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FC Bayern Munich
Posted by Susie Schaaf on 04/02/2012

Wins against Olympique de Marseille in Champions League action last Wednesday and the 184th Bavarian Derby over Nuernberg on Saturday are showing a different side of Bayern Munich. While the wholesale slaughter of Hertha BSC, FC Basel and Hoffenheim were oh-so-fun to witness, the last few matches- unnerving at times- are proving a will and determination to win. Even when things aren't going our way.

Spanish referee Carlos Carballo essentially ruined what could have been a tough, physical match in the Stade Velodrome. Missed calls, seven yellow cards (five for Bayern and two for Marseille) and many inappropriate whistles blown turned the first quarter-final tie in to a bit of a circus. It was very frustrating to watch as both teams descended and devolved in to diving to pick up free kicks.

Only once this season have Munich failed to win after scoring first - a 1-1 draw with Napoli in the group stage - but they have been traditionally better when scoring early; forcing the opposition to create space. Indeed, Bayern was lucky to pick up the opening strike a minute from the half as third-string OM keeper Elinton Andrade couldn't contain Mario Gomez' low shot. However, the second goal for die Roten was classic Arjen Robben-style: A little give-and-go with Thomas Mueller and a well-placed volley across Andrade.

And while the Frenchies got a... erm... "sorely-needed" rest over the weekend, Bayern Muenchen were back in action in the Bavarian Derby at Nuernberg. And again our backs were up against a wall as referee Felix Zwayer disallowed a Mario Gomez strike midway through the second half. And also again, we were saved by the scintillating Dutchman as he scored the lone goal after keeper Schaefer had blocked Franck Ribery's shot.

With Dortmund being held to a 4-4 draw on Friday against Stuttgart, the narrow win over our fellow Bavarians puts Munich three points behind BVB with six Bundesliga matches left, including a championship-deciding, mouth-watering match between the two squads on April 11th. However glittery that game may be, it may be remembered that the derby was the decisive one.

But now we turn our attention again to Champions League, and a match made nervy by the amount of yellow cards handed out in the first tie. And lest we forget that Marseille came back to beat Dortmund 3-2 in the group stages to go through. Jupp Heynckes' men will need all their concentration and focus to win without unnecessary yellows, as four key players are on two: Toni Kroos, Thomas Mueller, Luiz Gustavo and Jerome Boateng.

If les Phoceens open up against us in Munich, this could very well be a butt-whipping akin to our stellar three-match run with the +19 goal differential. But, even if it's close, this team has finally figured out they have the heart and the character to go through. Besides, who doesn't want to see a Bayern Munich - Real Madrid semi-final?

Auf gehts, Bayern!

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Comments

Posted by Tom on 04/03/2012

What was UEFA thinking having a Spanish ref (from Madrid no less) reffing that game, when the winner of this tie is going to play Real in the semis! Nothing like loading up teams with yellow cards to influence future rounds, or so the conspiracy theorists will speculate. Lahm's card in particular was a joke.
I frankly find the accumalating yellow card rule in cup competitions to be dumb anyway. All it does is punish teams that are successful, and go deep in competitions. As a German it would of been nice to have Thomas Mueller in the 2010 World Cup semis, or Michael Ballack in the 2002 Final.

Posted by Tom on 04/03/2012

What was UEFA thinking having a Spanish ref (from Madrid no less) reffing that game, when the winner of this tie is going to play Real in the semis! Nothing like loading up teams with yellow cards to influence future rounds, or so the conspiracy theorists will speculate. Lahm's card in particular was a joke.
I frankly find the accumalating yellow card rule in cup competitions to be dumb anyway. All it does is punish teams that are successful, and go deep in competitions. As a German it would of been nice to have Thomas Mueller in the 2010 World Cup semis, or Michael Ballack in the 2002 Final.

Posted by Larry on 04/03/2012

It's funny, once they pull together as a team and stop worrying about personal accolades, that they can achieve any goal they set out to conquer.

Two points about they OM game:

1. The ref may have screwed us with all of the yellow cards. Being shorthanded against Real is just not right.

2. Franck let the crowd into his head...he was trying WAY to hard. I bet he settles down today.

Great post, as usual, Susie.

Posted by Anonymous on 04/03/2012

Hi Susie,

"We still have the return at home, although obviously, we're in a good position now, we're keeping it very tight at the moment, we're very disciplined, aggressive, and hard-working. It's going well and we have to keep it up." - Frank Ribery.

"At the moment, there's total desire in the team, and all credit for that," - Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Above quotes reflect the spirit shared by most (if not all) of Bayern Munchen Players, and keeping our feet on the ground is key to this return fixture (we all remember the Inter game!).

On the suspensions issue; may i add that even Lahm, Bitchface, Tymo, Alaba and Ribery should stay focused. We still have plenty to do, and it's not only the first leg of the semi that is critical.

Do you have any idea/assumption what will the lineup be?

Thanks for the Great Blog.

Auf Gehts, Bayern!

Posted by Ruud on 04/03/2012

Hi Susie,

"We still have the return at home, although obviously, we're in a good position now, we're keeping it very tight at the moment, we're very disciplined, aggressive, and hard-working. It's going well and we have to keep it up." - Frank Ribery.

