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March 31, 2012
• Grundig-Stadion, Nürnberg
Referee: F. Zwayer
• Attendance: 48548
That's my cue, from me, Keeghann Sinanan, thanks for joining us!
In the end, Bayern do just enough to edge past Nurnberg with a 1-0 win. The hosts will fell they deserve a point from this game, and in all honesty they probably do, after a committed showing all over the field. Quality told, just barely, in the end. The title race is well and truly back on though, with the gap between Bayern and Dortmund now only three points. Don't forget, those two still have to play each other at Signal Iduna Park in what will surely be a title decider!
90' + 4'
Last gasp corner to Nurnberg, which is headed away by Gustavo as the referee blows the final whistle!
90' + 3'
Yellow Card Arjen Robben
90' + 2'
Robben launching a last offensive for Bayern, but instead of drifting towards the corner flag, he takes it instead into goal. The Dutchman is soon robbed of the ball, and realizing his error, commits a tactical foul to win it back and waste precious seconds, earning him a yellow card.
90' + 1'
WOLLSCHEID! The centre back is left in space as he strides forward into the box, and sends a header wide of the post with Neuer completely wrong footed!
Yellow Card Timothy Chandler
Chandler sees yellow, much to his exasperation, as the referee signals for three minutes of added time.
NURNBERG HIT THE WOODWORK!!! Cohen takes aim from 25 yards out, and lets loose with a knuckle-ball of a shot that flies straight at Neuer. The shot is difficult to deal with, and the German No. 1 just manages to fist it onto the bar! Was that the chance?
Yellow Card Luiz Gustavo
Gustavo enters the book now for being a little over exuberant in midfield.
HOW IS THAT NOT 2-0? It's Robben at his best on the right, with a brilliant shimmy leaving a Nurnberg defender on his backside and putting him through on Schafer from extremely close range. His finish is blocked, but Lahm recovers the ball land crosses back towards Gomez, who heads it onto the bar!!!
A long, long cross by Pinola is chested down by Pekhart, who is not afforded the time by Badstuber to get a second touch on the ball. Bayern launch a counter attack through the dual threat of Robben and Ribery, but Maroh is there to intercept before they can build up a head of steam.
Hints of an opening there for Bayern. Robben pirouettes inside the area before feeding Schweinsteiger inside the D. He in turn spreads it wide to Ribery, who crosses towards Gomez. That is where the move ends, as surprise, surprise, Gomez's first touch lets him down.
Boateng concedes a corner after stepping in front of Mak and blocking out his cross. The resulting delivery is swung in, but claimed by Neuer after a slight wobble.
Off goes Kross for Gustavo as Heynckes looks to shore up the midfield with the industrious Brazilian.
The last few minutes have seen the home side maintain the majority of possession in the Bayern half. Encouraging signs for them in their chase for an equaliser.
Off goes Didavi, on comes Bunjaku. Midfielder for a forward, a clear message from Dieter Hecking to his men: We need a goal!
What an interception from Badstuber! Mak squeezes in between two Bayern players near the left byline, and pokes in a ball towards Pekhart on the near post. Badstuber gets there just in time though, and puts it out for a corner!
Yellow Card Philipp Wollscheid
Wollscheid becomes our first booking of the game, on what has been a very lenient performance from referee Felix Zwayer. He has preferred to let the game flow, and the players have mostly not taken advantage of that by stepping across the line.
That is a hard one to take for Nurnberg, as all their defensive work throughout the match has seemingly gone down the drain. They need a goal now, but have not looked remotely close to getting one in the second half.
Goal Arjen Robben
ROBBENNNN!!!!!!!!!!! Bayern finally find a way through! Kroos initially plays in Ribery with a clever through ball. The Frenchman's finish is saved by Schafer's legs, but the rebound spills to Robben on the edge of the box, who finishes into the corner with impunity! 1-0!!!
Off goes Balitsch, who has certainly played his part in securing the midfield. On comes Cohen.
GOAL FOR BAYERN...but its disallowed for offside! Robben cuts in from the right past two Nurnberg players and slips in Muller, who then squares to Gomez for a tap in. The flag is up, but replays show that Muller was about half a yard ONSIDE from Robben's initial pass! Wrong call!
