Because I couldn’t watch the match and, as some of you might’ve noticed by now, I’m lazy, I once again asked Hanna (follow on Twitter) to write a bit about the 90 minutes. Enjoy the, in terms of both quality and quantity, compared to my pieces, superior recap.
It’s relatively typical for me, I’d say. Missing my own anniversary. Oh no, I mean the writing recaps for this blog anniversary, don’t worry. A huge privilege, even though I sometimes wish I could write about the matches that are, you know, actually interesting to read about afterwards. I somehow seem to pick the games that people grimace over when reminded of, and not pleasantly so. The most recent games Bayern have played versus Wolfsburg have resulted in oft stifled minutes of football, void of high end scores or entertainment. Mind you, last night’s game wasn’t per se stifled. Both sides had expectations looming, Bayern to put up a three point game following the loss to Gladbach last week. And Wolfsburg to build on their previous win over Köln.
There were hardly any other expectations than that Bayern were to dictate play and game. They mostly did, starting strong. The starting lineup of Neuer – Rafina, Boateng, Badstuber, Lahm – Schweinsteiger, Kroos – Robben, Müller, Ribery – Gomez was a fairly typical one, Jerome Boateng for Daniel Van Buyten being the only change anybody talked about. Schweinsteiger back in the lineup are words that will always make supporters let out their breath in relief, albeit have them fiddle nervously when he goes down, clutching his knee and grimacing. Magath would, countering Heynckes, pick his XI with defense in mind. The eleven, consisting of Benaglio – Träsch, Russ, Lopes, Rodriguez – Hasebe, Chris, Jirácek, Schäfer – Dejagah, Mandzukic countered Bayern quite well throughout, albeit, it is to be noted that disallowing an early Gomez strike was a probable mental helper.
The first half was frustration for Bayern, and on the other flip coin, relief for Wolfsburg. Bayern, one Gomez goal disallowed, another sitter missed, and sloppy passes ahoy, had despite that dominated quite well. Wolfsburg weren’t harmless, however. Given the opportunity they looked quite dangerous on the counter, but with an overall lack of organized offense they would never look continually dangerous. Bayern, certainly in the possession of offensive threats, especially so with Ribéry and Robben on the flanks. Ribéry especially looked lively on his end, constantly a threat. Robben, needless to say, was not invisible, but Rodriguez was great at his side, and stifled the Dutchman well.
As the last minutes of the first half dwindled, Wolfsburg would have something to say about the 0-0 score, however. Dejagah and Mandzukic took the opportunity when given, spurting down the field towards Manuel Neuer, as of that still relatively untested. Mandzukic, with the ball, crossed to the trailing Dejagah, only to be blocked by Schweinsteiger. Not his finest clean up, perhaps, as Bayern fans winced as the ball landed at Mandzukic’s feet once again. He did save on his blunder, however, blocking the second attempt as well. The first half was pretty much done by then.
The second half provided little difference, truth to be told. With the game continuing in a deadlock that juggled possession and chances between the two sides (a trademark type of the Bayern/Wolfsburg fixtures recently, as I might have told you already, yes?), albeit with Bayern regaining most of their dominance. As you might expect, though, when a team with offensive capacity faces a defensive team undermined in the matter of class players versus class players, it will most likely result in a goal sooner or later.
Ribéry won the free kick on the edge of Wolfsburg’s box, having been pulled down by Hasebe. Mario Gomez, whom you might say was overdue a goal since earlier, cared to not miss, or be offside, this time. He even scored with his feet! Nobody stood a chance to save that one, however. (Hint: there were many on the ground there. If you wanted to look at that sentence with my wit in mind.) Discard my ramblings, 1-0 Bayern, game on.
The goal being scored in the 60th minute of the game, there was always time for a comeback, however. Magath swiftly made a change to his side, facing the deification of being down, and switched Jirácek for Sio. Bayern answered with Müller out for Gustavo, a defensive switch as you hear.
The visitors to the Allianz couldn’t create anything out of it, really, as the half hour to go ran away with them. Bayern, with their oft criticized and questioned defense (which continues to be questioned and criticized on some level, though) held their stance. The game, characterized for its lack of impressiveness, would continue that way. Both sides made a few more switches, namely Olic for Gomez (’75), and Alaba for Ribéry (’89). Wolfsburg also had two, with Koo coming on for Chris just before half time (’41) and then Polter for Hasebe (’82).
None of the players had much of an impact on how the game was played up until overtime. +3 would be added, and by the 91st minute, it would essentially be done. A free kick was delivered to the feet of Ivica Olic, who lobbed it over Benaglio who couldn’t reach it. Lopes appeared to be able to clear on the goalie, but shot straight at Robben, whose questionable body part steered it right back in. 2-0. Might I add, Robben has now, afterwards, given the goal to Olic.
That was it, really. Not so much more to add, Bayern played a relatively lackluster game, despite dictating play a large part of the game. Wolfsburg had it tough, but held their ground for the majority of the game. An important victory for Bayern, both in terms of moral, and in terms of standings. And both of those do connect, don’t they? Remain seated in first = moral boost.
Some stats before you’ll be on your way (Bayern – Wolfsburg):
- Possession: 53.5% – 46.5%
- Shots on goal: 10 – 7
- Corners: 4 – 4
- Offside calls: 7 – 1
- Fouls (incl. cards): 16 (Yellow: Rafinha) – 22 (Yellow: Hasebe, Russ)