Bayern Munich 3 – SSC Napoli 2


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Brazil international midfielder LUIZ GUSTAVO (30) of Bayern Munich, the versatile 24-year-old who delivered the last-gasp goal to defeat Vfl Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga earlier this season, keeps one step ahead of SSC Napoli’s Switzerland international midfielder BLERIM DZEMAILI (20) during the critial UEFA Champions League Group A match at the sold-out Allianz Arena in Bavaria.
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November 2, 2011
UEFA Champions League
Group A, Matchday # 4

3 – BAYERN MUNICH (Ger) ——— Gomez 17′, 23′, 42′
2 – SSC NAPOLI (Ita) ——————– Fernandez 45′, 79′

After storming to a seemingly-insurmountable first half lead, the hosts were forced to battle down the hatches at the back a bit after the break but, nevertheless, German Bundelsiga leaders BAYERN MUNICH managed to hold off visiting Italian Serie A side SSC NAPOLI 3-2 and, significantly, collect all three points in the important UEFA Champions League Group A match.

“Super” MARIO GOMEZ, who currently leads the Bundesliga with 12 goals this term, turned sharply with a ball from Germany Cup midfielder BASTIAN SCHWEINSTEIGER, skillfully slipped past Argentine defender HUGO CAMPAGNARO and smashed a left-footer past Italy international goalkeeper MORGAN DE SANCTIS for the all-important opening tally in the 17th minute. The 26-year-old Germany international striker gave Bayern Munich a firm grip on the game when youthful Germany international midfielder TONI KROOS chipped an inviting, diagonal ball into the box a scant six minutes later. A leaping Gomez re-directed past the defenseless De Sanctis to leave the visitors trailing by a pair after just 23 minutes of play.

A third strike from Gomez for Bayern Munich three minutes before halftime appeared to be lights out for SSC Napoli. France World Cup winger FRANCK RIBERY found Kroos in the box smartly and, although De Sanctis got down to make the intial save, last season’s Bundesliga Torjaegermeister was on hand to sweep the ball home for his sixth goal in the UEFA Champions League this season. In all competitions, ‘Super Mario’ has now scored 19 goals for Bayern Munich this term.

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Germany World Cup midfielder BASTIAN SCHWEINSTEIGER of Bayern Munich is transported by stadium medical staff via stretcher into the dressing room at the Allianz Arena in Bavaria after breaking his collarbone in the second half of the Champions League clash with visiting Italian Serie A side SSC Napoli.
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SSC Napoli gave themselves some hope just before the halftime whistle with a set piece just outside the area on the left, however; after two Bayern Munich defenders had collided in front, Argentina international centerback FEDERICO FERNANDEZ was entirely free to head home the free kick from Argentina international winger EZEQUIEL LAVEZZI.

Bayern suffered a serious blow when the influential Schweinsteiger was carted off in the second half with a broken collarbone. The 27-year-old Germany international did have the damage surgically repaired and is expected to be out of action for six weeks. The impact of the loss of such a world-class ball-winner as well as defensively responsible player was immediately evident for Bayern Munich and appeared to shock trainer JUPP HEYCKNES’ team somewhat.

It looked as if a break had come the Bavarians way when SSC Napoli’s Colombia international wingback JUAN ZUNIGA acquired two quick yellow cards and went off in the 70th minute but this was offset when Germany international defender HOLGER BADSTUBER of Bayern Munich saw his second yellow just seven minutes later.

SSC Napoli would give the home fans a scare shortly thereafter. Fernandez found the back of the net for a second time after beating Belgium international defender DANIEL VAN BUYTEN to a long free kick from Switzerland World Cup midfielder GOKHAN INLER at the back post. A looping header from the 22-year-old Napoli defender left Bayern Munich’s Germany World Cup goalkeeper MANUEL NEUER no chance in the 79th minute.

The Bavarians did succeed in slamming the door shut, though, and Gomez nearly notched a fourth goal for the evening after the Italian goalkeeper had come forward in the closing stages. A long-range effort by the Bayern Munich striker from behind his own midfield stripe rolled threatenly towards the empty net before a hustling De Sanctis slid, at the very last moment, to clear the ball away. High marks to the SSC Napoli shot-stopper for the never-say-die attitude on full parade.

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As Germany World Cup left back and Bayern Munich club captain PHILIPP LAHM (21) inspects the damage to France World Cup winger and Bundesliga colleague FRANCK RIBERY, Colombia international right back JUAN ZUNIGA (18) of Italian Serie A side SSC Napoli smiles upon receiving his marching orders from Dutch referee BJOERN KUIPERS after a second yellow card during the UEFA Champions League Group A match at the Allianz Arena in Bavaria.
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BAYERN MUNICH : Neuer – Boateng, van Buyten, Badstuber, Lahm – Luiz Gustavo, Schweinsteiger (Tymoshchuk 53′) – Mueller, Kroos, Ribery – Gomez

SSC NAPOLI : De Sanctis – Campagnaro, Fernandez, Aronica (Dossena (42′) – Maggio, Dzemaili (Pandev 84′), Inler, Zuniga – Hamsik, Lavezzi – Cavani

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