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Podolski farewell

Below-strength Reds defeated in Cologne

The main man of the evening sat and watched his former club defeat his current employers as a weakened Bayern line-up fell 3-1 to 1. FC Köln in Tuesday evening's farewell match for Lukas Podolski at the Rhein-Energy stadium.

Milivoje Novakovic (43) and Patrick Helmes (53, 84) delighted a 50,000 full house as the second division promotion favourites fought back after going behind to José Ernesto Sosa's early strike. In the absence of twelve stars with greater or lesser injuries, the match provided few clues as to Ottmar Hitzfeld's potential line-up for the DFB German Cup first round tie in Burghausen next Monday.

Promising start

Hitzfeld's starting eleven featured the likes of Michael Rensing, Julio dos Santos, Toni Kroos and Sandro Wagner, with new signing Marcell Jansen the only established name on a bench otherwise filled by juniors such as Thomas Kraft, Stephan Fürstner, Stefano Celozzi and Viktor Bopp.

Bayern opened brightly and only three minutes had passed before Sosa rounded off a slick passing move between Dos Santos, Van Bommel and Wagner to hand his side the lead. Kroos (7) and Wagner (13) narrowly failed to increase the advantage with shots from the inside left channel.

Equaliser before half-time

The home side emerged from their shell after that and Rensing saved well from Mohamad (17), before Vucicevic arrowed a 20th-minute drive just wide.

The Reds bounced back and Wagner twice had a second goal on his foot (30, 39), so it was slightly against the run of play when Novakovic capitalised on Vucicevic' mis-hit shot to slot past Rensing and equalise on 43 minutes.

Multiple substitutions

"We controlled the first half and could have led 2-0, so conceding the equaliser was annoying," assistant coach Michael Henke summarised. Jansen and Celozzi replaced Lahm and Van Buyten after half-time, with Bopp taking over from Sosa shortly afterwards.

Bayern were behind eight minutes after the restart when Jansen inadvertently deflected a pass into the path of Helmes, who finished from eight yards. Celozzi then showed great determination to thwart Vucicevic with the striker clean through on goal.

Satisfied Hitzfeld

The reshuffled Munich line-up struggled for a time and Vucicevic (68) hit he side-netting, with the action at the other end of the field confined to a Wagner effort (66) and Bopp's shot (73).

Köln had the better of the closing stages as Munich's mainly youthful side began to tire, Helmes settling the outcome six minutes from time. "I think our youngsters gave a good account of themselves for long spells," Hitzfeld commented at full time. "We can be satisfied with our physical effort and footballing skill."

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