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Post match analysis Sporting Lisbon

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Post match analysis Sporting Lisbon

Postby FCBayernNews » Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:35 pm


It was after midnight before Oliver Kahn and Willy Sagnol were allowed to leave the catacombs of the Allianz Arena last night. The two Bayern Munich players had been randomly selected by UEFA to take part in a drugs test following Bayern’s clash with Sporting Lisbon. One and a half hours after the final whistle Kahn and Sagnol finally found themselves off duty.

The random drugs test on Kahn and Sagnol wasn’t the only frustration for the German double winners. On a positive note, the single point gained through the nil-all draw against the Portuguese runners-up was enough to seal a berth into the second round of the Champions League. Never before has a German team managed to score ten points from the first four games. And second round Champions League action secures a bonus of approximately nine million Euros from UEFA. But the performance against Sporting Lisbon was well below par and was somewhat alarming for players and fans alike.

<b>Personnel problems</b>

“It was definitely our weakest performance in the Champions League. We didn’t play as well as in the other games”, admitted Felix Magath. Daniel van Buyten agrees with his coach. "It was a difficult game tonight and definitely our worst match in the Champions League.” The Belgian central defender complained of lack of concentration and passion. “We have to show who is boss on the pitch. But we made far too many errors.”

But the poor performance has other causes too. In Bastian Schweinsteiger (suspended) and Mark van Bommel (muscle injury), Bayern were missing two inspirational figures and goal-getters in the middle of the park. Magath’s attempt to resolve the creative deficit - other key members missing include Owen Hargreaves (broken leg) and Sebastian Deisler (unfit) - by shifting Willy Sagnol into the right-midfield position did not have the desired effect. “Maybe I just unsettled the team”, the coach speculated.

<b>Makaay should have won it</b>

“After all the changes I suppose problems were to be expected“, commented Kahn the day after. Even Julio dos Santos and Ali Karimi who came on as substitutes could not inject potency in Bayern’s forward play. And on the bench Magath had four reserve team players – Fürstner, Hummels, Maierhofer and Saba – who have little or no first team experience.

However, Bayern’s cobbled-together team could actually have snatched victory. Roy Makaay and Claudio Pizarro wasted the Reds’ best chances towards the end of the second half. “I should have scored”, admitted Makaay. But the one positive note to the evening had not escaped him: “We are already through to the next round after four matches“. And that without conceding a single goal. Against Sporting Lisbon Bayern’s clean sheet was helped by the bar in the 76th minute.

<b>Looking good to win the group</b>

Now that Bayern Munich has reached their first target of qualifying for the second round stage, Magath and co have two group games – away to Spartak Moscow (22.11) and at home against Inter Milan (5.12) - to stamp their authority on the group and finish at the top of the table. “We are in a good position to win the group”, confirmed Magath confidently. Victory against Spartak, who have not won their last 21 Champions League matches, would give Bayern an unassailable lead in the group.

By then Schweinsteiger and van Bommel will both certainly be available to play, maybe even Lukas Podolski, Sebastian Deisler and Lucio too. “When our injured players are back things will go much better”, predicted president Franz Beckenbauer in an upbeat mood. Better than against Sporting Lisbon because “that was a day when nothing went right”, lamented van Buyten. And for Kahn and Sagnol the frustrating day was made even longer.

<i>Reporting for <b></b>: Dirk Hauser</i>
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