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Last-gasp Toni seals victory in thriller

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Last-gasp Toni seals victory in thriller

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Dec 05, 2008 11:00 pm

An always absorbing clash between the Bundesliga's top two finally turned on a Luca Toni strike deep into stoppage time, as the champions pulled level with the leaders on points after 16 games.

The 69,000 full house at the Allianz Arena saw both teams serve up a breathless opening, before caution set in midway through the first half and the sides turned round with the game goalless.

Vedad Ibisevic and Philipp Lahm traded goals as the match exploded into life after the restart, the equaliser galvanising Bayern into a stirring assault on the Hoffenheim goal with the promoted side tiring by the minute.

The men in red had much the better of the chances towards the end, but the game still seemed destined for a draw when Andreas Ibertsberger's mistake let in the otherwise luckless Toni to net a truly last-gasp winner.

Bayern at full strength

The Munich line-up showed one change to the side which beat Leverkusen 2-0 away from home last weekend, captain Mark van Bommel returning from illness in place of Andi Ottl.

Jürgen Klinsmann thus opted to continue with Belgian colossus Daniel van Buyten, flawless in his last two outings as a stand-in for Martin Demichelis, alongside Lucio at centre-half.

The rest of Bayern's full-strength team basically picked itself, with Bastian Schweinsteiger, Ze Roberto and the peerless Franck Ribery looking to feed Miro Klose and Luca Toni from variable positions in midfield.

Early chances

After referee Florian Meyer whistled play underway on a chilly but dry evening in Munich, the sides set off at a whirlwind pace with Demba Ba and Ribery testing keepers Michael Rensing and Daniel Haas in the first few minutes.

Ba headed over the bar from Chinedu Obasi's cross, before Toni blasted the best chance of the first quarter of an hour into the side netting after Ze's guile created the opening.

The match official waved away Toni's shout for a penalty when Haas clumsily appeared to upend the Italian as he bore down on goal, but Hoffenheim remained dangerous on the break and Rensing was a trifle fortunate after misjudging a corner into a crowded penalty box.

Allianz Arena shocked

The frenetic pace slackened midway through the half, the leaders content to cede possession to the champions and rely on their defenders, expertly marshalled by Germany international Marvic Compper, to make the crucial interventions 30 yards from goal.testThe stifling tactics paid off and the only chances before half-time fell to the visitors, Luiz Gustavo twice trying his luck from long-range and prolific marksman Ibisevic scuffing his shot when presented with a decent sight of goal.

The Bosnian went one better just four minutes after the restart, capitalising on a sweet exchange between livewire Tobias Weis and Ba to open the scoring from close range, although there was a whiff of controversy about the goal as the TSG man muscled Massimo Oddo off the ball before netting.

Lahm leads fightback

Carlos Eduardo drew a sharp save from Rensing and then saw Lucio deflect a cross over his own bar as the leaders bossed for a spell, but a moment of individual class from Lahm on the hour brought the champions right back into it, the Germany star collecting possession 40 yards out and embarking on a mazy dribble before firing right-footed past Haas off Compper's outstretched boot.

The home side had the bit between their teeth now, Van Buyten, Klose and Toni both coming close with decent headers, before Tim Borowski replaced the subdued Schweinsteiger to bolster the push for victory.

Klose arrowed wide of the target from the influential Van Bommel's astute through ball, before TSG sub Sejad Salihovic curled a 30-yard free-kick narrowly wide and then drew an excellent block from Rensing with the clock ticking down, but Toni it was who seized on Ibertsberger's lapse to net the winner with practically the last kick of an enthralling clash.

Live match report for by Chris Hamley
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