With all of the Bayern heavy hitters on the field, the focus now for Nurnberg is to hold on to this scoreline, a task which they have performed admirably so far.
Lahm and Pinola chase down a 50-50 ball. The Argentine gets their just ahead of the Bayern skipper, who gives him a push for his troubles.
Boateng goes down, not for the first time, after taking a bit of a blow from the knee of Pekhart. Treatment required once more for the centre back.
Cross from the right by Muller is held off by Gomez, who lays the ball off to the onrushing Contento at the edge of the area, who shoots high and wide.
Indeed, here comes Ribery, on for the disappointing Pranjic. Bayern now operating with a near full strength lineup on the field.
With the game at something of a standstill, Heynckes cannot wait any longer to bring his big guns off the bench. On comes Schweinsteiger for Tymoshchuk. Positive change for the visitors, and that may not be it as Ribery completes his warmup on the sidelines.
Pinola takes aim from distance with his weaker right foot, which unsurprisingly goes harmlessly off target.
Surely a yellow card for Tymoshchuk there, after he clatters carelessly into Wollscheid, leaving the defender winded!
Muller half-chance! Kroos pumps it into the area, and after a few bobbles, the ball spills to Muller about 12 yards out. He hits a half volley on the turn, but Schafer is out quickly to catch!
Free kick to the visitors about 40 yards out. Kroos is the taker, with bodies queuing up in the area.
Bayern this time controlling possession coming out of the break. Robben has been left unmarked on the right a few times, but Bayern only find him once.
Only one change at the break. Hlousek was not able to shake off that injury picked up in first half injury time, so Mak comes on as his replacement. Bayern make no changes despite their sub par first half showing and the likes of Ribery and Schweinsteiger on the bench.
And we're off again! Remember, you can reach me on Twitter @Keeghann for any comments or questions on the game!
Nurnberg have proved more than a match for their illustrious Bavarian opponents so far. In fact, they have probably just edged the first half, as the committed play from Simons and Balitsch in the heart of midfield has disrupted much of what Bayern have tried to accomplish. After Dortmund's incredible 4-4 draw with Stuttgart yesterday, the window is open for Heynckes and his charges to close the gap to three points, but they need to step it up in the second half. Don't be surprised to see Ribery make an appearance if things continue. Second half in a bit, so stay tuned!
45' + 1'
Hlousek pulls up clutching his hamstring after getting caught awkwardly in a tussle with Lahm. He'll have time to get it looked at, because the ref has just blown for half time.
Contento aims a diagonal ball towards Gomez from just in front the halfway line, but Wollscheid steps in front the German international striker and heads clear. Meanwhile, one minute of time is added on at the end of the half.
Another corner for Nurnberg. This time, the Bayern defence deal with is in a more assured fashion, as Boateng clears it out for a throw.
Neuer's a lucky boy! He strides out to meet the corner, and completely misjudges it as it sails over his head. Simons makes slight contact with the ball as it trickles towards goal, but Gomez is covering the near post and hoofs the ball away from danger!
Nurnberg have a corner, after a freekick is headed over the goalline by the confused Contento after a bit of a mixup with Badstuber.
Bayern go down the right flank this time. Lahm and Muller are the instigators of the attack, with the former teeing up the latter in prime position for a cross. However, his resulting delivery is neither that nor a shot and flashes out for a goalkick.
Great to see Pranjuc making some headway in the last few attacks for Bayern, because prior to that, the makeshift left flank with him and Contento has been a shambles in the offensive third.
Chandler is released in space for one glorious second, but the pass is too much for him to handle, as Neuer races off his line to clear.
Pranjic again! The Croatian dinks past Feulner on his way into the box and finds space to shoot from 15 yards, but smashes his effort over!
ROBBEN!!! Prajnic is fed in space down the left by a long ball from midfield. He has time to stop the ball, lift his head and send in a nicely weighted cross towards the Dutch winger, who nods it wide of the far post after being left completely unmarked!
A passing triangle between Gomez, Contento and PRanjic breaks down quickly, leading to a Nurnberg charge on the counter. Chandler leads the offensive, and tries an ambitious crossfield ball to Hlousek, but Lahm is there once more to snuff out the danger.
Hlousek takes a pass in his stride out wide, getting a step on Lahm before playing in Pekhart in the area. The forward tries a quick flick around his marker Boateng, but gets it all wrong and instead gifts possession to Neuer.
