LIVERPOOL (AFP): Bayern Munich won the Club World Cup final in Qatar on Thursday as Benjamin Pavard’s second-half winner sealed a 1-0 victory over Mexico’s Tigres. Pavard’s close-range tap-in was enough to give European champions Bayern their sixth title within the last 12 months.
This is the eighth year in a row that the Champions League winners have gone on to win the Club World Cup, as Bayern follow in the footsteps of last year’s champions Liverpool.
Bayern are the second side to win all six available titles within a year after Barcelona managed the feat in 2009. Hansi Flick’s men had already won the Champions League, Bundesliga, German Cup, UEFA Super Cup and German Super Cup last season.
It meant heartbreak for Tigres, the first Mexican side to reach the Club World Cup final as CONCACAF champions.
Bayern grabbed the winner when Joshua Kimmich’s cross — intended for Robert Lewandowski — bounced off the hands off Tigres goalkeeper Nahuel Guzman and into the path of Pavard on 59 minutes.
The goal stood after a lengthy VAR review, while Bayern also had a first-half goal by Kimmich ruled out with Lewandowski offside. Bayern were forced into two changes to their starting line-up after a double blow in the build-up.
Thomas Mueller dropped out after testing positive for Covid-19 while defender Jerome Boateng flew back to Germany for “personal reasons” amid reports his former girlfriend was found dead in Berlin.
Serge Gnabry took Mueller’s place, with Lucas Hernandez and Niklas Suele forming a new centre-back partnership.
After a strong start, Bayern looked to have gone ahead when Kimmich let fly with a long-range strike, but Lewandowski saw the flag go up. After Pavard gave Bayern the lead, Bayern midfielder Corentin Tolisso hit the post.
Bayern deserved the win and kept up the pressure, with coach Flick clenching his fists in celebration at the final whistle.