Freiburg 1-2 Bayern Munich: Bayern Capitalize on Freiburg Complacency, Mistakes
Robin Dutt made a single change to the team that beat Hannover 5-2 in their last outing. Changing from 4-4-2 to 4-2-3-1, forward Tommy Bechmann was replaced with Julian Schuster, who played in attacking midfielf behind lone striker Mohamadou Idrissou.
By contrast, Louis van Gaal made several changes to the squad that drew 0-0 with Koeln two weeks ago. In a 4-4-2 setup, strikers Luca Toni and Miroslav Klose were supported by playmaker Thomas Mueller. Mark van Bommel rejoined the team as midfield anchor, pushing Anatoliy Tymoshchuk to the right flank.
The game got off to a lively start as neither side was afraid to attack. In the fourth, Toni took his first shot on goal in several months, but it was easily claimed by Simon Pouplin. Two minutes later, Idrissou beat the Bayern offside trap, but was run down as he approached the goal.
Bayern probably should have gone ahead in the 11th, but Bastian Schweinsteiger’s first-time strike was saved superbly by Pouplin.
As per the usual, Bayern controlled the majority of possession, and found plenty of space on the left side of midfield. However, Freiburg’s fullbacks and defensive midfielders rarely went forward, and the visitors never had room to create opportunities in their attacking third.
Instead, Bayern resorted to crossing the ball and hoping for some favourable bounces in the penalty area. For the first time time in nearly three and a half competitive matches, Bayern’s attack plan succeeded. Three minutes before the half, Klose nodded Philipp Lahm’s cross to Toni, whose shot was saved off Pouplin’s feet. The ball rolled to Thomas Mueller, who was unmarked in the centre of the penalty area. The 20-year-old starlet fired in from 12 yards to give his side the lead.
Up to the Bayern goal, Freiburg’s method of holding back and trying to capitalize on errors had worked well. Bayern were far from perfect in their own half, and Ivica Banovic’s 38th-minute header came close. Idrissou looked particularly dangerous, but was awfully lonely up front.
The first half ended 1-0 in favor of Bayern, leaving the home team with no choice but to figure out a successful offensive strategy for the second period.
No personnel changes were made at the half, but Freiburg fullbacks Du-Ri Cha and Heiko Butscher began to take more of a role in their team’s attack. It wasn’t quite enough, so Stefan Reisinger was brought in for Schuster to play alongside Idrissou.
What resulted was a rather good spell for the home side that ultimately disappointed for lack of attempts on goal. Whatever chance Freiburg had of taking something from the match diminished to nothing in the 68th minute when Cha scored a spectacular own goal. After a benign cross from Mueller, the South Korean back-passed not to Pouplin, but rather the corner of his own net.
With 20 minutes to go, Toni and van Bommel were replaced with Mario Gomez and Andreas Ottl, respectively. Neither substitute had much of an impact as the game dwindled to a snail’s pace. By the time of the second goal, Freiburg had all but given up, and Bayern won.
It would prove a shame that Freiburg gave up so early because, from nothing, the home team pulled one back in injury time. Idrisssou raced towards the byline and whipped in a cross. Edson Braafheid was nowhere to be seen as Reisinger fired his team back into contention. It proved to be too little, too late, however, as the referee blew his whistle seconds after the restart. The result puts Bayern temporarily into fifth place, while Freiburg remain tenth.