"At the moment, there's total desire in the team, and all credit for that," - Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Above quotes reflect the spirit shared by most (if not all) of Bayern Munchen Players, and keeping our feet on the ground is key to this return fixture (we all remember the Inter game!).

On the suspensions' issue; may i add that even Lahm, Bitchface, Tymo, Alaba and Ribery should stay focused. We still have plenty to do, and it is not only the first leg of the semi that is critical.

Do you have any idea/assumption what will the lineup be?

Thanks for the Great Blog.

Auf Gehts, Bayern!

Posted by Susie on 04/03/2012

Tom---

Philipp's card was horrendous. He's the captain and should be allowed to have a say. And personally I feel Bastian shouldn't have been carded. But, it works out better that he was.

...And Franck Ribery in the 2010 CL Finale. :)

Larry---

Franck, for some reason now, feels that his home country is against him. He also doesn't play well for the NT anymore. Strange. But, more power to Bayern for reeling him in, and standing by him when he went through all that crap. France's loss is certainly our gain.

Posted by Susie on 04/03/2012

Ruud---

If I had to take a stab at the line up? Hmmmmmm...

Neuer - Lahm, Urkel, Bitchface, Alaba - Tymo, Kroos - Robben, Mueller, Ribery - Gomez.

Why Tymo? Cos I think Goose is a bit more prone to bad tackles over Jerome. If Kroos picks up another yellow, Schweini will be back. If Mueller picks up another yellow, Kroos can play the ten spot. If they both do? Hell, we're screwed.

Good news, however. Our ref isn't Spanish this time. He's from Norway. Yay!

Posted by Ruud on 04/03/2012

Thanks Susie, and LOL at Urkel (first time i hear/read it!).

At times like these, you wish we have kept Altintop (he's getting plenty of playing time now :))

Cheers!

Posted by latibaba on 04/03/2012

i can't remember the last time Bayern was branded with 5yellow cards in a match.
is our style of play that rough?
was Marseille too spectacular like Barca that we have to turn to a Rugby?
Honestly speaking Lahm caution was totally uncalled for and i think it should be protested.

Some sport jounalist in Nigeria actullay questioned the nationality of the spanish refree before that match,knowing fully well that we will be meeting a spanish side in the semi-final.can that be a coincidence or conspiracy?

JH is now awake about the depth of the team which very crucial at this point with his starting of Pranji and Contento against Nurmberg,but the question remain,are they fit into those spaces or are they spectacular enough to give us the expected performance?
Bayern is expected to play a cautious game as programmed by the spanish refree in the 1st leg,Danke God for the 2 away gols.
But,can these players on radar of suspension play both legs against Madrid?
mia san mia.

Posted by Susie on 04/03/2012

Latibaba---

Actually, we got five yellows in that 1-1 draw with Napoli in the group stages... :)

Posted by BayernGator on 04/03/2012

Thought JH said he wasnt going to field a weekend side?
Are we resting players, cuz it does not look like he is strategically holding players out with multiple cards??

Posted by Nathan on 04/04/2012

Susie, thanks for the blog. About the only news we'll get on Soccernet that isn't related to how great Barca and Messi are. Nice to see that they are the only team that went through to the semis yesterday.

I am really looking forward to the Madrid semis. I think their style of play will help FCB, i.e. playing a more wide open style of play as opposed to typical Bundesliga opponents that sit 9 back in the box and try to counterattack us to death. Should be wide open and entertaining football and I like us in a 12 round fight. After all, Bayern are like the German national team, they get better as the competition goes on.

And am I mistaken or do we control our own destiny in the Bundesliga? If we win out, we win, or?

-Nathan

Posted by grudnik on 04/04/2012

Heynckes had said before the match that he wasn't going to set his lineup based on yellow cards, but on who would be in the best position to help Bayern win the game.

Based on comments after the game, he rested Gomez and Robben for minor muscle/fatigue issues, and because he wanted to get fresh players into the lineup, because of the tough schedule, and the need to rest some of the high minute guys.

Posted by BayernMunchen01 on 04/04/2012

I read some comments on another Bayern blog, and they were saying that they wouldn't want Pizarro to come to Bayern. Why not?

a) He's the top foreign goalscorer in the Bundesliga of all time
b) He's a vastly experienced player
c) When on form, he is lethal
(Just my opinion ;)

Anyways, my starting lineup:

Butt
Rafinha-Boateng-Badstuber-Contento
Tymoshchuk-Schweinsteiger (C)
Kroos-Olic-Pranjic
Gomez

WE NEED TO FIELD A SECOND-TEAM LINEUP IN ORDER TO PREPARE FOR DORTMUND

a) We are at home, against one of the worst teams in the BL.
b) No Muller, out with injury.
c) Give a rest for Lahm.
d) Excellent chance for Schweini to get some minutes.
e) Eh, why not give Butt (giggle) a chance in 'keep?

Bayern (and Olic)'s performance against Marseille was enough to bring tears to my eyes :,)

Open to constructive criticism.

Posted by Rob on 04/09/2012

Where does Pizarro fit in the lineup? Gomez isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Maybe at attacking midfield in the 4-2-3-1 but he seems to be a pure striker.
Valuable player though...Bremen would be worrying about relegation if not for him.

Posted by BayernMunchen01 on 04/09/2012

@Rob,

Sorry, I should've have added I meant him as Gomez's backup.

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