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Weary Reds outfought by battling Bielefeld

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Weary Reds outfought by battling Bielefeld

Postby FCBayernNews » Sun Sep 17, 2006 5:40 pm


Saturday's shock 2-1 defeat away to Arminia Bielefeld was an unwelcome enough development in the Bayern camp, but the misery of the champions' first reverse of term was thoroughly compounded and all but overshadowed by the broken leg which will keep influential midfielder Owen Hargreaves out of the game for at least six weeks (<a href="" target="_blank">report</a>).

"It's a bad loss at this stage of the season," Bayern boss Felix Magath confirmed on Sunday morning, visibly downcast in equal measure by the dropped league points and the prospect of a lengthy lay-off for his first-choice holding midfielder.

<b>Heavy legs</b>
The ecstatic chants emanating from the throats of a majority of the 26,601 full house were still echoing around the Schüco Arena as Magath offered an initial reaction to Saturday's match. "It's what you call a not undeserved defeat. It'll take a little while to get over," the coach mused, noting that an intense 120 minutes against St Pauli in the Cup and the midweek Champions League exertions had exacted a toll on his players. "We looked heavy legged against a fresh Bielefeld side. And when your opponents play with that much passion, you'll get exactly this result."

Nevertheless, few punters could have predicted the final outcome if asked for an opinion 25 minutes into the match. Mark van Bommel marked his Bundesliga debut with a first goal for his new club after just six minutes as the champions serenely controlled proceedings, "but we were guilty of thinking we were home and dry, and we took our foot off the gas," Magath criticised.

<b>A dozen corners</b>
Hargreaves' injury-enforced departure after 24 minutes and Artur Wichniarek's headed equaliser just 60 seconds later "knocked us out of our stride," Magath remarked. "We were affected by both incidents, because we had the feeling we were in the comfort zone."

"We kept pushing forward and went looking for the win after half-time," the coach continued. However, Arminia had only lost two of their previous six home games against Bayern and put up characteristically stubborn resistance. "They battered us into submission in the second half. We had nothing to show for it apart from a dozen corners, although credit to my team for always looking to win the game."

<b>More effort needed</b>
"I sort of felt it coming. We made more and more errors as the game went on," captain Oliver Kahn reflected. "Sometimes you have to be content with a draw. We threw everything into attack and invite them to hit us on the break. Every one of us wanted to be the match-winner."

Instead, Jonas Kamper buried a thunderbolt of a free-kick on 84 minutes to condemn Bayern to their first defeat of term. "We didn't put enough into the game to deserve a victory," Daniel van Buyten reasoned. Added Kahn: "We've often had problems when we come here. We can't come here thinking it only needs 60 or 70 percent to win."

<b>A time to make amends</b>
The double winners now have a full week to analyse the causes for their defeat and recharge their batteries ahead of next Saturday's home fixture against promoted Alemannia Aachen, a game van Bommel expects to take a very different course: "We've normally got to be winning today's match, and we wouldn't be hearing anything about Bielefeld afterwards. We've thrown away three points here today, so we have to take all three against Aachen next Saturday."
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