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Accomplished Bayern move up to second

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Accomplished Bayern move up to second

Postby FCBayernNews » Sat Nov 29, 2008 5:45 pm

A performance of great authority with a couple of ruthless moments after half-time was enough for Bayern to seal victory and swap places with a toothless Bayer Leverkusen side on Saturday.

The 19,200 full house at the BayArena, open to the elements on all sides due to reconstruction work at the stadium, saw a first half full of neat football and with chances at both ends, Leverkusen's Henrique hitting the bar with a header and Franck Ribery seeing his effort hacked off the line.

The champions came out for the second half in fighting mood and Luca Toni duly nodded his side into the lead on the hour, before Miro Klose wrapped up the win from the ever-impressive Ribery's sublime through pass eight minutes from time.

Single change for FCB

FCB boss Jürgen Klinsmann made one change to the side which beat Steaua Bucharest in midweek, Andi Ottl deputising in the enforcer role for flu victim Mark van Bommel. Martin Demichelis (calf) and Lukas Podolski (back) both missed out again with injury, handing another start at centre-half to Daniel van Buyten.

There was one surprise in the Bayern matchday squad as Turkey star Hamit Altintop took a seat on the bench for the first time since undergoing surgery on a fractured metatarsal in late August.

Chances at both ends

After FIFA referee Herbert Fandel whistled play underway on a crisp but mercifully dry afternoon, the sides spent a cagey opening period feeling each other out. Tranquillo Barnetta fired over Michael Rensing's crossbar, before his opposite number Rene Adler dashed from his line to thwart Ribery.

Rensing did well to tip Patrick Helmes' rising shot over the bar, but the keeper could have done nothing about Henrique's looping header from a 16th-minute corner which cannoned to safety from the crossbar.

Helmes put a rasping drive into the side-netting after outfoxing Lucio, but Bayern settled midway through the half and Bastian Schweinsteiger twice loosed off dangerous long-range efforts, the first drawing a good save from Adler and the second shaving the upright.

Toni on target

Rensing dropped smartly to deny Arturo Vidal, but the action switched to the other end as Ribery played a fine one-two with Miro Klose before prodding goalwards, only for a Leverkusen boot to intervene and hack the ball clear.

Both sides went looking for the opener in a free-flowing phase up to the break, but Adler pushed a Schweinsteiger belter over with his fingertips and the game remained goalless at the interval.

The champions clearly emerged for the second half with instructions to seize the initiative, and a couple of mazy Ribery runs gave notice of intent. However, it was former Bayer man Ze Roberto who paved the way for Toni's 59th-minute opener with a pinpoint cross into the centre, the big Italian comfortably nodding home his sixth of the season from six yards out.

Miro seals it

Bayern now sat back and let Bayer come at them, trusting in Schweinsteiger and Ribery to relieve the pressure on the break. Indeed, it was a measure of the visitors' successful containment policy that the home side's first shot after the restart, a tame Helmes drive from 25 yards, came with fully 72 minutes played.

Tim Borowski replaced Toni with 15 minutes remaining, before Adler made the save of the afternoon to deny Ribery after the Frenchman had left four Leverkusen defenders trailing in his wake. Klose then put a tricky header wide, before Castro blasted wide at the other end.

Ribery's slide-rule pass released Klose to thread the ball into the space between Adler and the far post eight minutes from time as Bayern confirmed their second-half superiority with a second goal, and although Helmes fired wide three times in the closing stages, Bayer heads had gone down as the champions ran down time and made off with the points.

Chris Hamley reporting from the BayArena for fcbayern.de
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