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Reds vow end to opening day blues

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Reds vow end to opening day blues

Postby FCBayernNews » Mon Sep 11, 2006 6:40 pm


Nine times out of ten, Bayern are among the quickest teams off the blocks in the Bundesliga, but the situation has often been very different in the Champions League. Germany's most successful team have contested the group stage on ten occasions since Europe's premier club competition assumed its current format, but on eight of these, the opening fixture fell firmly into the category labelled "tough going".

Last season was a case in point, when Munich scrambled a 1-0 away victory against Rapid Vienna, with the Austrians kindly missing a penalty in the closing stages. A spot-kick dispatched by Roy Makaay earned a narrow 1-0 victory against Maccabi in Tel Aviv the previous season, and 12 months before that, it was Makaay who struck a brace to turn around a 1-0 deficit against Glasgow giants Celtic and earn his side a 2-1 success.

<b>Convincing only on two occasions</b>

Bayern have won their opening Champions League fixture by a single goal on four occasions, with one draw and three defeats to go with that. Munich have only managed convincing wins twice, a 3-1 away triumph against Helsingborg IF in 2000-2001, and a 2-0 home victory over Besiktas of Istanbul in 1997-8.

A sluggish start has thus become almost traditional in Bavaria, but the Bundesliga champions are confident of neutralising the threat posed by Spartak Moscow on Tuesday. "I'm hoping we can give the fans something to cheer," star signing Mark van Bommel declared ahead of his Allianz Arena debut.

<b>Only three opening-day defeats</b>

Nevertheless, the Dutch schemer would still be satisfied with three scrappily collected points. "It's nice to play good football and win, but it doesn't always work that way. The points are what matters," he remarked. Bayern certainly boast a reassuring record in that respect: of their ten matchday 1 fixtures so far, Munich have lost only three.

<b>Bayern's opening matches in the Champions League:</b>

1994-1995: Paris St. Germain 2 Bayern 0
1997-1998: Bayern 2 Besiktas Istanbul 0
1998-1999: Bröndby IF 2 Bayern 1
1999-2000: Bayern 2 PSV Eindhoven 1
2000-2001: Helsingborg IF 1 Bayern 3
2001-2002: Sparta Prag 0 Bayern 0
2002-2003: Bayern 2 Deportivo La Coruna 3
2003-2004: Bayern 2 Celtic 1
2004-2005: Maccabi Tel Aviv 0 Bayern 1
2005-2006: Rapid Vienna 0 Bayern 1
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