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Luca and Landon seal fourth winter win

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Luca and Landon seal fourth winter win

Postby FCBayernNews » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:00 pm

Bayern passed their first true examination of the mid-season period away to second division high-flyers Kaiserslautern on Monday night, goals from Luca Toni and Landon Donovan separating two lively teams in front of a typically boisterous 42,604 crowd at the Fritz-Walter-Stadion.

The old rivals, joint top of their respective tables at Christmas, served up an engrossing 90 minutes played at a terrific pace for a friendly, well in keeping with epic Bundesliga and European battles of the past in the intimidating surroundings of the fabled Betzenberg stadium.

A total of four bookings and the odd tasty challenge reflected the serious character of the clash, a thoroughly useful test as Bayern move into fine-tuning mode ahead of the second half of the campaign.

Full-strength line-up

In the injury-enforced absence of Tim Borowski, wunderkind Toni Kroos and Cologne-bound Lukas Podolski, the side sent out by FCB coach Jürgen Klinsmann had the look of the line-up likely to start next Tuesday's first competitive fixture since the winter break, a DFB Cup Round of 16 tie away to VfB Stuttgart.

Michael Rensing took up his usual position between the sticks, behind a defence comprising Philipp Lahm, Lucio, Martin Demichelis and Christian Lell, covering for Massimo Oddo with the Italian preparing to serve a three-match Bundesliga ban.

In midfield, Franck Ribery and captain Mark van Bommel returned from injury alongside Ze Roberto and Bastian Schweinsteiger, with Toni and former home hero Miro Klose up front.

Luca's opener

Both Bayern, second in the Bundesliga at Christmas on goal difference alone, and Kaiserslautern, identically-placed to the champions but a division lower, set off at a cracking pace on a stormy night in the Palatinate region.

Roared on by the home support, Srdjan Lakic hit the side-netting from distance in a busy opening spell, but FCK coach Milan Sasic's young side soon ceded territorial control to the men from Munich, only desperate defensive blocks keeping out snap efforts from Schweini and Ribery with a quarter-hour played.

Bayern took a deserved lead on 25 minutes when Van Bommel recovered a loose ball and fed Klose, whose deft flick played in Toni to advance and slide the ball past home keeper Tobias Sippel.

Chances at both ends

Lucio's backheel narrowly cleared the Lautern bar, before both sides had goals chalked off on the half-hour, Toni's effort for Bayern and Axel Bellinghausen's belter for the home team both harshly disallowed for offside.

Local boy Klose, warmly greeted as an all-time idol by the home crowd, somehow failed to score the goal he craved on his former stamping ground, dragging wide from Toni's flick with the net at his mercy, before Rensing starred in the final incident of the first half with a sharp save to deny Sidney Sam.

Sippel excelled six minutes after the restart, getting down well to Schweinsteiger's curling free-kick, before Lakic steered a header wide and Sippel twice denied Toni from close range.

Donovan clinches it

A flurry of substitutions from both sides midway through the second period briefly disrupted the flow, but Bayern swiftly regained momentum and three new faces were responsible for the second and decisive goal.

Jose Sosa picked out Oddo in space on the right, Donovan ghosting in at the near post to nod the Italian's inviting cross past Sippel and notch his second goal in friendlies since arriving in Munich on loan at the start of the year.

Toni and Sippel faced off three times in the closing phase, the keeper coming off best on each occasion, before Rensing again showed his class to claw a goalbound effort off the line on the stroke of full-time.

Live match report for by Chris Hamley
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