08.11.2007: Bayern shocked by Bolton in 2-2 draw

German Football
By German Football November 10, 2007 03:31

08.11.2007: Bayern shocked by Bolton in 2-2 draw

Bolton turned back the clock with a marvellous display of grit and determination to rock the unbeaten Bundesliga leaders in the UEFA Cup.

Without the likes of Nicolas Anelka, El-Hadji Diouf and Ivan Campo, it was expected to be a walk in the park for Bayern. Instead Bolton under new manager Gary Megson claimed a point with the kind of work ethic which was the trademark of former boss Sam Allardyce. Kevin Davies secured a point with his first goal of the season with eight minutes remaining to stun the home crowd.

A brace from Lukas Podolski had put Bayern in the driving seat after Ricardo Gardner had made the breakthrough.

Former Leicester boss Megson will surely take a number of positives from this performance not least of all goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi’s display. The Oman shot-stopper in only his second appearance for the club made a string of superb saves. Bolton also showed a never-say-die attitude after taking the lead in the eighth minute following a long throw from Kevin Nolan. Danny Guthrie chipped it forward and the ball eventually broke to Gardner. The Jamaican’s effort went in off the bar after taking a deflection. Gardner last found the target in the victory against Newcastle on Boxing Day 2002.

Bayern, however, should have equalised in the 18th minute when Andreas Otti was in a good position in front of goal. However he spooned his effort over the bar. Davies should have extended Bolton’s lead in the 29th minute. He latched on to a clever through ball from Gavin McCann then turned Lucio but sent his effort narrowly wide of the post.

Bayern drew level a minute later with a stunning goal. Podolski rifled a shot into the corner after Ribery had pulled the ball back. The concern for Bolton at this stage of the game was trying to keep Ribery quiet. The quick and clever Frenchman tested Al Habsi in the 37th minute with a low drive and the goalkeeper reacted quickly. Al Habsi then did well to block a shot from Mark van Bommell after it took a deflection in the 42nd minute. Bolton’s goalkeeper was being forced to work overtime and a minute later made a superb block from Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Nolan cut inside after 48 minutes only to see his effort go narrowly over the top but Bayern’s response was instant and emphatic. They took the lead a minute later when Ribery cut the ball back and Podolski scored his second goal of the game from close range. It was another clinical finish and Bolton were being stretched at the back such was the pace of the Bayern attack.

Al Habsi produced a stunning save in the 60th minute by turning over Ribery’s close range effort. Al Habsi then needed treatment after turning a shot from Schweinsteiger over the bar with Bayern running the show at this stage.

Bolton drew level and claimed a point through Davies after great work from Kevin Nolan. The club captain hooked the ball over Lucio and Christian Lell to find Davies at the back post and he drilled a shot past Kahn. It was no more than Bolton deserved for the spirit they showed and the players got a standing ovation from their 4,000 fans when they came out for their warmdown.

Gary Megson praised his ‘exceptional’ Bolton side after a famous draw against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Cup. Stripped of key players like Nicolas Anelka, El-Hadji Diouf and Ivan Campo, they secured a point thanks to Kevin Davies’ first goal of the season eight minutes from time.Bolton were also grateful to goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi who made a string of superb saves in only his second appearance for the club.

They have have two points on the board following the draw against Braga with games against Aris Salonika and Red Star Belgrade to come. Former Leicester boss Megson said: ‘We kept going. The attitude and application of the players was exceptional. ‘When you come to a place like this teams can be beaten before they start. But we began brightly and got that goal from Ricardo, which was just what we wanted. It was a big night for us. The talent and quality of this Bayern team was there for all to see. Slowly but surely they came into the came into the game and (Franck) Ribery is as good a player as I have every seen. He is a fantastic talent. We were without 12 players so those who came in deserve every credit. We had one or two were playing out of position but we will take a lot of confidence from this result.’

Megson added: ‘It was a great finish but you have to give Nolan credit for the work he put in to make the chance happen. He has been magnificent for me from day one and is a top class professional.’

Bayern Munich president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge could not work out how his side had thrown away the chance to maintain their 100% Group F record. ‘I am furious,’ said Rummenigge. This is a game which was there to be won. Had we won, we would have qualified for the next round – and I have to ask why we did not. There were 66,000 fans here who have the right to see the best team playing. But we have taken two world-class players off – and I am not happy.’

Coach Ottmar Hitzfeld defended his decision to rest Podolski, who was enjoying his best performance of the season. I took him off because he will be playing against Stuttgart (in the Bundesliga this weekend),’ he said. ‘It looked like we were in control – but then we were careless and lacked concentration, conceding an unnecessary goal from a throw-in. We have unnecessarily lost two points, but I remain confident that we can finish top of the group.’

German Football
By German Football November 10, 2007 03:31
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