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Bayern denied deserved draw by late Basel strike

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Bayern denied deserved draw by late Basel strike

Postby FCBayernNews » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:00 pm

Bayern seemed to have done enough for a hard-earned draw away to stubborn FC Basel in the Champions League last sixteen first leg on Wednesday night, but Switzerland striker Valentin Stocker came off the bench to seal a famous last-gasp victory for the underdogs. Defeat was harsh on the Bavarians, as both sides had their chances and a share of the spoils would have been a fair outcome on the night.

The 36,000 full house at St Jakob Park saw a cracking first half-hour with gilt-edged openings at both ends, including two shots off the goal frame for the home side and spectacular saves from both Manuel Neuer and Basel keeper Yann Sommer.

Despite the bumpy and pock-marked playing surface, Jupp Heynckes' men increasingly imposed their patient passing game on the hosts after the restart, although the quality of the chances failed to match that of the tumultuous opening phase. The game seemed destined for a merited draw, until Stocker's decisive intervention with just four minutes to play.

The result means Munich go into the return at the Allianz Arena on 13 March with plenty to do, although Bayern's first priority will be to prevent the Swiss champions scoring an away goal of their own before going in search of the two goals needed to turn the tie around. The Bavarians return to domestic league action next Sunday evening, when fourth-placed Schalke visit the Allianz Arena.

Heynckes opted for two changes to the side held to a goalless draw by bottom club Freiburg in the Bundesliga last Saturday, restoring Arjen Robben to the starting line-up at Thomas Müller's expense, with seasoned Ukrainian campaigner Anatoliy Tymoshchuk taking over the central midfield duties in place of Luiz Gustavo.

That meant Bayern lined up with Manuel Neuer in goal, behind a back four of Rafinha, Jerome Boateng, Holger Badstuber and captain Philipp Lahm. Toni Kroos continued to deputise for the injured Bastian Schweinsteiger in defensive midfield, with Tymoshchuk and David Alaba alternating at his side, Franck Ribery and Robben on the flanks, and Mario Gomez as the lone striker.

Basel boss Heiko Vogel, a youth coach at Bayern for nine years until 2008, sent out a team with plenty of previous German Bundesliga experience, including Switzerland's all-time leading scorer Alexander Frei, club captain Marco Streller, and midfield enforcer Benjamin Huggel. Former Munich reserve Markus Steinhöfer started at right-back, with Swiss starlet and future Bayern man Xherdan Shaqiri pulling the midfield strings.

Once Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli whistled play underway on a chilly night in the north-west corner of Switzerland, Sommer was much the busier of the keepers in a roistering opening quarter of an hour from the visitors. Ribery released Gomez down the inside-left channel but Sommer forced the striker wide, before pulling out a fine reflex save at his near post to thwart Ribery, who was played in by Robben.

Shaqiri had Basel's first sniff at goal but was repelled by Badstuber's excellent block tackle, before Sommer again prevented his side falling behind with another tremendous save from Ribery, who burst down the left after exchanging passes with Lahm.

However, after Neuer threw up an arm to deflect Streller's shot onto the roof of the net, the balance of the match shifted dramatically and the unmarked Aleksandar Dragovic was poised to celebrate a headed opener, only for Neuer to tip the ball onto the inside of the post, and Badstuber to hack clear as the rebound bounced along the goalline.

Basel again came within inches of scoring when South Korea man Joo-Ho Park split the Bayern defence and found Alexander Frei in the box, but the ex-Dortmund striker smacked his first-time effort off the bar. Shaqiri warmed Neuer's gloves from long range, but the Swiss storm died down and the Bundesliga side recovered their composure as the initial breathless pace subsided. Sommer dealt capably enough with speculative shots from Alaba and Ribery, and although the keeper needed two attempts to quell Gomez' solo effort, the game remained goalless through to half-time.

In a much more cautious opening to the second period, Neuer claimed Streller's early header with ease, before Munich shifted up a gear with Kroos blasting a 30-yard drive only a yard or so off target, and Alaba fizzing one narrowly wide of Sommer's right-hand upright. Robben's free-kick from the edge of the box lodged in the wall and Gomez' overhead kick from the rebound flew straight into the Basel keeper's hands, before Sommer used his fists to beat out a trademark Lahm riser.

Müller took over from Ribery with 20 minutes to go, and was immediately involved in a controversial incident in which he collected a yellow card for a seemingly unavoidable collision with Sommer after neatly releasing Gomez for a thrust at goal.

Dragovic blocked Robben's attempt to sneak one in at the near post, but just as the game seemed to be heading for a goalless stalemate, two Basel subs combined to break the deadlock four minutes from time, Jacques Zoua sliding a pass across the face of the Bayern box for the lurking Stocker to fire through Neuer's legs and sneak his side a famous victory. Sub Ivica Olic was denied a penalty as the visitors desperately pushed for an equaliser, but it was not to be as the advantage in the tie shifted to Swiss hands.

Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley
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Re: Bayern denied deserved draw by late Basel strike

Postby Aequitas1987 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:36 pm

Author is delusional :evil:
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