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Posts Tagged ‘Bayern Muenchen’

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge : we can do it

May 22nd, 2010 No comments

280604LAN105Keen anticipation, plenty of confidence and a happily relaxed attitude were the hallmarks of the Bayern party which arrived in Madrid on Thursday lunchtime, ready for the Champions League final against Inter. “We’re optimistic and we think we can do it,” said chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge prior to take-off from Munich, “this team deserves to win the Champions League.”

“The mood in the dressing room is very good. We’re all delighted and proud to be here. We have a massive chance to make history,” commented Arjen Robben at the news conference held in the team hotel after the squad’s arrival. The former Real star and his FCB team-mates landed in the Spanish capital after a flight lasting just over two hours, to be greeted by sunny skies and 25-degree temperatures.

Apart from the suspended Franck Ribéry, who has joined up with the France squad to begin preparations for the World Cup but will travel to Madrid for the final, the entire Munich squad boarded Lufthansa flight LH 5018 in time for take-off at 11.30 on Thursday morning. “There’s a little bit of tension, but also a keen sense of anticipation,” reported keeper Jörg Butt. Alongside skipper Mark van Bommel, the shot-stopper is the only Bayern man to have featured in a Champions League final to date. Read more…

Van Gaal and Mourinho, Teacher v pupil

May 22nd, 2010 No comments

phpVoeEb1“See you in Madrid,” Bayern boss Louis van Gaal texted his Internazionale counterpart José Mourinho, even before their respective teams had made it to the Champions League final. As it turned out, the appointment will be kept. “He’s a good friend from the world of football. And you don’t have many friends in the world of football,” said van Gaal, referring to his former assistant at Barcelona.

Inter’s Portuguese supremo, not otherwise known as a soft-hearted representative of his trade, responded with an unusually warm thought. “We’ll embrace before and after the match – I’m absolutely confident of that,” the 47-year-old Mourinho remarked.

Clash of tacticians

Despite their friendship, the pair will spend the whole of Saturday evening’s game trying to outwit and outmanoeuvre the other. “He’s a cunning tactician, just like our coach. They’ll be thinking about how to catch the other by surprise,” mused Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. More than any other Champions League final of recent years, the Madrid showdown is a battle between master strategists. Both have formed and led to the final teams which rated as unfancied before the start of the season. Read more…

Ribery’s apeal rejected to miss Champions League final

May 18th, 2010 No comments

phpuYf622Bayern Munich’s Franck Ribery will miss the Champions League final after the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected his appeal against a ban.

The 27-year-old France playmaker turned to Cas after Uefa imposed a three-match suspension following his red card for a tackle on Lyon’s Lisandro Lopez.

Uefa had already dismissed an appeal and on Monday Cas upheld the decision.

Saturday’s final clash against Inter Milan in Madrid will be the second match of Ribery’s European ban.

Cas said it would reveal the reasons for its decision “in a few days” but the court’s secretary general, Matthieu Reeb, said that judges were reluctant to interfere in refereeing judgements.
“Cas, in accordance with regular practice, was very prudent in ruling on circumstances on the field of play,” he explained, adding it was a “borderline case”.

Before going to Cas, Bayern had appealed to Uefa in the hope European football’s governing body would cut the ban to one game.

That would have allowed Ribery to play in the final as he had already sat out the second leg of the semi-final against Lyon, following his sending off in the first leg.

The Cas decision means Ribery will also miss the first European match of the 2010-11 season.

A double is great, but a treble would be better

May 16th, 2010 No comments

phpbJNdWPIn the first of their two finals in eight days, Bayern swept aside the challenge of Werder Bremen to win the DFB Cup for a record 15th time, clinch their eighth championship-cup double (and the sixth since 2000) and complete the perfect preparation for next Saturday’s European Champions League final against Internazionale in Madrid.

