Dec 6, 2008

The Saturday Summary: Bayern's back

Not that Juergen Klinsmann's club ever really left. These are the defending German champions, after all. But the way Bayern started the season you could be forgiven for writing them off as also-rans: Seven games into the Bundesliga campaign, the club's tally was a whopping nine points. That might not seem that bad for fans of Sunderland or West Bromwich Albion, but for the likes of Bayern Munich it was very disappointing indeed. At one point Klinsmann's job was in serious jeopardy. But then, after a miserable 3-3 home draw against lowly VfL Bochum a strange thing happened. Bayern started winning games. Seven of their last eight, to be precise, with a nine game unbeaten run that stretches to a Sept. 27 loss to Hannover (and that's just in the Bundesliga. They're unbeaten in their Champions League group and have qualified for the Round of 16). It culminated in a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Hoffenheim, the improbable newly-promoted table-toppers, last night, on a late goal by Luca Toni.

With the victory, the Bavarian side pull even with Hoffenheim at the top of the Bundesliga table (though Hoffenheim still has the edge on goal difference). The teams were evenly matched on the pitch as well so expect them to stay in close contact as the season wears on. Ralf Rangnick's men face sixth-placed Schalke Sunday and have some tough matches when Bundesliga returns from winter break (including third-placed Bayer Leverkusen on Feb. 13). Bayern have road dates at fifth-placed Hamburg (Jan. 31) and fourth-placed Hertha Berlin (Feb. 14) as well as a tough Champions League schedule to deal with. It may not be a two team fight, either. The top four clubs in Germany are all within four points of one another, so the Bundesliga campaign could go down to the wire.

No comments:

Post a Comment