Created on 07-05-2008 at 00:00 AM
Newly-crowned Bundesliga champions Bayern registered a 20th win of the campaign in an authoritative display at home to struggling Bielefeld.
The customary 69,000 full house at the Allianz Arena saw Bayern initially struggle for inspiration against the ultra-defensive visitors, but Franck Ribery broke the deadlock on 26 minutes after sublime Luca Toni build-up play.
Lukas Podolski fired rifled home his third of the campaign to double the home side’s advantage immediately after the restart, and only uncharacteristically wayward finishing by the normally deadly Toni prevented the always dominant Bavarians winning even more emphatically.
Six new faces
Coach Ottmar Hitzfeld made half-a-dozen changes to the side which sealed the title in Sunday’s goalless draw with Wolfsburg. Oliver Kahn, Christian Lell, Lucio, Philipp Lahm, Zé Roberto and Ribery started the match in place of Michael Rensing, Willy Sagnol, Martin Demichelis, Marcell Jansen, Andreas Ottl and Bastian Schweinsteiger, decisions which also meant fringe players Daniel van Buyten, Jose Sosa and Podolski retaining their places.
The relegation-haunted visitors set out their stall right from the start, throwing two defensive lines across their own third of the field and stifling the champions’ attacking efforts, until Lahm’s incisive pass to Ribery after quarter of an hour. The Frenchman arrowed his drive at goal, but Arminia shot-stopper Rowen Fernandez prevented the effort creeping between his legs.
Munich felt they should have had a penalty midway through the half when Markus Bollmann clearly barged van Buyten to the turf as the Belgian chased Ribery’s lob into the box, but referee Dr Jochen Drees waved play on.
The match exploded into life on 26 minutes and it was an Arminia corner which lit the touch paper, Zé Roberto clearing Andre Mijatovic's effort off the line and Bollmann looping a header against Kahn’s far post, only for Bayern to race up the other end of the field and take the lead.
Toni was the instigator, brilliantly controlling and shielding Lahm’s hoofed clearance before loping inside and timing his final ball to perfection, Ribery this time succeeding in nutmegging Fernandez to open the scoring.
Poldi makes it two
Toni had the ball in the net but saw his effort ruled out for handball and Podolski ought to have done better than fire straight at Fernandez as the men in red comfortably bossed proceedings up to the break, but the Germany striker made amends two minutes after the restart with a drilled finish from Ribery’s mazy run to underscore Bayern’s superiority.
The champions threatened to run riot for a spell as Ribery, Lell and Podolski all went close, but Toni was the unluckiest of all with three near misses, one header producing an acrobatic save from Fernandez and another cannoning back off the upright, albeit from an offside position.
Luca out of luck
Hitzfeld sent on Andi Ottl and Toni Kroos in place of Mark van Bommel and Sosa for the final 15 minutes, but the normally prolific Luca Toni’s touch deserted him on the day, the Italian completely mistiming a free header and miscuing a volley with the goal at his mercy. After playing the ball an astounding 112 times in 82 minutes, Ribery gave way to Jan Schlaudraff for the last few minutes as the stadium rose to acclaim a splendid Man of the Match display by the Frenchman.
Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley