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Match Report Schalke

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Match Report Schalke

Postby FCBayernNews » Sat Mar 31, 2007 4:30 pm

31.03.2007

A milestone Roy Makaay strike and a late second from Hasan Salihamidzic handed the Reds a morale-boosting win ahead of Tuesday's trip to Milan.

The red majority in the 69,000 full house at the Allianz Arena erupted after just three minutes to hail Makaay's 100th goal for the Bavarians, and the Dutch marksman twice tested Schalke shot-stopper Manuel Neuer in the best moments of an otherwise decidedly average first period.

<b>Lively second half</b>

The teams finally upped the tempo on the hour mark with half-chances aplenty at both ends, but the decisive strike arrived with twelve minutes remaining when Juventus-bound Hasan Salihamidzic smote home from close range to seal his side's fourth home victory of the season against the side coming to Munich as league leaders.

The result, combined with a narrow home win for Stuttgart and an away draw for Bremen, means Bayern remain in fourth with 47 points from 27 matches, but now lie just two points off third and a tantalising six off the leaders with seven games to play.

<b>Hargreaves ruled out</b>

Bayern showed one change to the team beaten in Frankfurt two weeks ago, Andreas Ottl deputising for Owen Hargreaves after the England man was forced to withdraw with a thigh strain collected on national duty during the week.

Schalke welcomed back Danish hitman Peter Lövenkrands from a five-week lay-off, but there was no place in the starting line-up for future Munich man Hamit Altintop, his twin brother Halil operating wide in a five-man midfield instead.

<b>Roy nets opener</b>

The stragglers were still taking their seats when Makaay brought up his ton in all competitions for Bayern, the 31-year-old clinically firing past Neuer after Mark van Bommel's first-time lay-off from Bastian Schweinsteiger's perceptive through ball.

Christian Pander curled Schalke's first chance over the bar, but Bayern had an often scrappy affair firmly within their grasp, and Neuer was forced into a good reaction save to deny Makaay's shot on the turn midway through the half.

The unfortunate Lovenkrands hobbled off on 34 minutes with what looked suspiciously like an instant repeat of his earlier ankle ligament damage, before Makaay again tested the highly-rated Neuer with a daisy-cutter from a tight angle.

<b>Makaay v Neuer</b>

The Netherlands goal-getter so nearly repeated his quickfire antics at the start of the second half, but Neuer raced from his goal to block with the Munich man clean through.

Oliver Kahn made a routine take from Zlatan Bajramovic' long-range effort tn minutes later, but the Reds swiftly turned the tables and Neuer made saves in quick succession from Lukas Podolski's boot and head.

The match livened up considerably on the hour with frenetic action in front of both goals, although in truth Kahn was fortunate to escape with a booking from FIFA referee Herbert Fandel after seeming to push sub Soren Larson off the ball following a 67th minute corner.

<b>Brazzo seals it</b>

Claudio Pizarro replaced the early goalscorer with twenty minutes remaining, but the honour of striking the second goal fell to Salihamidzic on 78 minutes after excellent work by Ottl and Lucio on the right edge of the area.

The match meandered to a conclusion after that as the champions closed in on their stated goal of third place, but also scented a glimmer of hope in the title race.

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