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Ten-man Bayern brush aside feeble Köln

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Ten-man Bayern brush aside feeble Köln

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:30 pm

Despite Franck Ribery's first-half sending off, Bayern sealed the so-called autumn championship for the team top of the Bundesliga at the halfway mark in the season with a comfortable victory over negative Köln, finally beating their bogey opponents for the first time in six meetings between the clubs. Mario Gomez, David Alaba and Toni Kroos scored the second-half goals to wrap up a fully merited 12th league victory for Jupp Heynckes' men.

The 69,000 full house at the Allianz Arena saw the home side boss the match and create chances in a lively start against the deep-lying visitors, but the complexion of the match changed just after the half-hour when Ribery received his marching orders after an altercation with Portuguese defender Henrique Sereno.

Despite going a man down, Bayern still kept up the pressure and were rewarded when Gomez slotted home three minutes after the restart. Sub Alaba made it two on the hour against the increasingly porous visiting defence, Kroos rounding off the scoring at the end of what became a very one-sided excounter.

The result adds official confirmation to Bayern's position on top of the league at the psychologically significant halfway mark in the campaign, as the Reds have 37 points from 17 matches, six clear of Dortmund and Schalke, who are in action on Saturday. The Bavarians round off the year away to Bochum in the last sixteen of the DFB Cup next Tuesday, before heading off on vacation until 2 January next year.

In the continuing absence of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Heynckes chose to keep faith with the side which beat Stuttgart 2-1 last Sunday. Manuel Neuer kept goal as usual, with Philipp Lahm, Daniel van Buyten, Holger Badstuber and Rafinha in the back four, Kroos alongside Anatoliy Tymoshchuk in defensive midfield, Arjen Robben and Ribery out wide, and Thomas Müller in behind Mario Gomez.

Köln boss Stale Solbakken fielded a line-up including two former FCB men, goalkeeper Michael Rensing and in-form striker Lukas Podolski. While Bayern had created the most chances in the league prior to kick-off (125), the men from Cologne had made the fewest (64), but boasted the best conversion rate at 42.2 percent, largely thanks to 14-goal Poldi.

Once referee Guido Winkmann whistled the match underway on a damp and windy night in Munich, the home side seized control from the start, Ribery warming Rensing's gloves twice in a breathless first ten minutes, before Gomez steered a header from the Frenchman's cross wide of the target.

But after that, and despite the early loss of full-back Miso Brecko to injury, the visitors snuffed out FCB's attacking moves 30 or so yards from goal for a spell, before Müller glanced a header wide from Lahm's cross, and Sascha Reither blocked a Van Buyten piledriver, comically causing the match ball to burst in the process.

But with no prior warning, there was drama just after the half-hour when Sereno and Ribery tangled and were booked, the Frenchman unwisely refusing to let the situation lie and leaving Winkmann with little choice but to administer a second yellow and the obligatory sending off.

Slawomir Peszko volleyed Koln's first real chance over the bar as Munich reorganised, but the pattern of the opening spell was soon restored as the visitors pulled men back and FCB tried their luck from long range, Kroos twice aiming too high before the half-time whistle.

Müller failed to connect properly with Kroos' defence-splitting lob from the first chance after the restart, but Gomez soon made up for that with the opening goal on 48 minutes, the striker applying a simple finish after Geromel's howler allowed Müller a darting run and cut-back from the inside-right channel.

Müller gave way to Alaba as Heynckes opted to beef up the midfield, but Neuer was the next man in action with his first save of the game from Mato Jajalo's close-range flick. Köln still showed a puzzling lack of ambition and were punished on 63 minutes when Alaba netted at the far stick after a Kroos corner sailed unhindered across the face of goal.

With the points in the bag, Gomez and Robben now gave way to Ivica Olic and Luiz Gustavo, the Brazilian using his first touch to release Tymoshchuk for a shot into the side-netting. There was still time for Olic and Alaba to set up Kroos for the third two minutes from time, making the margin of victory a realistic reflection of the play.

Live match report for by Chris Hamley
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