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Off-key Bayern drop points to bottom club

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Off-key Bayern drop points to bottom club

Postby FCBayernNews » Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:40 pm

Prior to Saturday's meeting with Freiburg, Bayern were the Bundesliga's leading scorers with 49 goals and the home side had the worst defence with 47 conceded, but after an intense and absorbing 90 minutes, the form book was turned on its head as the league's bottom club sealed a not undeserved draw against the off-colour men from Munich.

The 24,000 full house at the MAGE SOLAR stadium saw Jupp Heynckes' side make heavy weather of the opening 45 minutes against the spirited home team, Thomas Müller volleying FCB's only real chance of the half against Freiburg keeper Oliver Baumann.

Heynckes brought on Arjen Robben for the second half and the visitors instantly looked sharper, but the home side defended with colossal passion and tenacity, restricting Bayern to half-chances and ultimately hanging on for a point.

The disappointing draw means FCB slip to third spot in the Bundesliga on 45 points from 22 matches, four behind leaders Dortmund and one adrift of second-placed Mönchengladbach, the two Borussias both having won away from home in the afternoon. The Bavarians must now pick themselves up at once and turn their full attention to the Champions League and Wednesday's first knockout round first leg trip to Basel, before returning to Bundesliga action next Sunday evening, when fourth-placed Schalke visit the Allianz Arena.

Heynckes stayed true to the footballing maxim of not changing a winning team and kept faith with the side which eased to victory over Kaiserslautern last week. Robben again started on the bench, with Philipp Lahm, Jerome Boateng, Holger Badstuber and Rafinha in the back four, Luiz Gustavo and David Alaba in defensive midfield, and a front four of Toni Kroos, Franck Ribery, Müller and Mario Gomez.

It was a special day too for keeper Manuel Neuer, making his 100th consecutive Bundesliga appearance over the full distance. Oddly enough, the last player to run up an unbroken century of Bundesliga matches was FCB number two keeper Jörg Butt, who played every minute of no fewer than 150 games in a row between the autumn of 2002 and early 2007.

Faced with Freiburg's record of 12 straight defeats to Bayern, and 18 Bundesliga meetings since their last win over the Bavarians, home boss Christian Streich opted for a slight increase in his side's average age of just a little over 23 by bringing in the 25-year-old Jan Rosenthal for 24-year-old Denmark defender Michael Lumb.

Once referee Peter Gagelmann whistled play underway, Badstuber seemed to have crowned a decent opening spell from Bayern with a ninth-minute headed goal from a Kroos free-kick, but the defender had strayed a fraction offside. The home side picked up the pace after that, harrying and chasing for all they were worth, so that despite their superior skill, FCB struggled to make headway and create any reasonable chances.

The goalmouth in front of Neuer was much the busier place, as Alaba slid in at his own near post to clear from Rosenthal, Slovakia battler Erik Jendrisek fired over the bar, SCF youth product Johannes Flum wriggled past four men in the box and was only denied by Boateng's lunge, and centre-forward Ivan Santini guided a header wide.

A corner on the half-hour caused a moment's panic in the Munich defence, but captain Cedrick Makiadi blasted into a forest of legs, and the home side's onslaught abated for a time. Rafinha signalled FCB's arrival in the match with a low drive, before Baumann was finally called into action with a superb reaction save to beat away Müller's volley from Ribery's deep cross.

However, it was an unsatisfactory half by Munich standards, and Heynckes reacted at half-time by bringing on Robben for Rafinha, with Alaba switching to left-back, Lahm taking over on the right, Müller moving into the centre, and Kroos stepping back into a more defensive role.

Bayern immediately posed a far greater threat, Badstuber glancing a header just off target from a corner, Robben firing an angled drive narrowly wide of the post, and Gagelmann waving play on when Jonathan Schmid appeared to push the Dutch winger in the box. Gomez then needed treatment for a cut to the head after an aerial collision with Fallou Diagné, but the Germany man was able to continue.

Rosenthal powered a header wide from a short corner, but the bulk of the action was at the other end now as Müller's inviting header found no takers, and Ribery and Robben were both blocked at the death, before Ivica Olic took over from Gomez for the last 20 minutes.

The home side finally began to tire after their extraordinary efforts in the first 80 minutes, and FCB laid siege to the Freiburg goal in the last ten minutes, although Neuer was forced to save from Daniel Caligiuri as SCF gasped second wind. With the clock ticking down, Bayern threw everything at the home defence, but it was not to be on a sobering evening for Heynckes' side.

Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley
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