Bayern conceded TWICE and lost but the universe still exists. How did that happen? Is Heynckes sacked yet? What happened to Jan Schlaudraff’s hair? The answer to two of these three questions and more can be found here.
No. Jupp Heynckes is not sacked yet. Even less surprising than that fact was the starting lineup he fielded. Daniel van Buyten was sidelined, Luiz Gustavo finally rested, so the eleven players many call Bayern’s best lineup (sans Robben) started. Mirko Slomka’s only change was to replace striker Didier Ya Konan with midfielder Manuel Schmiedebach, a move to increase the defensive stability that they thought wasn’t needed against København.
As expected, it turned out to be an uptempo match from the beginning. Hannover didn’t park the bus (kudos, that’s a very rare sight, especially for an ‘inferior’ team) and Bayern seemed to be a bit surprised at that, they couldn’t control possession or create chances for an early goal to set the tone. The hosts had the first great scoring chance after about 10 minutes but Mohammed Abdellaoue’s shot didn’t go in (another rare sight). This was a wake-up call for Bayern, Mario Gomez’ header was brilliantly saved by Ron-Robert Zieler, not to mention the excellent Toni Kroos whose shot was too perfect and only hit the crossbar.
It continued to be an open match until Philipp Lahm had another brain fart, his second in 5 days (talking about rare sights…). Hannover right-back Steven Cherundolo didn’t know what to do with the ball inside Bayern’s box and seemed to be about to take a weak, harmless shot when Lahm showed up right behind him, close enough to initiate a contact that was well received by the American. Referee Manuel Gräfe made the right decision here, the fact that the contact was totally unnecessary doesn’t mean that this wasn’t a penalty. Abdellaoue scored, perfect for Hannover who now could rely on the dangerous counter-attacks. They didn’t sit back and defend immediately, though.
About 5 minutes later, Jerome Boateng was sent off for shoving Christian Schulz. Again, right decision, simply because Boateng was
stupid hot-headed enough to accept the invitation. Did Schulz deserve a red card for pushing Toni Kroos? Maybe, that’s arguable. Still, this showcased Boateng’s main weakness: he loses his temper too often. I’m fairly optimistic that he’ll gain control sooner or later but as of now, it’s pretty much the only reason why he can be a liability.
Now, with a one-man advantage, one expected Hannover to go for the second goal. While they still didn’t enter the bunker in front of their own goal, the commitment to attacking wasn’t that big. Furthermore, they seemed to be the team that was unnerved by the tussle, collecting two yellow cards, several other fouls that were at least very close to deserving a booking (including Christian Schulz who couldn’t have complained had he received his second booking of the match). Referee Gräfe seemed to be a bit reluctant, fearing that another sending-off would lead to all manners being thrown overboard and him completely losing control. Both teams (Gomez, Stindl) wasted another massive scoring chance before halftime. A bad-tempered first half, a 1-1 or 2-2 probably would’ve been the fairer result.
The second half started with more wasted scoring chances, Gomez just couldn’t beat the excellent Zieler. If this match still wasn’t weird enough for you, now it was: A Christian Pander shot (that would’ve went wide) was deflected by Luiz Gustavo, who now acted as second center back, with just enough swerve to beat Manuel Neuer and roll into the net. Now Bayern was completely shocked, everything went against them, so Stindl almost scored a third. The inevitable happened when Steven Cherundolo was sent off for a second bookable offence. Another wake-up call for Bayern, Heynckes reacted by replacing Rafinha with David Alaba, completely giving up the (again disappointing, again not mainly because of the right-back) right flank.
They tried, they really did. Holger Badstuber was the sheet anchor, Luiz Gustavo acted more as a holding midfielder than a center back, Philipp Lahm was a left (and sometimes right) midfielder, supporting the two left wings Ribery and Alaba, Toni Kroos was all over the pitch, defining the term box-to-box midfielder.
David Alaba scored a goal with ten minutes remaining, raising some hope. Ivica Olic was brought on, Nils Petersen was brought on for Holger Badstuber, the only remaining defender. Bastian Schweinsteiger’s shot only hit the post, Alaba’s free kick closely missed the net. Hannover didn’t want to score a third. That was it, the hosts win 2-1. They did a great job in the first half (and completely parked the bus in the second) but Bayern wasn’t the weaker team. Sure, it was far from being a sublime performance, Thomas Müller again disappointed, Philipp Lahm again disappointed defensively and Mario Gomez simply couldn’t score a goal. But they never gave up, they had chances to equalize even when they were shorthanded. Simply put, they deserved a point but it just wasn’t meant to be on this apparently cursed Sunday evening. And credit where credit is due, Toni Kroos was phenomenal. If Bayern won this, everybody would be talking about him now.
- 1-0 Abdellaoue (23′)
- 2-0 Pander (50′)
- 2-1 Alaba (83′)
- Hannover 96:
- Konstantin Rausch (Schulz, 46′)
- Sofian Chahed (Schlaudraff, 71′)
- Didier Ya Konan (Abdellaoue, 79′)
- FC Bayern:
- David Alaba (Rafinha, 68′)
- Ivica Olic (Gomez, 84′)
- Nils Petersen (Badstuber, 87′)
Team stats (Hannover-Bayern):
- Ball possession: 37% – 63%
- Shots taken: 11 – 18
- Passes completed (in %): 167 – 438 (75% – 85%)
- Corner kicks: 2 – 5
- Tackles won: 46% – 54%
- Fouls committed: 19 – 12
- Distance covered: 113,5 – 107,8
Leading player stats (Hannover-Bayern):
- Touches: Lars Stindl (62) – Bastian Schweinsteiger (104)
- Shots taken: Pander/Abdellaoue (3 each) – Mario Gomez (5)
- Passes completed: Lars Stindl (26) – Philipp Lahm (65)
- Crosses attempted: Pander/Schlaudraff/Rausch (1 each) – Franck Ribery (3)
- Tackles won: Lars Stindl (17) – Kroos/Schweinsteiger (13 each)
- Tackles won in %: Steven Cherundolo (69%) – Rafinha (78%)
- Distance covered: Manuel Schmiedebach (12,6) – Bastian Schweinsteiger (12,1)
- Fastest sprint in km/h: Pander/Rausch (31,7) – Holger Badstuber (32,6)
Other Bundesliga matches:
- Augsburg v Bremen 1-1 (Bellinghausen; Pizarro)
- Nürnberg v Stuttgart 2-2 (Simons, Wollscheid; Kuzmanovic, Maza)
- Hertha v Mainz 0-0
- Hoffenheim v Gladbach 1-0 (Ibisevic)
- Lautern v Freiburg 1-0 (Shechter)
- Dortmund v Köln 5-0 (Kagawa, Schmelzer, Lewandowski x2, Kehl)
- Hamburg v Wolfsburg 1-1 (Petric; Mandzukic)
- Leverkusen v Schalke 0-1 (Farfan)
Next match: Wednesday v Ingolstadt (DFB-Pokal, 2nd round), 8.30 pm