The game has slowed into a lull in the last minutes. No one seems interested in making any runs off the ball.
So far, Nurnberg have matched Bayern stride for stride, it has to be said. They have been extremely committed in the middle, exemplified by the industrious play of Simons. It's difficult to see a goal coming at the moment, a development that will suit the hosts just fine.
Gomez collects the ball near the byline, but with no support, decides to have a go himself from a very acute angle. No surprise to see his effort go off the mark.
Pinola decides to take matters into his own hands as he advances into the Bayern half down the left. No one in white is in any hurry to intervene, so he takes a few touches before letting fly with a 25-yarder that goes off target.
Bayern starting to come into the game in the last few minutes, as Robbem makes space on the right, firing in a low cross that is just too far in front of Pranjic, allowing Nurnberg to clean up.
JUST OVER!!! Robben bends a beautiful, in swinging free kick onto the head of Badstuber, who just nods it over the bar! He was left in a lot of space there!
Pinola trips Muller on an attempted Bayern break. Free kick to the visitors, about 30 yards from goal on the right. Robben stands over it menacingly.
CHANCE!! A great reverse ball from the right flank by Chandler is put straight into the heart of the Bayern area. It narrowly evades the onrushing boots of Hlousek and Pekhart though, and Neuer just manages to claim it!
Ooh, Kroos has the ball taken off his toes in midfield thanks to a well timed slide tackle by Simons! Nurenberg advance, as Simons sprays the ball wide to Hlousek, but Lahm is across quickly to cut out the danger.
Boateng jogs back on as Bayern try to get something going down the right with Robben. The Dutchman receives possession far away from goal and has no time or space to turn. Nurnberg throw.
Boateng has been taken behind the goal for a brief spell of treatment, after taking a knock in the scramble for the corner.
Some good pressure in the offensive third from Nurnberg forces Tymoshchuk to intercept Hlousek's low cross out for a corner. The resulting delivery is claimed by Neuer after Wollscheid got his head to it, relieving the danger.
A long ball from defence by Boateng is pumped into the path of Pranjic. He tries, but fails to beat Maroh with his first touch as the defender robs him of the ball cleanly.
Bayern are having some real trouble getting the ball past the halfway line. First Muller, then Gomez lose possession to the determined Nurnberg midfield, which is packing numbers in midfield.
Both sides still working the kinks out of their system in the early goings, with possession apparently a hard thing to keep a hold of.
Here we go!
Kickoff is minutes away as the teams make their way onto the pitch...
Any thoughts, comments, gripes or wisecracks? Hit me up on Twitter @Keeghann
Dieter Hecking's outfit are the second lowest scorers in the Bundesliga with 25 goals. To put that in perspective, Mario Gomez alone has bagged 23 in the current campaign.
On one hand, Nurnberg have lost their last three Bundesliga games. On the other, they have not tasted defeat against their Bavarian opponents in their last three at home. However, Bayern are also riding an eight match unbeaten streak against the hosts. Some ominous signs for sure...
The big news as far as selections are concerned is that Ribery and Alaba start the game on the bench,, with the likes of Pranjic and Contento drafted in as replacements. Some squad rotation from Heynckes with the domestic and European season now fully in squeaky bum time. A bit less of a surprise is to see Schweinsteiger also take his place on the bench, the German international still not quite back to 100 percent after only recently returning from a long injury layoff.
Subs: Butt, Rafinha, Luiz Gustavo, Ribery, Schweinsteiger, Alaba, Olic
Bayern Munich (4-2-3-1): Neuer; Lahm, Boateng, Badstuber, Contento; Kroos, Tymoshchuk; Robben, Muller, Pranjic; Gomez.
Subs: Stephan, Nilsson, Frantz, Hegeler, Cohen, Bunjaku.
Nurnberg (4-2-3-1): Schafer; Pinola, Maroh, Wollscheid, Feulner; Balitsch, Simons; Chandler Didavi, Hlousek; Pekhart.
The teams are in...
Greetings one and all, and welcome to Goal.com's live coverage of the Bundesliga matchup between Nurnberg and Bayern Munich! Keeghann Sinanan here, delighted to bring you the play by play.
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