FC Bayern kept the winning streak alive today, beating Hannover and picking up the 3 points despite a few mistakes and a lively performance from H96. Both of Bayern's goals were brilliant, with 2 sharp passes leading to a Kroos lob on the first and an uncharacteristically nimble move from Gomez on the second. But Hannover fought hard, and had a few chances to level in the second half. Manuel Neuer had one horrible mistake in the first half, but otherwise looked pretty authoritative at the back and had a nice save with under 10 minutes to go.
So, nobody expected that we'd be beating every club by 6 or 7 like we did last week. Still, there were a few blown chances today. Olic had a free run through the box and failed to put the ball on goal (although the pass was a few inches behind his foot), and there were several other chances that came to nothing. At the end of the first half, Bayern might even have felt fortunate to have a 1-0 lead: although our goal was beautiful (Robben with a nice inside-heel pass and Kroos with a light-touch floater over the keeper's head), Hannover easily could have scored when Neuer came too far out to the right and then bungled his attempted clearance.
Early in the second half, Bayern started to take control, and Gomez - on as a sub - showed some touch in putting us up by 2. But Didier Ya Konan brought them to within 1 with a great overhead/bicycle kick, and Bayern had a few nervy moments towards the last few minutes. Also, Mueller had a chance to salt it away with 5 minutes to go, and failed to either put the ball on goal or pull it back to one of his teammates.
Some scattered observations:
- Although Neuer's error was awful, he did get back in position to block a rebound-pass that would have left Hannover slipping the ball into an empty net. Not sure if the wet pitch had something to do with his slip in the first place, but he needs to be a little more reserved back there if he knows he won't have the best footing.
- Hard to blame anyone on the Hannover goal - it was a very nice overhead shot from Ya Konan. But, looking at the replay, Boateng could have been in position to at least hassle the shooter, and he sort of abandoned him to go after the high-bouncing ball. Also, was it Boateng who nearly put an OG past Neuer in the second half? Not his best half, although he was generally very tough in the first.
- Ribery had a pretty bad miss where he had half of an empty net and send the ball wide. But I thought both the wings played pretty well, despite neither getting on the score sheet. When both of those two are dribbling and passing well, and making their threatening runs, it really opens up the middle of the field.
- H96 is rounding into a pretty decent team. They're going to be in the running for the Europa title this year, and it wouldn't surprise me to see them sneak into that same competition for next year.
- Monchengladbach lost, so it's probably down to a 2-team race for the Bundesliga title. BVB plays tomorrow afternoon - if they drop points, Bayern controls our own destiny for the rest of the year (with one game left vs. BVB, we could win every match and automatically clinch the title, even if we'd still be down 3 points after tomorrow night).
Video highlights - this should have all 3:
Those were all pretty nice goals, actually - not a rebound tap-in or 'keeper's bungle of the bunch. Back with more tomorrow. Thanks for reading.