Roy Makaay's sixth goal in five Group G matches sent RC Deportivo La Coruña to the brink of qualification for the second group stage of the UEFA Champions League and 2001 winners FC Bayern München crashing out of Europe at the Riazor tonight.
A poor performance from Ottmar Hitzfeld's side, their worst in their five group games, was compounded by Makaay's late volley soon after substitute Roque Santa Cruz had pulled Bayern back into the game. It was Bayern's fourth defeat in five games and means they will not even take their place in the UEFA Cup.
Needing victory to keep their faint hopes alive, Bayern started brightly, but were unable to work a clear chance on goal. Mehmet Scholl, Michael Ballack and Giovanne Elber, captain in place of the injured Oliver Kahn, all had shots blocked as Bayern looked to take control, but once Deportivo had weathered the early storm, Hitzfeld’s side crumbled.
Depor take control
For all their early promise, Bayern, starting with Elber as a lone striker, offered little in the final third and Deportivo were soon in the ascendancy. On 23 minutes Roy Makaay, scorer of a hat-trick in his side's 3-2 win at the Olympiastadion on Matchday One, drew the first save of the match from Stefan Wessels.
Back off the bar
Six minutes later, Wessels was beaten by a powerful drive from Fran González from the edge of the D, but the ball thudded back off the crossbar. Wessels then had to get down quickly to his right to save from Makaay as the home side looked to press home their advantage.
Wessels on song
Bayern were unable to break out of their half, and Juan Capedevila and Makaay both had further chances, only for the alert Wessels kept his side in the match.
Víctor Sánchez breaks deadlock
Hitzfeld brought on Santa Cruz at the start of the second half, but Depor picked up from where they had left off on the attack and broke the deadlock on 54 minutes. The home side won an indirect free-kick five metres outside the Bayern area. Mauro Silva rolled the ball to his right to Víctor Sánchez to create an angle and the midfield player rifled his shot past Wessels.
Santa Cruz hits back
There seemed no way back for Bayern. Unlike in their defeat at AC Milan last week, the Bavarian side failed to up the tempo and created little in the way of chances until Santa Cruz gave them a lifeline with a close-range header from Scholl's cross on 77 minutes.
The earlier loss of Michael Ballack through injury had taken some of the creativity out of the heart of the Bayern midfield but it was of a little consequence on a night when Bayern rarely threatened in the final third. By the time Makaay delivered the killer blow with a first-time volley at the far post in the final minute, Bayern's European campaign had already come to a miserable end. For Deportivo, a point on Matchday Six could prove enough to see them through to the second group stage, although RC Lens are still lurking with intent two points behind.
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