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Bayern pegged back by Vieira

Published: Wednesday 6 December 2006, 0.35CET
FC Bayern München 1-1 FC Internazionale Milano Patrick Vieira's last-gasp equaliser was not enough to prevent the Bundesliga side from winning Group B.
by John Atkin
from Fußball Arena München
Published: Wednesday 6 December 2006, 0.35CET

Bayern pegged back by Vieira

FC Bayern München 1-1 FC Internazionale Milano Patrick Vieira's last-gasp equaliser was not enough to prevent the Bundesliga side from winning Group B.

Patrick Vieira scored a last-gasp equaliser to earn FC Internazionale Milano a 1-1 draw but FC Bayern München coach Felix Magath got his wish of winning Group B on a night when Oliver Kahn celebrated his 100th UEFA Champions League appearance.

Late response
The pre-match rendition of "Olli Kahn" was belted out a few octaves higher than usual by the majority of the 69,000 inside the Fußball Arena München, yet the veteran goalkeeper was largely anonymous until the last minute when he did well to keep out Fabio Grosso's effort. Vieira was on hand to fire in the rebound, however, to give a weakened Inter side an unexpected point. Bayern had hitherto looked good money for their one-goal lead, secured just after the hour when Roy Makaay collected Hasan Salihamidžić's brilliant long pass and dispatched it past Francesco Toldo.

Gonzalez threat
Though shorn of the injured Lukas Podolski, Bayern started brightly and, but for a well-timed intervention from Maicon, Claudio Pizarro could have gained them an early advantage. The Inter right-back was one of only four survivors from the team that lost the reverse fixture 2-0 in September, as coach Roberto Mancini opted to rest players. It meant a chance for the likes of Mariano Gonzalez, who formed a makeshift strike partnership with Zlatan Ibrahimović, but if the Argentinian winger was unused to the role, he quickly warmed to it.

Makaay chance
The 25-year-old enjoyed a lively opening, coming close to breaking the deadlock on eight minutes when Santiago Solari's dangerous low cross just eluded his outstretched foot. Yet it was the home side who carried the greater threat, and they created the first real opportunity soon after. The lively Bastian Schweinsteiger and Pizarro linked up well on the left flank before laying the ball off to Makaay, whose scuffed effort was held by Toldo.

Missed opportunities
Kahn was virtually redundant at the other end as Bayern began to dominate. For all their possession and intent though, they showed little of the "killer instinct" Magath had demanded in the build-up, as Willy Sagnol's free-kick was allowed to bounce twice inside the area before it was hacked clear by a grateful Inter defence. Makaay was equally culpable when he stabbed Salihamidžić's cross wide. On the bench, Magath was starting to wear the look of a man who feared his team would pay for their profligacy.

Inter threat
They nearly did so on the cusp of half-time when Gonzalez rattled the crossbar from long range and Walter Samuel forced Kahn to tip over soon after the restart, although the linesman's flag was up anyway. Hernán Crespo had replaced Ibrahimović in between times, but Bayern quickly regained their composure and Mark van Bommel went close to his first UEFA Champions League goal for the club when his rasping effort bobbled just wide of Toldo's right-hand post. That was the prelude to Makaay's breakthrough and it was all Bayern from then on, save for Vieira's late intervention. The Bundesliga outfit nevertheless finish top of Group B, with Inter second.

Last updated: 06/12/06 10.54CET

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