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Match Report Spartak

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Match Report Spartak

Postby FCBayernNews » Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:52 pm


Bayern made an ideal start to their European campaign after Spartak's stubborn resistance crumbled in the face of a rousing second-half onslaught.

A 63,000 crowd at the Allianz Arena saw a thoroughly frustrating first half for the 2001 winners as the obdurate visitors restricted the pre-match favourites to a handful of half-chances.

The match was transformed within six minutes of the restart by a quick-fire double strike from surprise starter Claudio Pizarro and Paraguay hitman Roque Santa Cruz, as Bayern emerged from the dressing room brimming with intent.

Bastian Schweinsteiger settled any remaining doubts about the destination of the points with 20 minutes remaining, and sub Hasan Salihamidzic rounded off a thoroughly satisfying evening with a close-range fourth at the end.

<b>Pizza for Roy</b>

Bayern boss Felix Magath had promised attack from the start, and the three changes to the line-up for Saturday's Cup trip to St Pauli reflected that ambition.

Bastian Schweinsteiger and Lukas Podolski came into the side for Martin Demichelis and Hasan Salihamidzic, but if those changes might have been predicted, Magath's propensity to spring selection surprises reached a new dimension with the shock decision to drop 'Mr Europe' Makaay and hand Pizarro a first start of term.

The Russian visitors set out an ultra-defensive stall from the off, stringing five across midfield and deploying Roman Pavlyuchenko as a lone striker. The tactic paid off for the first half-hour as Bayern saw plenty of the ball but struggled for fluency.

<b>Spartak stifle Reds</b>

Pizarro toe-poked the first half-chance into Polish-born keeper Wojciech Kowalewski's arms on the quarter-hour, before Roque Santa Cruz briefly retreated from his position in the hole behind the front two to try his luck from long range.

Daniel van Buyten headed narrowly wide from home debutant Mark van Bommel's dinked cross, but instead of spurring the Reds onto greater things, the Russians abruptly emerged as a potent attacking force.

Munich skipper Oliver Kahn was forced into a smart save after Pavlyuchenko spun onto Igor Titov's piercing through ball, before elegant playmaker Mozart released Argentine full-back Clemente Rodriguez for an angled lay-off which drifted tantalising across the home goal.

<b>Double whammy after break</b>

Whatever Magath said in the dressing room at the interval had the desired effect, as Bayern stormed into the lead when Pizarro latched onto Willy Sagnol's pass down the inside right channel, before cutting inside former TSV 1860 Munich defender Martin Stranzl and burying a crisp left-footed drive neatly inside the near post.

The Russians were still reeling when van Bommel despatched Santa Cruz on a burst into the box. The Paraguay man steadied himself before arrowing his shot across Kowalewski to double his side's advantage.

Pizarro fired into the side-netting after a free-flowing five-man move as the home side threatened to cut loose, but Bayern opted to sit on their lead after that and Kahn was forced into action more than once, the best of the visitors' chances falling to sub Bazhenov.

<b>Schweini settles it</b>

Order was soon restored when Hasan Salihamidzic used his first touch after replacing Pizarro to supply the cross from which Schweinsteiger put the result beyond doubt with a lazy swing of his right boot from the edge of the box.

'Brazzo' Salihamidzic iced an increasingly tasty cake with a close-range fourth six minutes from time, before Kahn gave a fine demonstration of his rapier-like reflexes with a tremendous double stop to deny the lively Bystrov a consolation, with Pavlyuchenko heading against the bar on a day which assuredly belonged to the German champions.
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