Hamburg 1-0 Bayern Munich: Petric Strikes Late In Nord-Sud Clash Of The Giants
Two highly technical teams met at the HSH Nordbank Arena, but it took 72 minutes to produce a goal. Ze Roberto brilliantly set up Mladen Petric for the winning tap-in.
For the first time this season, Hamburg coach Bruno Labbadia opted to use a 4-5-1 formation, with David Rozehnal starting on the left flank, relegating striker Marcus Berg to the bench.
Bayern boss Louis van Gaal also turned heads, opting to start Breno as right fullback, moving Philipp Lahm to the left. Also notable was the inclusion of Ivica Olic at centre forward in place of Mario Gomez.
Within the first ten minutes, Van Gaal opted to rearrange his defence, putting Lahm on the right and moving Breno to central defence, with Holger Badstuber occupying the left flank. The move was likely prompted by Hamburg’s incessant use of the left side as a lane of attack.
The first good opportunity fell to Bayern after 11 minutes. Arjen Robben played a lovely ball to Franck Ribery, who cut inside as he approached the penalty area. Robben sprinted off Ribery’s left and was played perfectly in stride. The Dutchman then flashed a ball across the face of goal, missing the far post by inches.
After Robben’s close call, the game slowed down for a quarter hour as the two teams cautiously felt their way into the game. Both sides showed tremendous class in midfield, but each effort was equalled by superb defending.
As the half hour mark approached, the game picked up once more. Jerome Boateng beautifully set up a Mladen Petric header that missed just over the bar. Seconds later, Ivica Olic’s shot was blocked by Rost after a lovely through ball from Daniel van Buyten.
In the 31st minute, Hamburg should have scored, but were denied by superb goalkeeping from Hans Joerg Butt. First, Boateng lofted a fine shot from the left corner of the box to the far post. Butt scrambled and needed full extension to tip the ball out of play. After the resulting corner, Joris Mathijsen fired low, but Butt was the hero again, saving with his foot.
At the break, Labbadia brought on striker Marcus Berg to replace injured defender Guy Demel. David Rozehnal dropped back to defence, and Hamburg lined up in their more familiar 4-4-2. For Bayern, Lahm returned to the left side of defence, and Breno to the right.
In the early play, Hamburg seemed to get the better of the opponents. Mathijsen headed a corner inches over the bar, and had legitimate grounds to claim a penalty, but was denied by the referee. Minutes later, Petric curled a dipping free kick that Butt misjudged and knocked down dangerously in front of goal before it was cleared.
Bayern were stagnant on the attack before Bastian Schweinsteiger set up Olic, who was denied by a great reflex save from Rost. The game then entered a relatively dry spell, during which the two teams again cancelled out one another defensively.
The deadlock would finally be broken in the 72nd minute, with much of the credit going to ex-Bayern star Ze Roberto. The veteran midfielder dribbled his way into the left side of the penalty area before firing a low cross in front of goal. Petric was first to the ball, and tapped in from close range.
With ten minutes left, Bayern brought on Miroslav Klose for Schweinsteiger, in one last roll of the dice. The Bavarians finally put the ball in the back of the net after 84 minutes, but Mario Gomez was flagged for offside. Three minutes later, Ribery slipped a ball to Philipp Lahm, but the German international’s shot was sliced well over the bar.
Hamburg held off Bayern’s late onslaught with use of their abundance of technical ability in midfield. During extra minutes, Bayern could barely touch the ball, and Hamburg held on for a well-earned victory.