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Season review, part I: The long shadow of the World Cup

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Season review, part I: The long shadow of the World Cup

Postby FCBayernNews » Sat Dec 30, 2006 4:05 pm

30.12.2006

In the first half of the new season, described by boss Felix Magath as "thoroughly satisfactory, the German Cup aside," Bayern contested 28 matches, winning 16, drawing six and losing six. Naturally, the bald statistics conceal any number of twists and sub-plots, so <b>fcbayern.de</b> has cast a detailed eye back over the 2006-7 campaign to date, recalling a good start for the Bavarians which took them to the top of the Bundesliga in late September.

<b>Bayern's season to date, part I</b>

<b>5 August: Silverware proves elusive</b>
The Reds made the final of the pre-season German Football League Cup, but missed out on the first trophy of the new term in a 2-0 defeat to Werder Bremen, a pointer to a thorny period ahead for the double winners. "We'll have to muddle our way through to Christmas," general manager Uli Hoeneß mused, surveying the consequences of a delayed start to pre-season training for the club's 10-strong World Cup contingent. The last man back from holiday, France star Willy Sagnol, resumed duty just eleven days before the first league fixture. The problem was compounded by the departure of Michael Ballack, and the need to restructure a midfield which had fundamentally remained unchanged for three seasons. "We'll have to rethink our attacking game from scratch," Magath observed.

<b>11 August: Perfect start</b>
Despite all this, 16 of the 18 Bundesliga head coaches named Bayern as favourites to retain their league crown, and the champions lived up to that billing with a comfortable 2-0 opening day victory over Borussia Dortmund at the Allianz Arena. "We've succeeded in laying down a marker for our rivals," Roy Makaay commented after scoring his first goal of the campaign.

<b>28 August: A first setback</b>
The Reds dropped their first points on matchday 3 in a goalless draw at home to surprise early leaders Nuremberg, "although I thought we'd struggle even more to start with," Oliver Kahn remarked. In a remarkable statistical twist, Bayern were to meet the side then in top spot three more times before Christmas, defeating Berlin 4-2 and Stuttgart 2-1, but losing 3-1 in Bremen.

<b>9 September: Extra-time in St Pauli</b>
The first round of the DFB German Cup saw holders Munich travel to third division St Pauli in a re-run of the previous season's semi-final. Bayern again triumphed, but only in extra-time and courtesy of a Philipp Lahm cross-cum-shot which sneaked into the net after a schoolboy blunder by home keeper Patrik Borger. "At the end of the day, we're just delighted to be in the next round," commented ex-Barcelona man Mark van Bommel on his Bayern debut.

<b>12 September: European gala</b>
Munich's Champions League opener ended in a thumping 4-1 home triumph against Spartak Moscow, handing the Reds the top spot in Group B they were to retain throughout the group stage. "We're on the right track," Magath smiled at the time, but he was not to know that the path was about to become a lot rockier.

<b>16 September: Tripped up by minnows</b>
Arminia Bielefeld were without a win before entertaining the champions on Bundesliga matchday 4, but Bayern fell 2-1 in the first of a string of slip-ups against teams languishing in the bottom third of the standings, including a 1-1 draw with Monchengladbach and defeats by the only goal of the game to Wolfsburg and Hanover, both propping up the table at the time. The reverse in Bielefeld heralded a poor run away from home, as the champions failed to win a total of four successive games on the road: the defeats to Arminia, Wolfsburg and Bremen, and a draw with title rivals Schalke.

<b>23 September: Top at last!</b>
The Reds remained a force at home for the time being, defeating Alemannia Aachen 2-1 on matchday 5 to seize top spot in the standings. However, the Bavarian camp knew improvement was essential: "We'll have to play a lot better than that to stay up there at the top," van Bommel observed. Indeed, Bayern were dislodged just a week later and were not to recover first place in the first half of the league programme.
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Re: Season review, part I: The long shadow of the World Cup

Postby FC Bajern » Sat Dec 30, 2006 6:25 pm

FCBayernNews wrote:
<b>12 September: European gala</b>

Munich's Champions League opener ended in a thumping 4-1 home triumph against Spartak Moscow,

I thought the result was a 4-0 win instead of a 4-1
FC Bajern

 

Postby MUTU » Sat Dec 30, 2006 8:34 pm

Indeed it was 4-0

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