Dutch winger Arjen Robben was a constant thorn in the side of the northerners and he gave the newly-crowned champions a deserved first-half lead from the penalty spot. After the interval the floodgates opened with Ivica Olic, Franck Ribéry and finally Bastian Schweinsteiger scoring further goals. Bremen had no answer, a flurry of yellow cards and Torsten Frings’ sending off a quarter hour from time testifying to their frustration as the game wore on toward its inexorable conclusion.
As promised, Bayern coach Louis van Gaal sent out his strongest side rather than resting key players ahead of next weekend’s Champions League final. Thomas Schaaf surprisingly left Marko Marin on the Werder bench as he sought to achieve what would be a record fourth DFB Cup victory as a manager. The Bremen side contained three former Bayern players – Claudio Pizarro, Torsten Frings and Tim Borowski – while Bayern had one-time Werder striker Miroslav Klose on the bench.

Bayern immediately took the initiative and Robben had the first shot of the match turned aside for a corner by Werder goalkeeper Tim Wiese after three minutes; Martin Demichelis headed over from the subsequent corner. But in the eighth minute Jörg Butt was called into action, saving first Pizarro’s close-range drive after the former Bayern man had evaded Daniel van Buyten and then a follow-up strike from Frings, before Holger Badstuber blocked Aaron Hunt’s effort.

It was to prove the only serious chance of the first half as the newly-crowned champions pressed their opponents back, although captain Mark van Bommel and Olic both found their way into the notebook of referee Thorsten Kinhöfer for fouls within the first 20 minutes. In the 23rd minute Wiese had to be alert to save from Robben after Philipp Lahm’s cross was deflected to his feet, and in the 30th minute the Dutch winger shot just wide from 16 metres after receiving a return pass from Thomas Müller. Read more…

That’s the greatest day of my life—Lyon 0-3 Bayern

April 28th, 2010 No comments

phpYSe774Something as trivial as a deep and painful gash was never going to stop Ivica Olic on this particular evening. Blood was dripping from a wound to the back of his head, but the Croat still attacked Philipp Lahm’s 78th-minute cross and headed the ball back across Lyon keeper Hugo Lloris and into the net. Bayern went 3-0 up, all of them scored by Olic in arguably the best game of his career.

“I didn’t want to be substituted, because I had the feeling I could score another couple,” the match-winner stated afterwards, revealing what was said in a touchline exchange between him, Bayern chief medic Dr Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt and boss Louis van Gaal. Olic already had two goals to his name at that point, a 26th-minute right-footed shot on the turn after great work by Thomas Müller, and a left-footed effort on 67 minutes from a sublime Hamit Altintop pass. Bayern were as good as home and dry, but Olic wanted more.
“Scoring three in a match like that is outstanding, a dream,” the 30-year-old declared after the match, a look approaching bewilderment on his face. The former Hamburg striker is now on seven goals in the Champions League this term, a huge contribution to Munich’s thrilling progress to the final. Only eight-goal Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has scored more often. Read more…

Martin Demichelis and Buyten on squad but still doubtful

April 27th, 2010 No comments

phpc5g6DgDaniel van Buyten was well enough to use the fitness machines at the Säbener Strasse on Sunday, but the Belgian is still rated doubtful for Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final return away to Olympique Lyon. Worryingly for Bayern, the same applies to fellow centre-back Martin Demichelis. The pair were both substituted after sustaining injuries in Saturday’s Bundesliga meeting with Monchengladbach.

Van Buyten suffered a painful blow to the shin and calf early in the second half, while Demichelis sprained a calf muscle before half-time. Both will travel with the FCB party to Lyon on Monday, but a decision over their fitness to play will be left until the day of the match. “I hope at least one of the centre-halves recovers fitness,” Louis van Gaal said after the Gladbach match, “then we’ll have Badstuber, the centre-half, and Contento on the left. I’d be happy with that.” Read more…

Olympique Lyonnais Show Their Inexperience

April 22nd, 2010 No comments

phpdw7k21After all the pre-match bluster from Olympique Lyonnais general manager Claude Puel, who said that reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League shouldn’t be considered an achievement in itself, les Gones contrived to produce one of their most tepid performances in Europe for many a season against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.

FCB’s domination was almost total from start to finish, even for the relatively brief period either side of half-time that they were reduced to ten men when Franck Ribery’s troubles mounted for a needless foul on Lisandro Lopez. Kim Kallstrom at least managed to stretch Hans-Joerg Butt during that spell, but this would be virtually the only time during the course of the match the veteran goalkeeper would be severely worked.

