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Star wingers shine against ten-man Werder

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Star wingers shine against ten-man Werder

Postby FCBayernNews » Sat Dec 03, 2011 5:30 pm

Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery both hit doubles as Bayern finally overcame Werder Bremen at home in the league for the first time since 2005, reclaiming top spot in the Bundesliga for good measure on an incident-filled afternoon in Munich.

The 69,000 full house at the Allianz Arena saw the home side start aggressively and take a deserved lead midway through the first half, Ribery expertly netting his seventh league goal of term. Jupp Heynckes' side remained in the ascendant and coolly blunted Werder's low-key attempt at a response, but sub Markus Rosenberg equalised completely against the run of play just seven minutes after the restart.

Bayern were not to be contained and sub Robben restored the lead from the spot 20 minutes from time. With the men in green committed to attack, Ribery doubled his tally on the break, before Aaron Hunt saw a straight red card for a studs-up horror tackle on Toni Kroos, and Robben put away another penalty to round off an ultimately resounding victory.

The result, combined with the 1-1 draw between Dortmund and Mönchengladbach, sees FCB regain the lead in the Bundesliga after 15 matches on 31 points, one ahead of the two Borussia and now five clear of Werder in fourth. The Bavarians now complete their Champions League group stage fixtures away to Manchester City on Wednesday, before contesting the latest edition of the long-running South German derby away to VfB Stuttgart at 5.30 pm next Sunday.

Heynckes opted to give the side beaten 3-2 by Mainz last time out a chance to redeem themselves and fielded an unchanged line-up. Jerome Boateng, Holger Badstuber, Daniel van Buyten and captain Philipp Lahm formed the back four in front of keeper Manuel Neuer, with David Alaba and Luiz Gustavo filling the holding positions in the continuing absence of Bastian Schweinsteiger (collarbone) and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk (suspended).

Robben again started the match on the bench, with Thomas Müller and Ribery taking up the wide positions, Mario Gomez at centre-forward as usual, and Toni Kroos in the playmaking role after recovering from the flu which saw him sent home from training on Thursday.

With first-choice Bremen keeper Tim Wiese absent on compassionate leave, visiting boss Thomas Schaaf fielded Sebastian Mielitz in goal, with top scorer and former FCB hero Claudio Pizarro returning from injury to line up alongside talented but erratic Austrian hitman Marko Arnautovic.

Once the league's most experienced referee Florian Meyer whistled the match underway on a grey late autumn afternoon in Munich, Bayern started briskly and had much the better of the first 20 minutes. There was a suspicion of handball as Naldo cleared from Gomez, Gustavo loosed off a wayward effort, the onrushing Lahm brought a desperate clearance from Andreas Wolf, and van Buyten struck a left-foot belter just wide.

FCB were rewarded for their efforts on 22 minutes with the opening goal from a lightning-quick break. Alaba beat Philipp Bargfrede to the loose ball following a Werder free-kick and released Ribery, the Frenchman charging into a yawning gap and scoring off the post after Müller and Gomez brilliantly dragged Bremen's back-pedalling defenders out of position.

The men in red sought to press home their advantage, but Gomez was surprised by the pace on Müller's driven cross, and no FCB player was near enough to capitalise on Mielitz' fumble from a corner. The tempo dropped as Munich shepherded the match towards half-time, although Pizarro was very fortunate to remain on the field after an off-the-ball incident with Badstuber seen by the cameras but missed by the match officials.

Naldo headed the first chance after the restart past Neuer's post, injuring both himself and Van Buyten in the process, although both big men were able to continue after treatment. Müller came within a hair's breadth of connecting at the back stick, but out of the blue, Werder levelled on 52 minutes when half-time sub Rosenberg twisted and turned past Gustavo and Badstuber before driving low past Neuer's outstretched right hand.

Heynckes had seen enough and sent on Robben for Alaba after an hour, but the sides were evenly-matched for a spell and Marko Marin tested Neuer from 20 yards. At the other end, a Kroos corner almost sneaked in at the far post, but Robben soon restored his side's lead with a clinical penalty finish on 69 minutes after Wolf clearly fouled Müller as he ran onto Gomez' fine lay-off.

Schaaf sent on ex-FCB striker Sandro Wagner in a push for a second equaliser, but the Reds were eminently dangerous on the attack and Gomez netted from marginally offside position, before Mielitz bravely saved at Müller's feet. It mattered little, as Gomez again broke through Bremen's tattered defensive ranks and rounded the Bremen keeper, Ribery stepping in to slot into the empty net and wrap up the points after 77 minutes.

Hunt, patently consumed with frustration, was instantly dismissed for his horror challenge on Kroos with ten minutes left, and matters worsened for the visitors after 83 minutes when Robben scored his second penalty following Sokratis' trip on Ribery in the box. Pizarro twice missed decent chances of a consolation, but there was only time for Danijel Pranjic and Diego Contento to take over from Ribery and Müller before the final whistle on a good afternoon for the men in red.

Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley
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