FC Bayern crashed back to earth today, losing their first match in two months and giving up two goals for the first time this season. Hannover took an early lead through a penalty, awarded when Philipp Lahm got a little impatient and tried a poke-tackle from behind in the area. When Jermone Boateng was red-carded in the 28th minute, Bayern had a pretty big hill to climb, and Hannover doubled their lead soon after the break to make it even bigger.
Highlights of both H96 goals below.
I was out of town all day and DVR-recorded the game, and told myself I'd watch it without knowing who won. Well, I couldn't stick to it, and I watched all the goal and big play highlights online. but I'm now going to watch the entire thing. I'll come back and post more after watching, but my first thought is that this isn't a disaster. We weren't going to go through the entire season undefeated, hopefully Jupp Heynckes can use this as a teaching point. We still have a 3-point lead at the top of the table.
The bigger problems are (1) that Boateng is now going to be suspended, and (2) our offense still can't create much excitement without Robben on the pitch. Granted, once we went down to 10 men, that obviously got harder.
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Wow. Interesting game to watch - Hannover actually played really well, Pander, Cherundolo (while he was on) and Abdellaoue all made several good plays going forward. At the same time, Bayern had a few chances where we nearly broke through - if Kroos' long range blast in the first half was two inches lower, it's 1-0 to Bayern and the whole game is different.
Boateng obviously lost his temper, that's a big mistake. I thought the ref could have let him off with a yellow, but when you slap/shove a guy way after the play, you can't act surprised when you're discipline. That surprised me, Boateng is usually pretty level-headed.
Right now, Rafinha is our best fullback. Obviously Lahm is just in a little slump, I don't think it's time to panic - but this is two straight games where Philipp has struggled to deal with speedy wings flying down the flank. The penalty, while a legitimate call, was more a question of bad luck. But late in the first half and again early in the second, Cherundolo managed to sneak by him with a last-second acceleration.
Anyway, it really isn't a catastrophe. Bayern is still 3 points clear at the top of the standings. It was a nice finish by Alaba. Starts at about 1:25 of this clip:
In the pre-season Audi Cup tournament, he had a similar chance and shot it right at the keeper. Nice patience today to wait him out and slide it to the left. Also, it's interesting that Neuer still hasn't really been cleanly beaten by a forward in a competitive match: he had that weird high-jumping header in week 1, then the long shutout streak, then the Badstuber own goal this week, then the penalty and the weird bounce off Gustavo today. But, the back line is starting to show a few cracks. If Nerlinger can find some kind of non-cup-tied reinforcements in the January window, I think they'd probably jump at the chance to add some depth. Between that and Robben coming back, we will hopefully be rounding into shape at the right time.