Saturday, 6 December 2008

Luca Toni Show Hoffenheim "The Meaning of Class"

After an entertaining goalless first half Vedad Ibisevic fired Hoffenheim into the lead early in the second half with his 18th of the season. Philipp Lahm bagged the equaliser on the hour mark before Luca Toni settled things with an injury time winner.

First Half

Jürgen Klinsmann sent out his strongest available XI with only Martin Demichelis missing. Daniel van Buyten took his place alongside Lucio in the centre of Bayern’s defence. Hoffenheim counterpart Ralf Rangnick has his three musketeers of Obasi, Ba and Ibisevic fit to start up front.

Bayern kicked off and forced an early corner to send out a notice of their intent but Schweinsteiger’s delivery found nobody. A minute later Tobias Weis fired in a long range effort which Rensing held, but Hoffenheim too were showing they had come to attack.

Both sides began the game at a tremendous pace and Hoffenheim were true to their word that they were going to keep true to their attacking philosophy. On seven minutes, Chinedu Obasi sent the ball through to Ba who fired straight at Rensing rather than squaring the ball to the better placed Ibisevic.

The visitors continued to push forward and Obasi once again turned provider on 9 minutes with a cross from the right to Ba, but the French Senegalese headed over from seven meters out.

The action came thick and fast and Toni was the next to be handed an opportunity 12 minutes in. Zé Roberto’s vision played him through but he sent his shot into the side netting from a tight angle.

Two minutes later and Toni was once again in the centre of the action but on this occasion he didn’t come out with any credit after diving theatrically in the area looking for a penalty when there was no contact with keeper Haas. The Italian was fortunate not to be yellow carded for his troubles.

Franck Ribéry sent a free kick over the bar on 21 minutes before the game got a bit tasty with a number of niggly fouls upping the ante in the game. Lucio and Weis both put in some tough tackles before Demba Ba was booked for a foul on Mark van Bommel.

Hoffenheim carved out a good counter attack on 38 minutes with Obasi heavily involved but Bundesliga leading scorer Ibisevic was unable to really test Michael Rensing with his shot.

Following bookings for both Obasi and Zé Roberto, Brazilian midfielder Luiz Gustavo sent in a dangerous shot from distance with keeper Rensing having to be on his toes.

The first half finished goalless, but it was probably one of the most entertaining 45 minutes of goalless football this season.

Second Half

There were no changes in personnel from either side at the half time break and Bayern were quickly on the attack with Zé Roberto crossing from the bye-line. Haas however was on hand to pluck the ball away from Miroslav Klose.

Then quite sensationally Hoffenheim took the lead four minutes in. Tobias Weis stormed down the right before passing into the middle where Demba Ba flicked a clever ball into Ibisevic, who beat Massimo Oddo to the ball before firing clinically past Rensing in the Bayern goal for his 18th of the season.

The guests were not content to sit back and Carlos Eduardo let fly from 30 meters and Rensing did very well to get his finger tips to the ball. Bayern too were continuing their attacking momentum and Daniel van Buyten headed over an Oddo corner from six meters out.

Bayern however got themselves back on level terms on the hour mark via an unlikely source. Tobias Weis gave the ball away in midfield and it was picked up by Bayern full back Philipp Lahm. The German international powered forward and when nobody closed him down he let fly and the ball deflected off Marvin Compper and into the net.

Eight minutes later and Luca Toni combined well with fellow Italian Massimo Oddo when the full back sent over a quickly taken free kick. With the Hoffenheim defence asleep, the forward headed narrowly wide from close range.

As the game entered its final phase Hoffenheim looked to tire a little and pay for the high tempo with which they started the game. Their passing in attack became a little lax and holes began to open up at the back.

Substitute Salihovic had an opportunity to curl in a free kick on 82 minutes but his effort flew narrowly over the bar. Hoffenheim seemed to gain a second win, but were cruelly punished into injury time when Bayern hit the winner.

A long ball from Rensing found Luca Toni and his attempted pass to Klose was blocked by Ibertsberger. The Italian though was on hand to fire past Haas from close range to break Hoffenheim hearts and take Bayern level on points with their opponents.


0-1 Ibisevic (49)

1-1 Lahm (60)

2-1 Toni (92)

Yellow Cards:

Zé Roberto (40), Rensing (55), Borowski (85) / Ba (24), Obasi (39), Beck (90)

Bayern Munich: Rensing, Oddo, Lahm, van Buyten, Lucio, van Bommel, Zé Roberto, Schweinsteiger (Borowski 61), Ribéry, Klose, Toni

1899 Hoffenheim: Haas, Beck, Jaissle, Compper, Ibertsberger, Weis, Luiz Gustavo, Carlos Eduardo (Vorsah 92), Obasi (Salihovic 74), Ibisevic, Ba

Last Gasp Luca Toni Strike Sees Bayern Down Hoffenheim

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