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Bayern Munich 2-1 Manchester United: Last-Gasp Ivica Olic Steals Deserved Victory For Bavarians



Bayern Munich earned a dramatic 2-1 victory against Manchester United with Ivica Olic's 92nd-minute strike. Franck Ribery's deflected second half free kick had levelled Wayne Rooney's early effort in the Champions League quarter-final first leg match at the Allianz Arena.

But Olic's late, late goal and an ankle injury to talismanic striker Wayne Rooney will give United manager Sir Alex Ferguson sleepless nights ahead of next Wednesday's second leg.

Bayern went into the game missing the jewel in their crown, with Arjen Robben failing to make the 18 due to the calf injury he picked up in the 2-1 defeat against Stuttgart at the weekend. He was replaced by Hamit Altintop on the right hand side. Meanwhile, United fielded a 4-5-1 as expected, with Dimitar Berbatov being dropped despite his weekend brace against Bolton.

It took Martin Demichelis only 12 seconds to make his mark on Nani, bringing down the Portuguese winger as they chased a loose ball to the corner. From the free kick, United got the perfect start.

Nani’s cross was deflected off the one-man wall and with Demichelis lying prone on the ground after losing his footing, Wayne Rooney was left free to plant a side-footed volley into the net beyond Hans-Joerg Butt.




It was a nightmare start for the home side, and for the Argentinian Demichelis in particular, but the travelling fans from Manchester couldn’t have wished for a better opening.

The Red Devils clearly had no plans to sit back on their astonishing start and Paul Scholes just failed to control his sixth minute volley from Ji-Sung Park’s cross as the visitors continued to press.

FC Hollywood finally started to build up a head of steam around the 10-minute mark, and a neat exchange between Altintop and Olic was cut out just as the Turkish midfielder wound up for a shot.

It wasn’t long before the English side were back on top and after Rooney held the ball up well on the break, an opportunity opened up for Nani to run at the Bayern centre-backs and get a left foot strike in, which he dragged just wide of the near post.

Scholes was then very lucky not to see either colour of card after a dangerous waste-high challenge on Altintop with his studs showing. Though the pair had been contesting a bouncing ball, the leniency of referee Franck de Bleeckere will have come as a huge relief to the former England man.

Soon after, Nani very nearly registered a rather fortunate second for United. Well held up by Holger Badstuber, the winger’s cross was nearer the 'keeper than he’d have hoped, but it almost dropped into the net, scraping the top of the crossbar before bouncing to safety.

Half-chances were now coming at both ends and Altintop ran onto a loose ball in the United area, but couldn’t quite get a touch and the ball ran through to Van der Sar.

Bayern then made their best opening of the game. Ribery got a free run down the left, but his cross was too close to Van der Sar. The Dutchman’s unconvincing punch dropped for Altintop, but his scuffed shot just escaped the lunge of Olic at the far post as it trickled inches wide as Van der Sar stood watching.

The Germans were then dealt an unlucky hand when Olic challenged Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic to a lovely cross from Badstuber, but as the ball broke for the unmarked Thomas Mueller, the referee’s whistle had gone for an apparent foul by the Croatian.

United broke immediately and should have had a second when Rooney was left free to shoot at goal from eight yards after Darren Fletcher’s cross was hopelessly misread by Demichelis, but the striker’s side-foot effort was weak, and Butt was allowed to save easily.

Bayern started the second half as United had started the first. Ribery ran hard at Neville before cutting inside and playing in Olic, whose drive was parried by Van der Sar. Altintop’s follow-up shot was deflected over and from the corner Van Buyten missed a chance to get a shot in at the first attempt, his eventual effort being easily blocked by the United rearguard.

Mueller then had a fierce shot at goal from 25 yards deflected by Vidic, allowing Van der Sar to parry away with his right hand before collecting.

The visitors’ multitude of misplaced passes were giving the home side hope, and when Patrice Evra gave away a sloppy pass, Altintop twisted and turned in the box, losing two markers before forcing a save out of Van der Sar with a fierce shot.

After Van Bommel had shot straight at his compatriot from 25 yards, Badstuber was shown a yellow card for a silly challenge on Nani.

Bayern continued to pile forward, so United retreated further. Pranjic had an effort half-blocked which dropped just over the bar. Ribery also went on a run into the English box, but the ball ran away from him.

One of FCB’s better openings came when a move was built down the left before Mueller back-heeled to the onrushing Olic, whose snap-shot was smuggled wide by Van der Sar.

But soon after Bayern finally got their breakthrough, albeit fortuitously. Gary Neville gave away a needless free kick just outside the box, but Franck Ribery’s set piece was a poor one until it struck Wayne Rooney on the end of the defensive wall, diverting the ball past the stranded Van der Sar and into the back of the net.

Whilst it was a more than worthy leveller, it was undoubtedly a fortunate one.

United so nearly regained the lead when substitute Giggs swung in a dangerous cross from the left, which Vidic met with a powerful header which cannoned back off the bar.

But it was to be FC Hollywood who would steal the spoils in stoppage time.

With the Red Devils’ backline looking ragged, Ivica Olic weaved his way past three men in the box before planting a left-footed shot past the wrong-footed Van der Sar. Just as worrying for United was the sight of Wayne Rooney hopping off the pitch after the striker had picked up a nasty looking injury to his right ankle in trying to curtail the attack which led to Olic’s crucial strike.

The combination of the two late incidents will make the next eight days uncomfortable for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side before the return leg at Old Trafford.


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