Bayern Munich 3 – 1.FC Koeln 0


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Germany international defender HOLGER BADSTUBER of Bayern Munich heads the ball away from national team constituent LUKAS PODOLSKI (10) of 1.FC Koeln, far and away his team’s top scorer in the top flight this season with a career-high 14 goals, during the Bundesliga match at the sold-out Allianz Arena in Bavaria.
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12/16/11
Bundesliga
Spieltag # 17

3 – BAYERN MUNICH ————— Gomez 48, Alaba 63′, Kroos 88′
0 – 1.FC KOELN

The unofficial autumn champion overcame the handicap of a first half ejection by scoring three times unanswered after the break as ten-man BAYERN MUNICH blanked visiting 1.FC KOELN 3-0 to successfully close out the first half of the 2011-12 Bundesliga campaign.

France World Cup winger FRANCK RIBERY, the second-leading scorer with 10 goals in all competitions for Bayern Munich this season, got into a confrontation with one-time Portugal U-21 international defender HENRIQUE SERENO of 1.FC Koeln for which both players were booked but the 28-year-old who cost the Bavarians a then-club record 25.0 million Euros from Olympique Marseille continued to carry on and was immediately shown a second yellow card in the 33rd minute. Unfortunately for the visitors, the manpower situation was never exploited and 1.FC Koeln would, in fact, generate just five goal attempts for the entire game. Germany World Cup goalkeeper MANUEL NEUER would be called upon to make just one save in between the sticks for Bayern Munich, who posted a clean sheet for the first time in nine matches of all competitions after having earlier recorded a shutout streak of twelve consecutive contests.

Brazilian defender PEDRO GEROMEL gave the ball away far too easily in 1.FC Koeln’s third of the field and Bayern Munich pounced right away to open the second half. Germany World Cup winger THOMAS MUELLER, who has scored just two goals in the Bundesliga but has won numerous penalites for being fouled in the box this season, unselfishly lured the goalkeeper out before squaring the ball for national team colleague MARIO GOMEZ to sweep into the empty net in the 48th minute. “Super Mario” increased his totals to 16 strikes after 17 rounds in the Bundesliga and twenty-four goals in all competitions for Bayern Munich this term.

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JUPP HEYNCKES, easily the most-experienced trainer in the Bundesliga at 66 years of age, made a fruitful exchange for the Bavarians in the 52nd minute by taking off Mueller in favor of promising Austria international DAVID ALABA, the 19-year-old capable of operating effectively in a defensive midfield role. Just after the hour, though, Alaba appeared at the back post all alone after a corner kick from Germany international midfielder TONI KROOS had been allowed to bounce through. Former Germany U-21 international goalkeeper MICHAEL RENSING of 1.FC Koeln, who made 53 Bundesliga appearances in seven seasons for Bayern Munich before his departure in the summer of 2010, had no chance as Alaba had plenty of time to chest the ball down and rifle home from close range to notch his second goal in the Bundesliga for the Bavarians this season.

Alaba involved himself again after Croatia international attacker IVICA OLIC, another second half substitute, made a fine run into the box before going down. The ever-improving youngster latched on to the loose ball then cleverly dished off to the 21-year-old Kroos, who skillfully chipped the advancing Rensing with two minutes remaining. The goal marked a first of the season in the German top flight for Kroos, who had already scored twice this fall for both Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League in addition to Joachim Loew’s national team, as well.

Bayern Munich claimed the coveted title of Herbstmeister, traditionally seen as a wonderful indicator of who will win the German championship, for the 17th time in club history heading into this season’s annual Winterpause. In the past, the Bavarians have ultimately gone on to win the Bundesliga Meisterschale fourteen times after winning the unofficial fall crown. The last time Bayern Munich failed to turn the lead at the halfway mark into the actual title was the fateful 1992/93 campaign.

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Belgium international DANIEL VAN BUYTEN, the seasoned 31-year-old defender who has scored four goals in the German first division for Bayern Munich this term, restricts Germany World Cup winger LUKAS PODOLSKI of 1.FC Koeln from access to the ball (albeit illegally) during the Bundesliga match at the sold-out Allianz Arena in Bavaria.
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BAYERN MUNICH : Neuer – Rafinha, van Buyten, Badstuber, Lahm – Tymoshchuk, Kroos – Robben (Luiz Gustavo 76′), Mueller (Alaba 52′), Ribery – Gomez (Olic 78′)

1.FC KOELN – Rensing – Brecko (Makino 14′), Sereno, McKenna, Geromel, Jemal – Riether, Jajalo – Clemens (Roshi 69′), Peszko – Podolski (Freis 68′)

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