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Match Report: Stuttgart v Bayern

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Match Report: Stuttgart v Bayern

Postby FCBayernNews » Sun Nov 11, 2007 10:58 am

10.11.2007

Bayern lost for the first time in seven months and had Lucio sent off on a grim day when a previously cast-iron defence went missing against resurgent champions VfB.

A sell-out 55,600 crowd at the Gottlieb-Daimler stadium saw the home team roar off the blocks against a reshuffled Bayern line-up and take a 10th minute lead through Mario Gomez, with worse to come for the Reds on the half-hour when Turkey schemer Yildiray Bastürk hammered his side further ahead.

<b>Misfiring leaders</b>

Munich’s attempts to claw their way back were undermined by a coupe of dubious refereeing decisions as Luca Toni had a goal controversially chalked off, but the real damage was being done at the other end as a statuesque defence stood and watched while Gomez tapped in VfB’s third before half-time.

Deep-lying Stuttgart restricted the Bavarians to long-range efforts and hopeful balls into the box in the second period, and Lucio’s 70th-minute sending off for retaliation symbolised a day when nothing went right for the misfiring league leaders, as Toni’s tap-in after sub Miro Klose hit the post with four minutes left merely made the result a shade more palatable.

Despite the defeat, Bayern remain top of the table on 28 points from 13 matches, but the lead is down to a single point from Bremen and Hamburg after Werder thrashed Karlsruhe 4-0 and HSV drew 1-1 away to Schalke.

<b>First start for Kroos</b>

With just 42 hours between the final whistle against Bolton on Thursday and kick-off in Stuttgart, Bayern boss Ottmar Hitzfeld introduced a total of six new faces, with Demichelis, Lahm, Altintop, Ze Roberto, Kroos and Toni coming in for Van Buyten, Jansen, Schweinsteiger, Van Bommel, Ottl and Klose.

Two of the changes were worthy of comment, as Hamit Altintop appeared in the defensive holding position normally occupied by Mark van Bommel for the first time, allowing gifted starlet Toni Kroos a first Bundesliga start in a wide role.

<b>Rampant champions</b>

Once referee Thorsten Kinhöfer had whistled play underway on a grey November afternoon in Stuttgart, the energetic champions had much the better of the opening exchanges against the slow-starting leaders.

The champions and had already threatened through outstanding former Bayern and Aston Villa man Thomas Hitzlsperger, before Swiss international Ludovic Magnin skipped down the left and centred for German Player of the Year Gomez to nip between the centre-halves and net off his upper body.

Munich slowly settled but chances for Toni and Podolski came to nothing, and the misery deepened on the half-hour when Bastürk walloped home a 20-yard beauty after Roberto Hilbert had ripped the Bayern defence to shreds by the simple expedient of switching wings.

<b>Dubious refereeing</b>

The Bavarians were twice the victims of questionable refereeing in the next spell when Toni’s header clearly crossed the line only for the big Italian to be harshly penalised for an alleged foul on Fernando Meira, and Kroos hit the post but was in any case wrongly called offside before a red shirt could attend to the rebound.

Ze Roberto, Ribery and Podolski all found home keeper Rafael Schäfer in sound shape, but the brief revival came to a shuddering halt when Cacau and Hilbert were allowed to do as they pleased in the Bayern box and tee up Gomez to complete his brace and round off a shocking first period for the visitors.

Hitzfeld sent on Schweinsteiger and Klose for Lahm and Podolski after the break with Altintop switching to right-back, and the course of the match might have been different if Schäfer had not bravely denied Toni just a couple of minutes after the restart.

<b>Late consolation for Toni</b>

In the event, VfB dropped deep and with Franck Ribery misfiring on the day, the Reds were restricted a long-range shots and hopeful crosses into a packed box, with little clear-cut emerging from either tactic.

The frustration proved too much for the tireless Lucio, who threw out an elbow and caught Magnin under Kinhöfer’s nose with 20 minutes remaining, leaving the match official with no option but to brandish the red card.

Schäfer saved well from the luckless Toni and Oliver Kahn beat away a Magnin piledriver in the closing stages, but Toni’s late tap-in from Klose’s shot off the post merely saved a blush or two on a day to forget for the men from Munich.

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