball and it ended behind Curkovic. 1-0 for Bayern.
Franz Roth shoots and scores.
Then the goalscorer became invisible… among celebrating teammates.
St. Etienne attacked to the end, but nothing changed. At the end Rocheteau came out to help… Lady Luck denied the French as well – two shoots bounced at the goalposts. Will won, for Roth’s goal was hardly normal goal, but rather an expression of willpower. Bayerm failed to please, but ended winning.
Final, Hampden Park, Glasgow, 12 May 1976, att 54864
Bayern München (0) 1 AS Saint-Etienne (0) 0
57' 1-0 BM: Roth
Bayern München (trainer Cramer):Maier; Hansen, Schwarzenbeck, Beckenbauer, Horsmann; Roth, Dürnberger,Kapellmann, K.H.Rummenigge; Müller, Hoeness
AS Saint-Etienne:Curkovic; Repellini, Piazza, Lopez, Janvion; Bathenay, Santini, Larque;P.Revelli, H.Revelli, Sarramagna (Rocheteau)
Referee: Palotai (Hungary)
Hoeness and Hansen making their round of triumph. Don’t look happy, but never mind.
St. Etienne, worthy finalists and crowd pleasers. This is not the the line of the final, but from the ½ finals against PSV Eindhoven, but the essential players of perhaps the finest St. Etienne ever are these. Almost conquering Europe, but, sadly, almost… Just like Leeds United, St. Etienne was unable to establish itself as truly great club. Lucky, unlucky, doesn’t matter – they lost their best opportunity.
Bayern with three European Champion Cups. Trophies were common thing by now to this squad. Which also became so familiar to everybody, that it was – and is – to find unusual photos. Unlike Ajax, bayern were not undisputed champions – and in 1976 they had fewer friends: St. Etienne were the ‘moral winners’. Yet, the real ones were West Greman and they were the sad winds of the future – gritty, physically strong, never giving up, without a spark or buty, they simply trampled pitch and opponents. Ajax did not played always great, but were always in control of the tempo, adjusting their tactics to the needs at hand, but the artistic touch was always present. In sharp contrast Bayern were dull – if the replay in 1974 is discounted, they did not dominate in any of their three successful finals. They just fought stubbornly and used the tinyest of opportunities. Their megastars did not shine – instead, the real heroes of the European finals were Schwarzenbeck, Hansen, Durnberger, Roth, the ‘woking horses’. Especially Franz Roth – the unassuming midfielder, whose prime function was to stifle opposition in the centre of the pitch, scored three goals in three finals – the winning goal in Cup Winners Cup 1967 final; the first goal against Leeds in 1975 and the sole German goal in 1976. Important goals all – but coming from unlikely player. Add the last minute equalizer scored by Schwarzenbeck in 1974… The football of the 1980s was sadly shaped by the greatest Bayern team – what they did from joyful total football was something boring and centred on midfield battles. Winning, though. The machine still worked, which was good for Dettmar Kramer.
A few months back, in 1975, he was photographed posing as Napoleon. A lot of fun was made of this picture, for Bayern lost miserably the European Supercup – Waterloo, indeed. But Kramer defended the conquering image by winning the third consecutive European Champions Cup, and even rubbed French nose for good measure.