Bayern Munich took on Karlsruhe today and walked away with one more victory in the 4-1 defeat. I watched the match on GolTV and this is my recap and my thoughts about it.
Bayern came out strong and this was proven by a goal just five minutes in by Luca Toni. Mark van Bommel slotted the ball through and Toni capitalized kicking it home. To see him kick the ball behind him and then turn around to kick it in.. that goal owns all goals made thus far this season. It was the first goal and the goal that set the tone for the first half. Fifteen minutes after Toni scored, Miroslav Klose sent one to the back of the net as well leading Bayern to a 2-0 score.
For much of the first half, Bayern had the ball. They looked strong and had pretty good communication. Karlsruhe gained two yellow cards in the first half and at the 43rd minute, they made a switch where Lashvilli came on for Carnell who had been fighting an injury for about twenty minutes. There was a moment with Gorlitz (I believe, I'm not real familiar with Karlsruhe's team) and van Bommel that I was surprised didn't result in some kind of action, but Gorlitz was arguing for a foul when van Bommel clearly had not touched him. It obviously went nowhere. Gorlitz got a little angry and in van Bommel's face, but Demichelis stepped between them and the ref soon cleared them out.
Overall the first half looked pretty decent and Bayern did a pretty good job at keeping the ball and recovering it as well.
For the second half, Ze Roberto came on in place of van Bommel. Now, this is just my opinion and that of a couple of my friends as well, but I have to say it always appears to me that whenever van Bommel is taken out at the half or too early into the second half, Bayern's performance suffers. They seem to fall back on their heels and forget where they're all suppose to be on the pitch. van Bommel is definitely a mid field leader and no one else seems to step up into that role when he's not on the pitch and the team seems to lose a little bit of direction.
The second half play, though they scored twice more, was very lack-luster and Bayern seemed to have fallen asleep. I think, the only person who really knows where he's suppose to be when he's on the pitch is Ribery.
Just after the half, Timm was making a pretty good run towards their goal when Demichelis intervened and kicked the ball out. Just after that, Marcell Jansen took the ball across to Hamit Altintop who scored making the Bayern lead stretch to 3-0.
Four minutes later, at the 52nd minute, Porcello scored for Karlsruhe bringing the score to 3-1 and reviving Karlsruhe's spirits. After this, they were much more aggressive and had the ball in their possession most of the time.
Another substitution was made by Karlsruhe and Kapllani came on for Gorlitz. Just three minutes later, Kapllani nearly made a goal but there was a beautiful save by Kahn's foot to stop the shot giving Karlsruhe a corner. The cross was brilliant, but Ze Roberto was in the corner of the goal by the post and he deflected the shot beautifully. Otherwise, Karlsruhe would've scored.
At 67 minutes, Luca Toni came out of the game and made way for Lukas Podolski. In the 74th minute, Poldi passed to Miro who got the ball across to Ze Roberto and his shot found the back of the net once more bringing Bayern's lead to 4-1. This seemed to knock the wind right out of Karlsruhe's sails. They suddenly seemed to stop trying to play altogether.
Schweini came on for Ribery at 75 minutes and Karlsruhe made one last substitution at 79 minutes when Staffeldt came on for Freis.
I'm anxious for Poldi to find his footing again. When he's healthy and he's on, he's damn good, but right now, he's struggling to find his form and his place within the team. Today's performance was no different. He had a couple good touches of the ball and of course, put the play in motion for Ze Roberto to score, but his performance isn't where we're use to seeing him.
van Bommel was a little bit more aggressive today, but he still seems to be laying back a bit and I'm sure a lot of that has to do with everyone trying to figure out just what their position is now that there are so many shake ups to the line. I do think he's a key player for Bayern and I do think he's needed. I was unimpressed yet again by Schweini's play today as well. Something is missing from his play the last two matches and I sure hope he finds it very soon. Everyone has a place and the only one who seems to know where that is, is Ribery.
The win today put Bayern Munich back to the top of the table, two points ahead of Hertha Berlin.