When Italian referee Roberto Rosetti blew his whistle to kick the game off, it was clear Lyon were content to sit deep and allow Bayern to dictate the game. For ten minutes the Germans retained possession rather aimlessly, but gradually they became increasingly active in an offensive capacity, with Arjen Robben, of course, dictating play.

Lyon’s makeshift defence quickly began to creek. Twenty-three-year-old goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who has been so highly praised throughout this campaign was the first on the field to show signs of nerves when he misjudged two consecutive corner kicks. He was not, however, aided by an outfield unit boasting too many fresh faces at such a lofty level. Read more…

Robben strikes again–Bayern 1-0 Lyon

April 22nd, 2010 No comments

phpTito9IBayern go into next Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final second leg trip to Lyon with a slender one-goal lead after yet another sublime Arjen Robben effort, although Munich might yet rue not scoring a second on a night when Louis van Gaal’s men dominated their Ligue 1 opponents throughout. Both sides had a man sent off in an increasingly enthralling contest, which leaves the Bundesliga leaders with the slight advantage ahead of the return.

The 66,000 capacity crowd at the Allianz Arena saw Bayern create much the better of the first-half chances, but Bastian Schweinsteiger and Ivica Olic failed to hit the target. The balance of the game changed controversially with Franck Ribery’s harsh dismissal seven minutes from the break, but parity was restored with Jeremy Toulalan’s sending off for two bookable offences in three minutes shortly after the restart.

It was one-way traffic for a spell after that and chances went begging for the home side, before Robben handed the Bavarians an overdue lead with a trademark 25-yard piledriver. The sides settled for the result, leaving the tie nicely-poised before the return in the Rhone valley next week.

Van Gaal made just one enforced change to the side which thrashed Hanover 7-0 at the weekend, Danijel Pranjic deputising for suspended captain Mark van Bommel alongside Schweinsteiger in the holding midfield area.

Diego Contento continued at left-back in place of Holger Badstuber, with Thomas Müller in the hole behind Olic up front, and Robben and Ribery on the flanks. There was firepower on the Bayern bench too, with Germany international duo Mario Gomez and Miro Klose.

For the visitors, coach Claude Puel made three changes to the side which beat Bordeaux in the quarter-finals. Top scorer Lisandro Lopez shook off an ankle injury and started in place of Bafetimbi Gomis, with Ederson and Miralem Pjanic replacing Michel Bastos and the injured Jean-Alain Bomsong. No fewer than seven of Puel’s men started the game just one booking short of missing the second leg. Read more…

Two more games, and We go to final in Madrid

April 21st, 2010 No comments

php4UIzD6Two more games, and Bayern could be contesting the Champions League final in Madrid. Buoyed by Saturday’s goalfest against Hannover, and “full of adrenalin,” according to Philipp Lahm, FCB now take on Olympique Lyon in the semi-finals. “It’s the best thing that could have happened. We were already confident, but winning 7-0 just increases it,” said Louis Van Gaal. “Hannover play the same system as Lyon, so it was good practice.”

A real sense of anticipation has gripped Munich. A 66,000 full house will pack the Allianz Arena, but the club fielded 300,000 requests for tickets. The city and the fans are keenly awaiting Italian referee Roberto Rosetti’s whistle to get the game underway. “We’re looking forward to the match and the atmosphere at the Allianz Arena, which has been sensational recently,” said Lahm, “I can hardly wait for it to start.”
Chairman Karl Heinz Rummenigge reckons FCB have a “50-50” chance of making the final. A win at home would arguably increase that chance, although Van Gaal insisted a goalless draw would also be a good result. “0-0 or 1-0 is better than 2-1. It sounds strange, but it’s how I see it, because we’ve always scored away from home,” the coach stated. Whatever else happens, the 58-year-old would rather his side kept a clean sheet.

Van Gaal feels Bayern’s best attacking chance is down the flanks. “It’s the biggest problem for our opponents. We don’t just have Robben, we also have Ribéry,” said the head coach, who was absent from Tuesday’s final pre-match training session due to a family bereavement. Assistant coach Andries Jonker texted the boss at the end of the session with the news that all the players are fit, including Ribéry, who sat out training for two days with a strain. “He completed the session,” Jonker reported. Read more…

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