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Posts Tagged ‘Manuel Friedrich’

[ credit: Reuters Pictures ]

I adore having to eat humble pie when it comes to wrong predictions that go the right way for my team. Bayer marked their 1000th Bundesliga game in style; triumphing over Werder Bremen in their home ground and scoring two goals in the process. Vidal (71′) was the first to break the deadlock and he celebrated by stuffing the ball under his jersey. The explanation for that is obvious, as he’s due to be become a father next year. At least, that’s what I’m gathering from the Bild website if I’m not getting my (very bad) German mixed up.

Friedrich (81′) scored his second goal in two games to assure the win for Bayer and condemn his former club to defeat. Incidentally, Werder saw it fit to grant him only one senior game before he moved on to 1. FSV Mainz 05 and from thence to Bayer. I can’t comment further on the match as I didn’t watch it in full (and it was a repeat at that) but what I saw was very entertaining, with Bayer putting on a better performance despite early periods of good play by Werder. Further details of the match can be found at the game report from the official website.

Critics will point out that this is a weakened Werder playing without Claudio Pizarro, Diego and Clemens Fritz and without Tim Wiese in goal. But as the old saying goes, you can only play what’s in front of you and Bayer deserved this win. So Bayer is back on top, albeit temporarily but what the heck, I’ll enjoy the view for the moment.

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[ credit: Bundesliga Official Website ]

Based on the picture above, it’s pretty obvious that today was a good day for Bayer fans, with the Werkself winning 2 – 0 thanks to a Manuel Friedrich header (67′) and a Theofanis Gekas penalty (84′). I managed to watch the game in fits and starts on a stream. It was therefore also a bad day for Christoph Daum, the former Bayer manager who was celebrating (well, maybe not anymore) his birthday today. But at least the fans serenaded him with a song.

The first half was poorly played by Bayer, with Köln having the upper hand for long periods, though Bayer were dangerous on the break. Köln tested the Bayer defence and goal repeatedly and they stifled the Bayer attack well. There was a small fuss when fireworks were set off near Michal Kadlec, forcing the referee to stop the game for a short period but fortunately, there were no other incidents.

Bayer played better in the second half, and to borrow a cliche, the home side’s patience paid off when Friedrich headed home the first goal. I still didn’t feel comfortable with that one-nil goal margin though, seeing Bayer’s defence thus far for the season, but the penalty taken by Gekas pretty much sealed the deal. It would be fair to say that Köln has a right to feel aggrieved seeing how well they played and the score flatters Bayer somewhat but it’s the result that matters. For a more complete report, go to the official website or Goal.com.

It wasn’t a great game of football – some parts were downright dire – but derbies are wont to be like that, so  let’s focus on the positives. Three points are in the bag and the team has a short time window with which they can stare down at the rest from the lofty but definitely temporary position of first place in the table. Don’t grudge us our 48 hours or so of being top dog.

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