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Last-minute setback for battling Bayern

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Last-minute setback for battling Bayern

Postby FCBayernNews » Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:15 pm

Bayern were forced to surrender two points in Stuttgart on Saturday, despite fighting back from a goal down and leading until the very last minute of an always absorbing encounter.

The 55,896 full house at the Mercedes Benz Arena saw a tight and always fiercely-contested clash between the south German arch-rivals.

Sami Khedira and Tim Borowski traded goals immediately before and after half time, before Luca Toni netted for the sixth league game in succession to nudge his side into the lead on 66 minutes.

The champions preserved the lead with relative ease until Massimo Oddo's dismissal five minutes from time, ushering in a hectic closing phase and the dramatic denouement featuring Khedira's volleyed second with just seconds remaining.

Luca denied by flag

Bayern, arriving in Stuttgart on the back of eight wins from their last nine Bundesliga fixtures, showed two changes to the side which beat Lyon 3-2 in midweek, Lucio and Zé Roberto returning to the side in place of Daniel van Buyten and Franck Ribery (shoulder).

Brazilian striker Cacau and Romanian hitman Ciprian Marica loosed off early warning shots as the home side, oozing confidence after consecutive victories under caretaker boss Markus Babbel, took the early initiative.

Toni scuffed the first half-chance to fall his way after quarter of an hour, but the Italian succeeded in forcing the ball past former Arsenal and Germany keeper Jens Lehmann with his next effort on 20 minutes, only to be hauled back for offside.

Stoppage-time opener

The champions established parity for the next ten minutes, restricting the home side to a speculative effort from former FCB youth and VfB skipper Thomas Hitzlsperger, and almost took the lead themselves when Miro Klose ran onto a Ze Roberto pass, only for Matthieu Delpierre to throw out a leg and block the route to goal.

Mario Gomez replaced the injured Marica after the half-hour and soon made a nuisance of himself in the Munich box, before Michael Rensing was called into emergency action for the first time when former Aston Villa man Hitzlsperger unpacked his legendary left-foot hammer from 20 yards.testBastian Schweinsteiger and Jan Simak traded long-range drives as the half came to a lively close, but it was VfB who took the lead in stoppage time when Khedira dived to head home Delpierre's flick from Simak's near-post corner.

The Bavarians struck back from a corner of their own immediately after the interval when Lehmann could only parry Schweinsteiger's low shot through a forest of legs, leaving Borowski with the simplest of tasks to level from close range.

The equaliser energised the visitors and the game picked up pace, although the visitors enjoyed a stroke of luck when Cacau volleyed wide with the goal at his mercy after Gomez' expert flick on the hour.

Luca's ninth of the season

Bayern made the most of their moment of fortune after 66 minutes, a world-class piece of individual skill from Philipp Lahm releasing Borowski to swing over a cross from the left. Toni, ghosting in between Delpierre and Christian Träsch, applied just enough of a touch to steer the ball past Lehmann and hand his side the lead.

Hamit Altintop replaced Schweinsteiger and Andi Ottl took over from Borowski as coach Jürgen Klinsmann looked to shore up the result in the closing stages. The well-drilled FCB rearguard held off the home side more or less comfortably, until Oddo's dismissal to a straight red for a high tackle five minutes from time.

Daniel Van Buyten entered the fray for the frantic finish, but it was to end unhappily for the champions, Lehmann coming up for a last-minute corner and seeming to impede Rensing before the excellent Khedira smashed an unstoppable volley into the roof of the net to round off the scoring.

Live match report for by Chris Hamley
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