Inter Take Note - Set-Pieces Spell Disaster For Bayern Munich

Struggles with the basics could be the key to a potential Nerazzurri comeback...

As many Bayern Munich fans can testify, watching the Bavarians in action can be extremely nerve-wrecking and even hazardous for your health. For all their excellence in attack, some of their performances at the back are a great example of failure in every possible aspect of defending.

Goals have been flowing right, left and centre, and this has pegged Bayern Munich back on numerous occasions. This season's defensive record at the Allianz Arena suggests that the Bavarians are a tough nut to crack at home, but this does not tell even half of the story.

Home Goals Conceded
Season BuLi CL
2010-2011 10 2
2009-2010 13 4
2008-2009 23 3
2007-2008 9 N/A

More often than not this season if anything can go wrong for Bayern Munich in defence, it eventually will. One would be surprised by the chance conversion rate against the Bavarians in the Bundesliga and it seems that every little opportunity for the opposition is a goal in the making.

Bayern Munich's problems at the back stem from the high pressing game which leaves the defence vulnerable to swift counter-attacks. This brings out the worst out in the central defenders - the lack of pace by Daniel Van Buyten and Holger Badstuber, and the poor positioning sense of Anatoliy Tymoshchuk.

However, that has rarely been evident at the Allianz Arena this season (the recent 3-1 loss against Dortmund aside), as Bayern Munich do not give the ball away easily and stifle opposition forays early on in midfield. One can even go as far to say that Bayern actually defend only through means of pressing and attack.

As's Clark Whitney pointed out, one thing that has constantly let the Bavarians down is their inability to defend from set-pieces and this has been evident all too often at the Allianz Arena recently. The freshest examples are Raul's strike against Louis Van Gaal's men in the DFB -Pokal and Mats Hummels' thunderous header which sealed Borussia Dortmund's historic win a fortnight ago.

An identical strike by Edin Dzeko in the Bundesliga opener earlier this season also came from a corner on the right. Fiorentina scored a carbon copy of the goals mentioned in Munich a year ago and so did Manchester United in the first leg of last season's Champions League quarter-final.

It is worth nothing that the Bavarians have kept just two clean sheets at home in five games and they are yet to face a player of the calibre of Samuel Eto’o on their own patch. The ex-Barcelona man has proved he is especially dangerous against hesitant defences, and Bayern Munich’s back line certainly falls into that category.

If Inter are to take anything from their meeting with the free-scoring Bavarians, set-pieces could be key. With die Roten conceding goals in the similar scenario over and over again, this could be the perfect chance for Leonardo’s men to get back into the tie. With Wesley Sneijder behind the ball, the home fans may be left biting their nails.

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