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Match Report Cottbus

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Match Report Cottbus

Postby FCBayernNews » Sat Dec 09, 2006 5:40 pm

09.12.2006

Daniel van Buyten's first goal for the club saw a weary Bayern side claim three vital points to cement fourth spot in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

An 69,000 full house at the Allianz Arena witnessed an early let-off for the sluggish home side when Cottbus striker Steffen Baumgart rattled the crossbar, but the Reds awoke on the half-hour and Bastian Schweinsteiger opened the scoring three minutes from the interval, although the goal owed much to a calamitous blunder by error-prone keeper Tomislav Piplica.

Baumgart headed his side level amidst untidy defending eight minutes after the restart, but Daniel van Buyten restored the Bavarians' lead within a minute, the giant Belgian punching the air in delight as he finally opened his account in a red shirt.

<b>Close but deserved</b>

Munich held firm at the back, and both Hasan Salihamidzic and sub Lukas Podolski might have increased the margin in the last 20 minutes, although the scoreline was ultimately a fair reflection on a day when the champions did just enough to deserve the win.

The result, combined with scores from around the country, means Bayern remain in fourth on 30 points from sixteen games, three behind Werder Bremen after the leaders thumping 6-2 victory in Frankfurt.

<b>Micho for Mark</b>

With Mark van Bommel serving a one-match ban after collecting a fifth yellow card, Felix Magath made one enforced change to the side which drew 1-1 with Inter Milan in midweek, Martin Demichelis replacing the suspended midfielder.

Whether it was the absence of van Bommel's authority, the driving rain, or fatigue from the Champions League encounter, Bayern were oddly slow off the blocks and the promoted side made the early running. Baumgart's shot against the bar was followed by two excellent Oliver Kahn saves to deny Sergiu Marian Radu, once from distance and once in a one-on-one situation.

<b>Spotlight on Piplica</b>

Munich finally settled into the groove after half an hour and the veteran Piplica stepped into a starring role. The Cottbus keeper saved brilliantly from Schweinsteiger, Roy Makaay and Philipp Lahm, the third save an acrobatic twist to tip the left-back's vicious curler over the bar.

However, his ham-fisted effort to punch away a well-struck but poorly-aimed Schweinsteiger drive on 42 minutes was nothing more or less than a schoolboy howler, Piplica succeeding only in fisting the ball into his own net.

<b>Daniel on target</b>

Sebastian Deisler replaced Andreas Ottl for the second period as the Reds went in search of a decisive second, but not for the first time in an inconsistent campaign, the goal came at the other end when Bayern failed to clear their lines from Poland international Mariusz Kukielka's cross, leaving Baumgart to head across Kahn for the 53rd minute equaliser.

But the champions showed their customary resolve at this point, van Buyten applying a flicked header to Schweinsteiger's free-kick and restoring Bayern's lead less than a minute after conceding.

<b>Nervous closing phase</b>

Lukas Podolski returned from a five-week lay-off in place of Hasan Salihamidzic as the Reds sought to wrap up the points, but the visitors gamely battled on and Kahn again had to be alert to beat away a Radu drive which took a wicked deflection off van Buyten.

Piplica made one more brave stop to prevent Makaay adding a third in stoppage time, but a greater margin of victory would have flattered the Reds on a day when a weary set of players did just enough to deserve victory.

<i>Live match report for <b>fcbayern.de</b> by Chris Hamley</i>
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