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Workmanlike Bayern down stubborn Fürth

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Workmanlike Bayern down stubborn Fürth

Postby FCBayernNews » Sat Jan 19, 2013 5:40 pm

Mario Mandzukic struck twice as Bayern ran up an unspectacular but workmanlike victory in the Bundesliga restart clash at home to struggling Bavarian rivals Greuther Fürth on Saturday. A 14th win of the season ensures Jupp Heynckes' side maintain their 11-point lead at the top of the standings.

The 71,000 who braved the freezing cold to pack the Allianz Arena to capacity saw the league leaders turn the screw from the start against the bottom club and take a 26th-minute lead through Mandzukic, although Munich were guilty of missing a couple of very good chances to increase the advantage before half-time.

The Reds finally struck again after 61 minutes, Croatia hitman Mandzukic completing his brace with a header from a corner, before Arjen Robben made a return to competitive action with 20 minutes remaining. FCB were content to leave it at that, as the leaders secured the priority target of a win at the start of the second half of the campaign.

The result means Bayern now have 45 points from 18 matches and an exceptional goal difference of plus 39. The men from Munich remain 11 points clear of Bayer Leverkusen, 3-1 winners against Eintracht Frankfurt, and are 15 ahead of champions Dortmund, who play Bremen in the evening kick-off. FCB are next in action away to VfB Stuttgart next Sunday.

In the first match of his farewell tour as FCB boss before handing on to Pep Guardiola in the summer, Heynckes picked from a near full-strength squad, with only Holger Badstuber (cruciate) unavailable for selection. The boss opted for Daniel van Buyten instead of Jerome Boateng at centre-back, and Mandzukic rather than Mario Gomez up front. A star-studded subs' bench included further attacking options with the likes of Robben and Xherdan Shaqiri.

It all meant the starting line-up comprised Manuel Neuer in goal, David Alaba, Dante, Van Buyten and captain Philipp Lahm in defence, Javi Martinez and Bastian Schweinsteiger in the holding roles, Thomas Müller and Franck Ribery on the flanks, and Toni Kroos in the hole behind Mandzukic.

Fürth arrived at the Arena with a paltry nine points from the first half of the season - and no team in Bundesliga history has ever avoided relegation from that position. To make matters worse, boss Mike Büskens had to deal with a selection crisis, as injuries, illness and suspension deprived him of the services of Mavraj, Schmidtgal, Prib and new signing Djurdjic.

Once referee Markus Schmidt whistled play underway, the match immediately assumed the expected pattern with the bottom club pulling every man back and attempting to stifle the home side's creative ambitions. The first chance fell to Ribery, but the Frenchman's first-time effort after a set play was deflected and skidded a couple of yards wide. Fürth centre-back Abdul Rahman Baba then dallied on the ball, allowing Ribery to scoot clear, but Lasse Sobiech cleared for a corner, from which Martinez flicked a header inches wide of the right-hand upright.

FCB continued to call the shots, Christopher Nöthe denying Dante with a last-ditch tackle, before Baba performed similar heroics to block a six-yard drive from Mandzukic. The midpoint of the half had come and gone before the home side took an overdue lead, Dante switching the play for Müller to cross on the volley from the right. Mandzukic beat Sobiech to the ball and shot at goal, Fürth keeper Wolfgang Hesl contributing to the Munich cause by allowing the Croat's effort to slip through his hands and over the line.

Bayern had the bit between their teeth now and van Buyten crashed a free-kick into the Fürth wall, before Müller missed from close range and Mandzukic slid a shot wide following a superb interchange between Kroos and Müller. Hesl partially atoned for his error with a save from Alaba's deflected free-kick, as the teams turned round with the league leaders a goal to the good.

Some ten minutes had been played after the restart when the visitors finally made a meaningful foray into the FCB area, but Zoltan Stieber hesitated and Dante cleared the danger. That seemed to rouse Heynckes' men, who created a flurry of chances around the hour, alhough Mandzukic and Ribery's close control just let them down, before Schweinsteiger saw a curling free-kick beaten away by Hesl.

However, the ensuing corner taken by Kroos led to the second goal on 61 minutes, Mandzukic rising above Nöthe to nod home into the bottom left-hand corner. The outcome seemed in little doubt now, and Heynckes sent on Robben and Shaqiri for Müller and Kroos with 20 minutes to go. Martinez headed too high from a Shaqiri cross, Neuer actually had the ball in his hands after an effort from Fürth sub Ilir Azemi, and Thomas Kleine blocked Ribery's angled drive.

In the final ten minutes, former FCB youth and reserve Stephan Fürstner at least had a shot at goal on his return to a former stamping ground, before Gomez replaced Mandzukic as the match wound down to the finish.

Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley
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Re: Workmanlike Bayern down stubborn Fürth

Postby Spice » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:58 pm

FCBayernNews wrote:A 14th win of the season ensures Jupp Heynckes' side maintain their 11-point lead at the top of the standings.


I hope the "11-point lead" wrong information will materialize soon. [-o<
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Re: Workmanlike Bayern down stubborn Fürth

Postby MUTU » Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:37 pm

Well spotted!
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Re: Workmanlike Bayern down stubborn Fürth

Postby FCBayernMunchen » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:13 pm

Every single time I read this title as "Womanlike Bayern..." :lol:
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