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Battling Bayern peg back Lyon

Published: Wednesday 1 October 2008, 0.30CET
FC Bayern München 1-1 Olympique Lyonnais
Zé Roberto's header early in the second half cancelled out an own goal from Martín Dimichelis to keep the German side at the Group F summit.
by Gavin Jackson
from Fußball Arena München
Battling Bayern peg back Lyon
Bayern's Luca Toni chases down Lyon defender Cris ©Getty Images
Published: Wednesday 1 October 2008, 0.30CET

Battling Bayern peg back Lyon

FC Bayern München 1-1 Olympique Lyonnais
Zé Roberto's header early in the second half cancelled out an own goal from Martín Dimichelis to keep the German side at the Group F summit.

FC Bayern München and Olympique Lyonnais maintained their unbeaten starts to UEFA Champions League Group F after the Bundesliga title-holders came from behind to earn a point against their French counterparts.

Breathless game
In a breathless game that flowed as freely as the beer at Oktoberfest, the visitors took the lead midway through the first period as Bayern midfielder Martín Dimichelis inadvertently flicked Juninho Pernambucano's long-range free-kick into his own net. Bayern responded seven minutes into the second period, Zé Roberto powering in a header to secure a point which keeps his side top of the section ahead of home-and-away games against ACF Fiorentina.

Instinctive save
Lyon had stated their intention to bring a positive result back from Bavaria, and made a start almost as bright as their fluorescent green strip. An injury doubt prior to kick-off, Juninho showed exactly why Claude Puel was willing to wait before making a late decision over his fitness as he inspired the visitors. The Brazilian's set-piece prowess is well-documented, but Bayern failed to read an eleventh-minute free-kick from which Fred's header brought an instinctive save from Michael Rensing.

Ribéry verve
Bayern also had their muse back in Franck Ribéry and, despite having only played 70 minutes this season, the Frenchman's verve was evident. A deep free-kick created an early opening for Luca Toni but the Italian failed to keep his header down, while Ribéry's understanding with Philipp Lahm down the left led to both testing goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. Bayern, though, failed to heed the warning signs, and paid dearly 25 minutes in. Another set-piece just inside their half gave Juninho the chance to fire goalwards and on the edge of the area Demichelis ducked too late, the ball flicking off his head and finding the bottom corner with Rensing rooted to the spot. Toni almost replied instantly, Lloris turning his low drive aside, before the Bayern striker muscled his way in front of Anthony Réveillère to meet Massimo Oddo's searching cross, only to head narrowly wide.

Renewed vigour
Bayern emerged after half-time with renewed vigour, and but for an excellent Lloris stop Toni would have brought them level after Ribéry's delightfully-weighted pass. The impatient home fans did not have to wait long for their side's enterprise to be rewarded, Miroslav Klose breaking down the right and picking out the unmarked Zé Roberto who headed beyond Lloris before he and his team-mates engulfed Jürgen Klinsmann. Bayern's defensive problems are the coach's main headache, however, and 18-year-old Brazilian centre-back Breno, who made his full league debut for the club on Saturday, was conspicuous by his absence as a lunging Karim Benzema came within centimetres of restoring Lyon's lead.

Late chances
In the closing stages, Lucio could have grabbed victory for Bayern but narrowly failed to get a touch on a Bastian Schweinsteiger free-kick. At the other end, Benzema might have swung it Lyon's way as he again broke free in the closing stages and touched the ball round the advancing Rensing only for Breno to clear the danger and ensure each side left with a point.

Last updated: 01/10/08 9.55CET

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