Bundesliga Week 31 Recap: Bayern v Mainz 0-0

After first losing the title at Leverkusen, then losing the title at Dortmund, it was incredibly bad luck for FC Bayern to lose a third title in the space of two months. Then again, luck has hardly been in abundance throughout the 2011-12 campaign. This match, like every naked photo shoot Ivica Olic has ever done most of 2012, has been an entirely forgettable occasion for the rekordmeister. After The Great Satan prevailed in Gelsenkirchen, the gauntlet was thrown down to our boys in red to claim a home win against little Mainz. This we could not do. It is thus my joyless task to describe to you, in rigorous and unerring detail, the myriad ways that the Bavarians conspired to fuck everything up this time. Someone has to do it.

Under the gaze of 69,000 pairs of eyes at the Allianz Arena, a weakened Bayern side spearheaded by Ivica “not Nils” Olic kicked off. From the very first second of play, Heynckes’ men took a line from their dear compatriot Berni and went on holiday, tapping the ball amongst each other in their own end like a slow, drawn out ping pong session where both players drop their paddles and go for a few beers (Veltins, incidentally) instead. Bayern couldn’t have cared less if they had set up a few armchairs on the pitch, settled down with a bottle of Madeira for a quick round of whist, and left Fritz von Thurn und Taxis’ dog to tend the goalmouth. An unlikely saviour for the disinterested Bavarians came in the form of Thomas Tuchel, who sagaciously deduced that if there was no play to concentrate on, the cameras could concentrate on his newly developed moustache stroking routines. Like everything else in this match, the Mainz trainer’s depraved designs proved a dysfunctional failure.

The first chance of the match came three hours after the match had finished, when a groundsman at the Allianz Arena booted an abandoned ball in the general direction of the net, driving his low half shot wide of the mark in the fourth minute, as Arjen “worst player ever” Robben won a corner on the right side of Heinz “Thomas” Müller’s box, resulting in as many goals as Schalke have won titles. Within a matter of minutes, Andreas Ivanschitz (Andreas Ivanschitz, Christian Fuchs, what do they get up to in Austria?) had an even better chance, blasting the ball high and wide of Moby Dick’s net. The match would settle down to its usual siesta pace once again, but not before Arjen Robben jinked through six white shirted defenders before threading the ball to Ivica “GAAAAH!” Olic, who thrust it wide of the net.

In the 22nd minute, play once again reemerged from the depths of this afternoon like a rusting anchor from a great undersea hulk, as Bastian Schweinsteiger lofted a long ball in the general direction of Ivica “not him again” Olic, who somehow conspired to squander the opportunity like the prodigal son squandered half of his father’s (Jupp Heynckes’) fortune, leaving the older son (Nils Petersen) understandably miffed. Elsewhere at the Allianz, Holger Badstuber was booked for lightly touching a white shirted attacker and conceding a free kick. The Bavarian defender was not impressed, to say the least.

In the 33rd minute, Arjen “lynch him!” Robben was passed into the area with a lofty through ball, the flying Dutchman latched on to it before executing a triple Cruyff turn through the forest of Main defenders and thrashing a sweet volley into the top corner of Heinz Müller’s net to open the scoring for Bayern which the linesman incorrectly ruled offside. Fiddlesticks. Two minutes later, brilcreem’s Adam Szalai dashed down the wing and hammered the ball high and wide above the net. Crikey. In the 42nd minute (and really, there was nothing in the seven minutes between Szalai’s chance and the meaning of life. Nothing. I think a wormhole may have opened in the timespace continuum.), Anatoliy Tymoshchuk hit a low drive at Heinz Müller’s right post. Blistering barnacles. A minute later, Ivica Olic received a silky aerial pass a matter of feet away from the 05ers’ goals and somehow bungled it into Müller’s outstretched arms. Yawn.

Imagine a bus travelling down the A99 at a speed of 230km/h. Imagine the driver of that bus suddenly formulates a desire to make a turn. It was this enterprising spirit of fickle whimsy that drifted over Jupp Heynckes during the halftime interval at the Allianz Arena on saturday, as Shifty Eyes hauled off David Alaba for Franck Ribery. Heynckes’ strategy immediately came to fruition, as the French international flew down the wing with a series of silky dribbles, declining to make the necessary pass, pulling back his foot to attempt a shot and BAM! losing the ball to the mass of white shirted defenders. That’s not on, Franck! Selfish dribbling is Arjen’s job!

