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Thursday, May 27, 1999 Published at 14:42 GMT 15:42 UK

World: Europe

Bayern fans distraught

That empty feeling: Bayern fans try to digest the defeat

German football fans are in a state of shock following Manchester United's stunning defeat of Bayern Munich in the final of the European Cup.

Two goals by the English champions in the dying minutes of the game left the German press and public equally stunned.

"Oh No!" was the headline in Germany's mass circulation Bild newspaper. "That was bitter! Just unbelievable!"

Jens Eberl tells David Mellor how triumph turned to despair
Munich's tz daily tabloid was equally distraught: "Ninety minutes party: and then the tears poured," it said.

The paper quoted one Munich fan, Peter Bond, who appeared to sum up the feelings of many. "It's a catastrophe," he said." I have never seen such stupidity in my whole life."

[ image: It all ended in tears]
It all ended in tears
Another fan, Uschi Daemmrich, told tz: "It was the game of the century. A criminal thriller - How one can have the game in the bag and then lose it? I'm a nervous wreck and my son is crying."

Huge television audience

According to RTL television, more than 13 million people in Germany watched the game. The station said that it was the second largest television audience ever to watch an event.

[ image: Down and out in Barcelona]
Down and out in Barcelona
Bayern players slumped to their knees in disbelief at the final whistle. Heartbroken Bayern Munich defender, Lothar Matthaeus, summed up the feelings of his players with a terse: "The best team didn't win."

Officials in Barcelona had deployed more than 5,000 police in the city to prevent any outbreak of hooliganism at what had been billed as the highest-risk soccer match in Europe in the last decade.

But a police spokeswoman said not one arrest was made during the game, neither among the 90,000 fans in the Nou Camp nor among the thousands who watched the game on television in bars throughout the city.

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