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  • January 15, 2011
  • • 9:30 AM
  • • VOLKSWAGEN ARENA, Wolfsburg
  • Referee: M. Gräfe
  • • Attendance: 30000

Wolfsburg 1-1 Bayern Munich: Late Schaefer Equalizer Punishes Rekordmeister

Wolfsburg 1-1 Bayern Munich: Late Schaefer Equalizer Punishes Rekordmeister

There were two missed penalties, two disallowed goals and a goalkeeping howler as well as Bayern and Wolfsburg shared the spoils in a thriller.

Wolfsburg drew in the Bundesliga for a seventh successive game as Bayern failed to make their superiority count in a thriller, with the match ending in a 1-1 stalemate. Thomas Kraft saved a Grafite penalty either side of Thomas Mueller's opener and Sascha Riether's late leveler.

Bayern took the lead in bizarre circumstances in the seventh minute, shortly after Mario Gomez had hit the bar. New first-choice goalkeeper Thomas Kraft launched the ball deep into the Wolfsburg half beyond Simon Kjaer. Wolfsburg 'keeper Diego Benaglio's clearance struck Thomas Mueller and rebounded into the back of the net, much to the horror of the Swiss number-one.

Wolfsburg had been under the cosh for long periods from Bayern however, they were never lacking in spirit and they punished Bayern's profligacy by equalizing with four minutes remaining. New Wolfsburg captain Marcel Schaefer beat Bastian Schweinsteiger down the left and his cutback was met by Sascha Riether who made no mistake from close range.

Der Rekordmeister had the perfect opportunity to extend their lead on 21 minutes when another of Pranjic's forays forward saw him win a penalty after he was clumsily tripped inside the box by Ashkan Dejagah. German captain Philipp Lahm stepped up from twelve yards but crashed his penalty against the post with Benaglio beaten.

Shortly afterwards, Bayern winger Franck Ribery was forced to come off in place of Arjen Robben after suffering a knee injury, sustained after a bruising challenge from Josue from behind. The early signs are that he could be out for a considerable period of time.

The drama did not end there and the Wolfsburg players were incensed after Diego's free-kick goal was disallowed after a controversial decision with Cicero adjudged to have been in an offside position and interfering with play. Either side of the chalked-off strike, Dejagah and Grafite went close with headers.

Wolfsburg were then handed a lifeline in first-half stoppage time after Holger Badstuber was penalized for a trip on Dejagah inside the box, which brought the second penalty of the half. Grafite was sensationally denied by a wonderful save from Thomas Kraft, who tipped the ball onto the bar, and showed just why Louis Van Gaal has placed his confidence in the 20-year old ahead of Hans-Joerg Butt.

After the interval, Arjen Robben began to show signs of his old form and he forced Benaglio into a decent stop after unleashing one of his trademark left-footed thunderbolts from long-range. Josue was fortunate to escape a second booking after a trip on Van Bommel, moments before he was wisely hauled off by Steve McClaren. Luiz Gustavo made his Bayern debut with twenty minutes remaining after his €15m move in the winter break.

Stunned by the equalizer, the champions threw everything at Wolfsburg towards the end and they thought they had won it when Mueller tucked away the rebound after Benaglio had spilled Robben's shot. However, the World Cup Golden Boot winner was correctly denied by the offside flag.

The draw means Bayern remain in fifth spot with 30 points and they host Kaiserslautern next week. Wolfsburg drop to fourteenth place on 20 points and they face a trip to Mainz next weekend.

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