Yet this game would go on. And on and on and on and on and on and on and I think you know where this is going. 12 minutes after the second half commenced, Anatoliy “potent attacking threat” Tymoshchuk pulled another low shot just wide of the post. For the next twenty minutes, Jupp Heynckes’ men would shock everyone, including themselves, with a relatively decent spell of play, mostly consisting of the “run around the wing and tap in the occasional half hearted cross” variety, but playing halfheartedly is better than playing with no heart at all. Speaking of playing and hearts, Mario Gomez made an entrance both late and fashionable in the 60th minute. Within four minutes, the Schwabian stunner stroked a chance as beautiful as his hair over the bar. The match ran out twenty minutes before the final whistle, after Franck Ribery scraped the last dregs of the game from the bottom of the barrel by cutting in from the wing and work a perfect aerial pass to Heinz Müller. In the 78th minute, Toni Kroos was brought on for Thomas Müller, who was reported to present at the Allianz Arena for the previous 78 minutes and halftime, but that’s nonsense, because everyone knows ghosts aren’t real.

Some notes:

  • Anatoliy Tymoshchuk was easily Bayern’s greatest attacking threat in this game and he’s Ukrainian. Should we be proud?
  • Did I describe Thomas Müller as a ghost? Because I meant a spectre. A spectre that doesn’t exist. And is also invisible. At this point, Müller looks like he would have difficulty breaking into the Erzgebirge Aue U-15 reserve side. I honestly cannot believe it has come to this.
  • Now the season is all but over, Holger Badstuber should definitely be in with a shout for Bayern’s player of the season. The Bavarian defender has improved his play to no end in the last two months, eliminating many of the petty flaws his game. Holger doesn’t deserve this team, he’s too good for them.
  • An editorial on the prominent and imaginatively titled Italian football website Football Italia from a few weeks before our ill-fated Champions League final encounter against Inter expressed regret that Diego Contento was unlikely to pledge his international future to Italy. Ah, those were the days.
  • Bastian Schweinsteiger was given the captaincy on a temporary basis during interviewführer Phillip Lahm’s absence. Perhaps it had more to do with the entire team playing like the last breaths of a dying shark, but I found Piggy‘s performance not unlike Lahmpolean’s usual fodder.
  • After a lengthy run of tipping Bayern defeats, former Germany U-17 coach Steffen Freund was missing from the pundit’s desk on Sky today. Entirely coincidentally, the camera did not once pan to Uli Hoeness.Or is it?
  • Sell all the players.

Goals:

Subs:

  • FC Bayern:
    • Franck Ribery (Alaba, 46′)
    • Mario Gomez (Olic, 61′)
    • Toni Kroos (Müller, 79′)
  • FSV Mainz 05:
    • Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting (Ivanschitz, 57′)
    • Eugen Polanski (Baumgartlinger, 61′)
    • Niko Bungert (N. Müller, 74′)

Team stats (Bayern-Mainz):

  • Ball possession: 69% – 31%
  • Shots taken: 15 – 5
  • Passes completed (in %): 572 – 111 (86% – 69%)
  • Corner kicks: 13 – 4
  • Tackles won: 54% – 46%
  • Fouls committed: 5 – 13
  • Distance covered: 116,8 – 123,4

Leading player stats (Bayern-Mainz):

  • Touches: Bastian Schweinsteiger (127) – Heinz Müller (44)
  • Shots taken: Ivica Olic (5) – Andreas Ivanschitz (2)
  • Passes completed: Jerome Boateng (86) – Elkin Soto (18)
  • Crosses attempted: Rafinha (6) – N.Müller/Caligiuri (2 each)
  • Tackles won: Diego Contento (21) – Radoslav Zabavnik (15)
  • Tackles won in %: Diego Contento (88%) – Nikolce Noveski (70%)
  • Distance covered: Bastian Schweinsteiger (11,7) – Elkin Soto (12,2)
  • Fastest sprint in km/h: Arjen Robben (32,8) – Marco Caligiuri (32,2)

Next match: Tuesday v Madrid (Champions League), 8.45 pm

 

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