Created on 02-09-2007 at 00:00 AM
Bayern dropped points for the first time this season as battling Hamburg struck late to level an intermittently scrappy but always enthralling encounter.
The capacity 57,000 crowd at the freshly renamed HSH Nordbank Arena saw the sides cancel each other out in a cagey first period, Olli Kahn marking his new record 535th Bundesliga appearance as a goalkeeper with one sharp save from former Munich man Piotr Trochowski.
Hamburg had the better of a livelier and occasionally physical second half until Miroslav Klose nicked a poacher’s goal on 70 minutes from Christian Lell’s cross, the striker claiming his third of the season and bringing up a personal century of Bundesliga goals into the bargain.
However, defeat would have been harsh on the home side and HSV substitute Mohamed Zidan’s equaliser three minutes from time meant the scoreline more accurately reflected the balance of play by the end.
The result puts an end to Bayern’s perfect start to the campaign, but the men from Munich still lead the standings with ten points from four matches, a healthy three points clear of a pack of early pursuers
Klose in for Toni
Ottmar Hitzfeld made just one enforced change to the side which eased to victory over Hannover last weekend, Klose conveniently returning from injury just as Luca Toni was forced to sit out the game with a hamstring problem.
That meant Bayern continued with a solitary striker supported by three attacking midfielders, although Hitzfeld retained the option of Lukas Podolski, seated on the bench in a return to squad duty after four months out, and later to be introduced for the final 25 minutes in his first top flight outing since knee surgery in April.
The home side were without star playmaker Rafael van der Vaart, a late withdrawal with a calf strain, but Trochowski provided a ready-made like-for-like stand-in.
Stalemate in first period
Home coach Huub Stevens was also forced to reorganise his defence in the absence of suspended regulars Guy Demel and Vincent Kompany, but Klose made little early headway against centre-half Bastian Reinhardt and outstanding debutant Jerome Boateng.
Kahn’s 13th-minute save from Trochowski and a Ze Roberto drive on 37 minutes constituted the only chances before the interval as the sides’ identical tactics and guarded approach prompted an inevitable stalemate.
The game picked up tempo and drama after half-time, the eager home side initially seizing the initiative and putting Bayern under pressure. Former Feyenoord man Romeo Castelen came close after good work by Croatia star Ivica Olic and ex-Red Paolo Guerrero, before Kahn spread himself bravely to deny Olic with a goal begging.
An element of niggle had been bubbling below the surface for a while and prompted referee Florian Meyer into a flurry of bookings around the hour mark, but the visitors became increasingly comfortable as the half wore on and although Klose’s opener came out of the blue, it was just about deserved at the time.
Late blow for Bayern
But Hamburg had scrapped and battled for everything all afternoon and there was a certain sense of justice when sub Zidan was rewarded for his persistence in the box on 86 minutes, toe-poking home through a forest of legs to make the final score a fair reflection of the play.
Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley