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Sosa's strike just enough for off-key FCB

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Sosa's strike just enough for off-key FCB

Postby FCBayernNews » Sat Mar 21, 2009 5:45 pm

Bayern did just enough to earn three vital points against bottom club Karlsruhe on Saturday, Jose Sosa's first goal for the club separating two average sides on the day.

The 69,000 full house at the Allianz Arena saw the champions comfortably control the first half but net only once, although the goal was a notable one as Sosa opened his scoring account in his 24th league appearance for Munich.

The struggling visitors came out fighting for the second period and the result was far from a foregone conclusion for a spell, Ze Roberto hacking clear off his own line at the death as the home side ended up hanging on for victory.

FCB coach Jürgen Klinsmann made two changes to last week's winning line-up in Bochum. Sosa and fit-again Franck Ribery came in for Miro Klose (ankle op) and the unlucky Daniel van Buyten, victim of an enforced tactical switch with Lukas Podolski, currently the only fit striker at the club, at the sharp end of a 4-3-2-1 'Christmas tree' formation.

KSC coach Edmund Becker, whose side arrived in Munich on the back of four straight defeats and five games without a goal, picked former Bayern men Andreas Görlitz and Stefano Celozzi to patrol Bayern's dangerous left flank with Ribery, Ze Roberto and Philipp Lahm.

Sosa from Ribery's pass

Both sides opened with some neat football, but it was one-way traffic in terms of the early chances. KSC keeper Markus Miller and defender Dino Drpic combined to foil Bastian Schweinsteiger's mazy run into the box, although Miller was simply grateful to gather the rebound five minutes later when FCB's Germany star saw his deft flick from Ribery's cross bounce back into play off the bar.

Miller clutched Lucio's header and Ze drove over the crossbar, before Christian Lell showed great skill to cut inside from the right and unleash a curler just wide of the far post. Without the home side ever loosening their grip, the pace did slacken midway through the first half as the champions paused to consider their options.

The deserved opening goal finally arrived on 34 minutes, Ribery ghosting past no fewer than four Karlsruhe defenders before sliding an angled pass towards the far post, where Sosa gleefully slotted home from six yards.

Michael Mutzel cracked a drive just over Michael Rensing's crossbar a minute before half-time, but the fact it was the visitors' first real goal attempt said everything about the balance of play in the first 45 minutes.

FCB hold on

Lell steered a header just wide and Rensing threw out a foot to prevent Schweinsteiger putting through his own goal as the game opened up after the restart, before Miller saved well from FCB centre-backs Lucio and Martin Demichelis, the latter a fingertip onto the bar from a looping header.

Rensing responded with a fine diving save from Antonio da Silva's wickedly curling free-kick as the bottom club made a real fist of it. Klinsmann reacted by introducing Andreas Ottl for Sosa to stiffen the midfield area, but there was a minor blow for Bayern when Demichelis saw a fifth yellow card of the season for an innocuous-looking foul.

FCB created chances on the break as Karlsruhe threw men forward towards the end, but Miller saved bravely as Podolski ran onto a sublime Ribery delivery. Daniel van Buyten took over from the out-of-sorts Poldi up front for the last few minutes, and the Belgian immediately thumped a cracking free-kick effort just too high.

The closing phase was a frantic affair, and Bayern were grateful to Ze for somehow clearing Langkamp's header off the line, with sub Stindl putting the loose ball into the crowd. But the champions clung on for what could prove an utterly vital three points.

Live match report for by Chris Hamley
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