Bayern Munich 0-0 Koeln: Dull Stalemate in Munich
Koeln and Bayern drew in a match that fans may remember as the dullest game of the season.
Bayern coach Louis van Gaal only made one change to the squad that drew 0-0 against Juventus in midweek: Jose Ernesto Sosa replaced the injured Arjen Robben. Franck Ribery, who was previously ruled out of the match, and Daniel van Buyten, who was doubtful, both featured in van Gaal’s starting line-up.
Zvonimir Soldo also made just a single change to the squad that lost 1-0 to Leverkusen last week. Kevin Pezzoni started in place of suspended midfielder Maniche.
The early play was ridden with fouls, particularly from Bayern, and so it was decidedly choppy. The home team was first to create a goalscoring opportunity after 11 minutes when Bastian Schweinsteiger headed a corner onto the crossbar.
Koeln defended throughout the first half and, for the most part, were unsuccessful on the counter-attack. The visitors were eventually able to break away, but the perpetrator was central defender Pedro Geromel, who was cut off and forced to hit a weak shot off target with his unfavoured left foot.
At the other end, Bayern had moments of pressure but were unable to sustain an attack for any length of time. The next decent chance fell to Schweinsteiger, who again headed a cross, this time deflected off the side of Miroslav Klose’s head, onto the crossbar.
The game staggered onwards, as play was broken up by 20 first half fouls and a multitude of unforced errors. When the half-time whistle finally blew, the cameras revealed fans sleeping.
At the start of the second half, van Gaal brought on Mario Gomez and Danijel Pranjic for Ribery and Sosa. The second period began much like the first, with Bayern holding almost all the possession but having no poise in front of goal. Countless crosses flashed across the box and few were cleared, but not once did a Bayern player threaten Faryd Mondragon’s goal.
As time passed, the game became more of a comedy than anything else as Koeln clearly opposed anything even related to football. The visitors didn’t keep one man upfield and instead of clearing to an outlet, constantly opted to punt the ball out of play.
Without any real source of creativity, Bayern were incompetent in attack and failed to break through the wall of black shirts.With 20 minutes left, Ivica Olic came on for Miroslav Klose, but the Croat’s energy was not what Bayern needed.
In the entire duration of the second half, there were only two semi-noteworthy events, both of which came at the death. First was Andreas Ottl’s 25-yard half-volley which flashed a hair wide of the post. Second was Ivica Olic’s volley from the centre of the penalty area. After a missed clearance, Olic volleyed the ball under no pressure but hit his shot about a mile over the bar.
Fittingly, the game ended in a 0-0 draw, with Bayern now eight points behind leaders Leverkusen and Koeln crawling into 16th place.