Created on 16-05-2015 at 17:22 PM by Chris Hamley
Bayern’s poor end-of-season run in the Bundesliga continued on Saturday with a 2-1 reverse against struggling SC Freiburg in the final away fixture of the campaign, former Munich man Nils Petersen striking a last-minute winner to all but secure his side’s top flight status and condemn the champions to a third straight league defeat.
The 24,000 capacity crowd at the compact Schwarzwald Stadion saw Bastian Schweinsteiger hand Pep Guardiola’s men a 13th-minute lead, but Swiss marksman Admir Mehmedi levelled 20 minutes later. Schweinsteiger hit the woodwork midway through the second half of an evenly-matched contest, but the minnows fought like lions and were rewarded with sub Petersen’s 89th-minute winner.
With just one game to go, the champions remain on 76 points, eight ahead of second-placed VfL Wolfsburg. The final match of 2014/15 is the 34th and last Bundesliga fixture at home to Mainz next Saturday afternoon, after which Philipp Lahm will receive the championship shield and the celebrations will begin in earnest.
Three new faces
Guardiola shuffled the deck for the second-to-last match of term and made three changes to the team that beat Barcelona 3-2 in midweek, with Sebastian Rode, Mario Götze and Mitch Weiser replacing Thiago, Thomas Müller and Lahm. The trio began on the bench alongside Javi Martinez, veteran striker Claudio Pizarro and reserve team keeper Ivan Lucic, deputising for the suspended Pepe Reina.
The visitors lined up with Manuel Neuer in goal, Rafinha, Jerome Boateng, Mehdi Benatia and Juan Bernat in defence, Xabi Alonso in the holding role, Rode and captain for the day Schweinsteiger in central midfield, and Weiser, Götze and Robert Lewandowski up front.
Teams trade first-half goals
After referee Tobias Welz whistled play underway, it was clear the champions were taking the match as seriously as they had promised in the build-up, with Götze fashioning an early chance and Benatia heading home from a corner only to be penalised for a push. But the lead was not long in coming as Weiser cleverly broke into the box on the right and squared for Schweinsteiger to side-foot the 13th-minute opener past SCF keeper Roman Bürki.
Munich focused on control now against the busy home team but the Reds still created sporadic chances, Weiser having a shout for a penalty turned down and Boateng powering a header from a free-kick straight at Bürki. However, Christian Günther had signalled the battling home team’s intent with a long-range sighter and Freiburg drew level on 33 minutes when Mehmedi nicked the ball off Schweinsteiger’s toe on the edge of the FCB box and rifled an unstoppable 20-yard drive past Neuer. The sides cancelled each other out now with no clear-cut chances through to the half-time whistle.
FCB beaten at the death
The second half opened with Alonso lofting a free-kick into the crowd, before the Spaniard’s next set-play delivery found Götze at the back stick, Bürki making a good reflex stop to kick away the Germany man’s header. There was a controversial moment in front of Neuer on 56 minutes when Mehmedi tumbled in the box in a challenge with Rafinha, but Mr Welz waved play on and FCB were soon up the other end where another Alonso free-kick was deflected for a corner.
Guardiola opted for a change and introduced Müller for Alonso after 64 minutes, but the Reds were out of luck five minutes later when Schweinsteiger’s cunning free-kick clattered off the angle of bar and post and back into play.
The Germany captain now gave way to Lahm with Thiago replacing Rode in a complete switch at the heart of the Bayern midfield, and the Spaniard’s chip sent Götze clear only for the striker to flip his finish over the bar. Bürki safely gathered Bernat’s skidding drive and then saved brilliantly from Thiago’s wonderful volley, but it was former Red Petersen who struck the killer blow a minute from time with a side-footed finish from Karim Guedé’s defence-splitting pass.
Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley