Created on 04-05-2013 at 00:00 AM
The Champions League final dress rehearsal that never was ended with honours even between the new and old Bundesliga champions on Saturday, ending Bayern’s record run of 14 straight wins but maintaining the Bavarians’ gaping 20-point lead in the standings. Neither side was at full strength but there was still plenty of tasty action, including a sending-off and a superb penalty save by FCB captain for the day Manuel Neuer.
The 80,665 full house at Signal Iduna Park saw another newly-formed FCB side fall behind to a spectacular Kevin Großkreutz volley on 11 minutes, but Mario Gomez levelled midway through the half to make the half-time score 1-1, a fair reflection of the play in the first 45 minutes.
The second period exploded into life an the hour when Neuer brilliantly saved a Robert Lewandowski penalty, but the visitors were reduced to ten men after 65 minutes with Rafinha’s dismissal for a second bookable offence. The ten men in red worked tirelessly to preserve what they had, and survived the odd scare to come away with a deserved draw.
The result means the all-conquering Bavarians are up to 85 points from 32 league fixtures in this extraordinary campaign, still 20 ahead of BVB and on course to establish a new record for the biggest lead in the standings at the end of a season. The Reds now play their last home fixture of term against Augsburg next Saturday, when the championship shield will be presented on a day of official celebration in the Bavarian capital.