Created on 03-04-2008 at 00:00 AM
Bayern must score at least once and avoid defeat in Spain next week after Getafe struck at the death to force a draw in the UEFA Cup quarter-final first leg.
The 62,000 who braved intermittent sleet and driving rain at the Allianz Arena rose to hail yet another Luca Toni opening goal after 26 minutes as the home side dominated the first half-hour, but the Spaniards rallied towards the end of the half and Bayern were pleased enough to turn round a goal to the good.
Casquero missed a sitter as the visitors continued to press after the restart, but Munich clawed their way back only for Toni and Franck Ribery to squander quality openings on the break.
There was another almighty let-off for the Bundesliga leaders when Getafe sub Manu headed against the post in a frantic last ten minutes, but fellow replacement Cosmin Contra went one better with a sweet finish in the 90th minute for a late but ultimately not undeserved equaliser.
Poldi from the off
Bayern boss Ottmar Hitzfeld made four changes to the side held by Nuremberg last Saturday. Weekend goalscorer Lukas Podolski earned a widely-predicted start in place of Miroslav Klose, with fit-again Martin Demichelis returning to the team at Daniel van Buyten’s expense.
Mark van Bommel, suspended in the Bundesliga, shook off a dose of the flu to resume in midfield instead of Andreas Ottl, with Philipp Lahm replacing Christian Lell at right-back and freeing up the right midfield berth for Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Getafe boss Michael Laudrup was forced to field a makeshift defence after losing Belenguer and Cata Diaz to injury and Lucas Licht to a ban, although the inclusion of third-choice Argentina keeper Oscar Ustari in place of fellow-countryman and national number one Robert Abbondanzieri came as something of a surprise.
Bayern’s bright start
Bayern immediately seized the initiative after English referee Howard Webb whistled play underway, Toni netting after just five minutes only to be hauled back and booked for nicking the ball off Ustari’s toe as the keeper shaped to kick from hand.
Tena also saw a yellow card for tripping Ze Roberto as the Brazilian hared clear 20 yards from goal, before Ribery, Podolski and Schweinsteiger all saw shots blocked or drift just wide. Podolski then warmed Ustari’s gloves and dragged his next effort past the upright, before Toni’s volley from Lahm’s cross caused a moment’s panic in the Getafe box.
The chances were coming thick and fast for the Bavarians, and it was another fierce Schweinsteiger drive which indirectly led to the overdue opener. Ustari parried for a corner, but the keeper was powerless to stop Toni’s firm header from the set-piece, expertly floated over by Schweini himself.
Spaniards fight back
Ribery, Marcell Jansen and Schweinsteiger combined fluently to create the next opening on the half-hour, but Bayern appeared to run out of steam after that and the visitors suddenly threatened, Lahm clearing a Mario header off the line and Real Madrid loan man Ruben de la Red skidding an effort narrowly wide of the target.
Mario so nearly diverted a free-kick past Oliver Kahn as the half drew to a close, and the pattern continued after the break with a huge let-off for the home side on 54 minutes, Ikechukwu Uche’s neat backheel setting up a gilt-edged chance for Casquero, only for the midfielder to float an attempted chip inches over the bar.
Toni headed goalwards, Podolski drove over the bar and Schweinsteiger saw a header deflected wide as Bayern reasserted their authority after the hour mark, but with Getafe still pressing forward in search of an equaliser, Toni and Ribery were both uncharacteristically let down by their close control with only Ustari to beat as Van Bommel and Podolski fashioned clear-cut openings on the break.
It was end-to-end stuff in a tense closing phase, with another escape for the Reds when sub Manu beat Kahn to a cross only to head against the post, before Pablo Hernandez curled a free-kick wide of the upright.
But after a last-minute scramble in the Munich box following a desperate Kahn block, and with at least three defenders neglecting the chance to clear, Romania veteran Contra kept his head with a classy lobbed finish to snatch a not undeserved draw and present the Germans with a mountain to climb in the return.
Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley