On an inhospitable day in Freiburg, FC Bayern did enough to earn a win and to extend the lead atop the standings. But there were some frustrating moments for Bayern fans, as the club played with a man advantage for nearly an hour before breaking through. Ribery and Mario Gomez, in particular, seemed a little off in their timing and touch.
I guess there's a school of though that says a bad rehearsal leads to a great performance. So, by that logic, we're going to mop the floor with Dortmund this weekend, because this was a somewhat lifeless outing for FC Bayern. We did enough to get the win, and to extend the lead over BVB to 11 points (Bayer Leverkusen is actually now in 2d, 10 points back, I believe). And the weather and the pitch probably played a role, as it was always going to be tough to generate a lot of offense from a quick-touch passing game. And ... yes, we turned on the jets a bit in the last 15 minutes, and did enough to get the win.
Aside from that, though, I don't think there was a whole lot for Bayern to be proud of. The initial penalty shot, due to a hand-ball, was a valid call, although one that we have not received on different occasions in the past. Mueller's take wasn't perfectly placed, and Baumann managed to get a hand on it:
Luckily, it had enough power to blow past him into the net. Freiburg didn't give up, though, and created a decent spell of their own (with Max Kruse, especially, getting too much room to operate). But few minutes later, SCF was down to 10 men on a Diagne red card.
Credit to Freiburg, though - not only did they not give up, they didn't try to sit back and defend the whole time, either. Their midfield fought hard, and Kruse, Schmid and Makiadi all made threatening runs. Neuer had to make a good save himself (I can't remember if that was a Kruse shot), and Bayern's few real attempts forward usually ended in an offside call or getting cleared to corners.
Our first substitution (Pizarro for Gomez) did little to jump-start things, but Rafinha and Tymoschuk came on subsequently, and seemed to bring a little grit to our side. And it was Tymo who pretty much killed the tie with his first goal in a while. He slipped behind the defense into a Lahm pass; Baumann made a defensible move in trying to beat him to the ball (it would have been an easy scoring chance even if Baumann sat back), but Tymo got a sideways touch to it and blasted home from distance:
Good to see Tymoschuk get a goal. Given the paucity of options, I'll go ahead and name him MotM. Meanwhile, there were plenty of options for BotB (including Gomez and Javi), but I'd have to go with Ribery for that. Several badly missed shots, didn't have his timing, and did very little to take advantage of the depleted Freiburg defense. Now, did Ribery look great this past weekend in notching a nice goal and making several good passes? Yeah, he did. But why don't you remind everyone when that took place, former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach?
Back with the Dortmund preview soon. A win there would put us 14 points up, and banish some of the demons of the past few years. Thanks for reading.