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Rugged Reds parade 'crucial attributes'

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Rugged Reds parade 'crucial attributes'

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu Oct 19, 2006 7:05 pm

19.10.2006

The famed sadness, yearning and regret which by the locals' own admission form an integral part of the Portuguese character is most movingly expressed in <i>Fado</i>, s melancholy musical style originating in Lisbon's many atmospheric bars. The city's innkeepers will doubtless have done brisk trade following Sporting Lisbon's 1-0 home defeat to Bayern on Wednesday evening.

The mood could hardly have been more contrasting in the German double winners' camp following a third victory to maintain a perfect Champions League record this term. "The team picked up where they left off on Saturday," enthused chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge at the traditional midnight banquet in the ballroom of the Ritz Four Seasons Lisbon.

<b>Crucial attributes</b>

"It wasn't just that we played well, we proved we've come together as a team after half-time. We showed crucial attributes, we battled courageously, and the win was not undeserved. We can all be extremely satisfied," the chairman continued. The victory was even more impressive in the light of Bastian Schweinsteiger's dismissal for a second yellow card just a minute after half-time.

"The second booking for Bastian Schweinsteiger was debatable in my opinion, because he should never have seen the first yellow card. The game should simply have restarted with a throw-in," lamented coach Felix Magath after one of a string of dubious decisions on a bad night for Norwegian match official Terje Hauge.

<b>Reds denied penalty</b>

Hauge inexplicably failed to award the visitors a glaringly obvious penalty after just 10 minutes, so it was fortunate that Schweinsteiger stepped forward to crown a sparkling opening from his side. "We were very good in that phase and lived up to our own expectations," Magath commented. Bastian's 35 yard pile-driver brought the 1,200 travelling fans among the 37,379 crowd at the José-Alvalade stadium to their feet with elation.

However, Bayern suddenly lost their shape and aggression midway through the half. "We surrendered control of midfield and dropped back into our third of the pitch." Magath mused. "That nearly proved fatal to our ambitions, because we encouraged our opponents," captain Oliver Kahn ruefully observed. The keeper preserved his side's lead with two excellent diving saves from Alecsandro before the interval.

<b>More solid with ten</b>

Following the sending off, Sporting piled forwards in search of an equaliser, but the ten Reds still on the field defended with prodigious energy and passion. "We were much more solid in defence," Magath remarked, singling out centre-halves Lucio and Daniel van Buyten for special praise: "Our central defenders showed all their true abilities."

The home side increasingly ran out of ideas as the clock ran down, and when they did penetrate the visitors' rearguard, they found Kahn in commanding form. "I'm especially delighted we won not just with better football, but because of our fantastic team spirit," Magath enthused.

<b>Pizarro: A big game to win</b>

Bayern now have a more than realistic chance of finishing top of Group B. "If we can beat Sporting again at our place in two weeks, we're mathematically through," Rummenigge calculated. "It was a big game to win," Claudio Pizarro smiled, although the faces will have been much more glum in the Fado bars of Lisbon that night.
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