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Bayern slither to victory in arctic lottery

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Bayern slither to victory in arctic lottery

Postby FCBayernNews » Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:15 pm

Bayern made it three wins out of three in winter friendlies with a 3-0 victory away to fourth-division Bamberg on Saturday, although the match was largely reduced to a lottery by the atrocious conditions both in the air and underfoot.

The 15,000 who made their way to the Weismain Waldstadion were nevertheless rewarded with plenty of action and goals from Tim Borowski, Philipp Lahm and Miroslav Klose, although the greatest source of pleasure for Jürgen Klinsmann and his staff was probably that the players came away from the game without serious injury.

"Our priority on Saturday is re-acclimatising to the winter weather," the coach said prior to the match, and in that sense, conditions at the Waldstadion were perfect, with light snow flurries in the freezing air and a truly treacherous playing surface, only the lines visible through a blanket of rolled snow.

Five out with illness and injury

Franck Ribery, Mark van Bommel, Jose Sosa, Lukas Podolski and Toni Kroos were all ruled out with illness or injury, so the German champions travelled to the Bavarian region of Upper Franconia with a 17-man squad.

Klinsmann's starting line-up looked close to the strongest available, with Hamit Altintop and Borowski on the flanks, Daniel van Buyten in at centre-half for Lucio, and Andi Ottl deputising for Van Bommel in the holding role. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Landon Donovan waited their chance on the bench.

The match kicked off half an hour late after the FCB bus struggled with the weather and traffic en route to the ground, but the men in red showed no ill-effects, adapting more quickly to the utterly unpredictable bounce and creating the early chances against the courageous but limited part-timers.

Boro and Lahm on target

Borowski, Ze Roberto, Klose and Van Buyten all came close or saw shots saved by keeper Stefan Essig, before Borowski opened the scoring from close range on 27 minutes following a neat exchange with the sure-footed Klose.

Up the other end, the home side's Peter Heyer squandered a golden opportunity to level with only Michael Rensing to beat, and Bamberg were left to rue the miss when Lahm doubled the visitors' advantage after 35 minutes with a trademark burst, cut inside and right-footed finish.

Heyer declined another chance when Rensing skidded past to leave an unguarded net, but the striker miskicked and Bayern cleared their lines. Essig made a decent stop from Ze as the half drew to a close.

Sublime skill from Luca

Schweini and Donovan duly appeared after half-time along with Jörg Butt in goal, Christian Lell at full-back and Breno in central defence. Luca Toni immediately tested Essig's reactions, before Alex Deptalla had the ball in the net when Butt spilled a Johannes Bechmann shot, only for the Bamberg man to be ruled offside.

A sublime piece of ball-juggling skill by Toni set up Klose to slide home the third on 54 minutes after Essig could only get a hand to the Italian's neat dink, but the pace notably slowed after the hour mark as the evil conditions took their toll.

Heyer had one further opening, while there was a scare for Munich when Borowski went down clutching his knee shortly before the end, although the midfielder was able to rejoin the fray and put the last chance of the afternoon wide of the mark with a minute remaining.
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