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Bayern Munich v Arsenal

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Bayern Munich v Arsenal

Postby MUTU » Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:34 pm

This is an old feature but still interesting. It's a Champions League news feature on Bayern Muinich as they prepare for the visit of Arsenal, which Bayern eventually won.

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Postby MUTU » Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:43 pm

Bayern tops Arsenal as both reach last eight

MUNICH, Germany (AP) -- Brazilian striker Giovane Elber scored in the 10th minute to give Bayern Munich a 1-0 victory over Arsenal Wednesday and a place in the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Arsenal squeezed into the last eight despite the defeat.

Bayern won Group C with 13 points. Arsenal finished second with eight points. Olympique Lyon, which drew 1-1 with Spartak in Moscow, also ended with eight points but the London club went through because of a better head-to-head record.

"We were very weak tonight; we didn't produce any chances," said Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger.

"We played one of our worst Champions League matches. After an hour, I was more concerned with the result in Moscow. We got through but we played very badly," he said.

Finalist in 1999, Bayern has reached the quarterfinals every season since 1997. The Bavarians haven't lost at home since that year, a 20-match streak.

"We won the group and we didn't concede a goal, so I am very pleased," said Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld. "We were very compact in defense, we didn't give them much space. We tried to push forward on the flanks every time we won the ball."

"We had a disciplined performance. Our forwards also helped a lot in defense," he said.

Paulo Sergio, Bayern's second Brazilian striker, failed a fitness test just before the match and his place in the starting lineup went to Carsten Jancker. Bayern already was missing suspended midfielder and captain Stefan Effenberg.

Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger decided to start Nigerian striker Nwankwo Kanu instead of Frenchman Sylvain Wiltord, who came on in the second half.

The London side had a lucky escape in the 6th minute, when a clumsy attempt by Gilles Grimandi to clear a Hasan Salihamidzic center nearly ended up in the Arsenal net. Goalkeeper David Seaman was caught wrong-footed but managed to scoop the ball.

In the 10th, defender Bixente Lizarazu sent a perfect cross into the Arsenal area and while Grimandi and Tony Adams looked for an offside call, Elber sneaked past them to head home.

Lizarazu, with a lot of space on the left, did the same a few minutes later, but this time Tony Adams headed away from Jancker.

Arsenal recovered quickly and began to control the action, but could not produce any clear chances.

In the final minute of the first half, Elber beat the offside trap again to collect a long pass form Mehmet Scholl but drove just wide.

Arsenal dominated the opening minutes of the second half and Thierry Henry displayed superb control before attempting a lob that went just over the crossbar.

Bayern replied in the 53rd, when Scholl faked Grimandi and fed Jancker, but the burly striker missed the ball with his left foot. Jens Jeremies got the ball but shot wide although he was unmarked.

Bisan Lauren beat Bayern goalkeeper Oliver Kahn in the 57th but was called for offside.

Scholl tested Seaman with a long-range shot on a field made slippery by a shower, but the Arsenal goalkeeper caught the ball.

Lizarazu used a quickly taken free kick to break open in the 78th but shot wide.

Seaman just managed to deflect a free kick by Scholl in the 85th with his left foot as Bayern increased the pressure in the final stages of the match.

With two minutes left, Seaman stopped Jancker's shot from point-blank range.

A crowd of 58,000 saw the match in the Olympic stadium, including British pop star Robbie Williams, who gave a concert in the neighboring Olympiahalle later in the evening.


Hitzfield: We can beat anybody now
MUNICH, Germany -- Bayern Munich coach Ottmar Hitzfeld said his team's 1-0 win over Arsenal to head Champions League Group C showed the German champions can beat any of Europe's top clubs.

"We belong now to the best eight teams in Europe. Now we take it as it comes. We can beat anyone at the top level," Hitzfeld said.

Bayern was eager to avenge a 3-0 drubbing last week by Olympique Lyon and Hitzfeld said he thought his tactical approach in the Arsenal game had paid dividends.

The win helped Bayern shake off the Lyon defeat, which Hitzfeld said was a great boost going into the last eight of the competition.

"We slipped up against Lyon but it proved a good lesson for us. I think we left the other three teams in the group standing and this gives us a big boost going into the quarterfinals," Hitzfeld said.

"We were well organized and we played forward well from a compact defense. We were more dangerous than Arsenal and of course the early goal helped us. We controlled Arsenal well."

Despite losing to the German champions, the Londoners also qualified for the quarterfinals as group runners-up.

But Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said his team performed poorly. "It was one of our weakest games in the Champions League. We could not change our pace, we couldn't create chances," he said.

"We did not have a great game. Was it too much pressure, was it fatigue? It's difficult to explain. Bayern defended well, they had many men behind the ball. But we are happy because we got through to the quarterfinals."

Wenger said he did not think the news of an early goal for Spartak had affected his players.

"I don't think so," he said. "There was no spark, no change of pace, it was not the usual Arsenal game.

"We are lucky Spartak got the point."

The Moscow side's 1-1 draw cost Lyon a place in the quarterfinals at the expense of Arsenal. The French club needed to win.

Bayern won after a powerful diving header from Brazilian international Elber in the 10th minute.

Hitzfeld said Elber's comments on Tuesday, when he said he had no respect for Arsenal were merely meant to inspire the team.

"Elber's remarks were meant to give the whole team confidence and I think he succeeded in this," Hitzfeld said.

The victory also pleased Bayern Munich president Franz Beckenbauer, who last week publicly lambasted his club for their poor performance against Lyon.

"I think we can be happy with the result and the way we played," said Beckenbauer.



Summary
Scorer: Elber 10

Halftime: 1-0, Attendance: 58,000

Bayern Munich: 1-Oliver Kahn; 20-Hasan Salihamidzic, 5-Patrik Andersson, 25-Thomas Linke, 3-Bixente Lizarazu; 4-Samuel Kuffour, 17-Thorsten Fink, 16-Jens Jeremies, 19-Carsten Jancker; 7-Mehmet Scholl (6-Michael Wiesinger 90), 9-Elber (18-Michael Tarnat 90).

Arsenal: 1-David Seaman; 2-Lee Dixon, 6-Tony Adams, 18-Gilles Grimandi, 29-Ashley Cole; 8-Fredrik Ljungberg (15-Ray Parlour 60), 12-Lauren, 4-Patrick Vieira, 7-Robert Pires (16-Silvinho 75); 14-Thierry Henry, 25-Kanu (11-Sylvain Wiltord 60).

Referee: Anders Frisk (Sweden)
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