Bayern Munich 2 – Hannover 96 1


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Holland World Cup winger ARJEN ROBBEN of Bayern Munich, the Dangerous Dutchman who bagged a brace for the Netherlands in a recent friendly against England at storied Wembley Stadium, and Hannover 96 fullback CHRISTIAN PANDER (24), the 28-year-old who scored for Germany on his senior international debut versus England at London’s world-renowned Wembley Stadium several years ago, jockey for position during the Bundesliga match at the sold-out Allianz Arena in rainy Bavaria.
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3/24/12
Bundesliga
Spieltag # 27

2 – BAYERN MUNICH ————— Kroos 36′, Gomez 68′
1 – HANNOVER 96 ——————– Ya Konan 74′

A pair of goals on either side of the halftime whistle and a diving save from Germany’s first choice to prevent an embarrassing own goal late in the match enabled record champion BAYERN MUNICH to hold off stubborn HANNOVER 96 at home 2-1 and maintain its hopes in the Bundesliga title race.

Bayern Munich trainer JUPP HEYNCKES courageously used the occasion to rest a pair of pivotal Germany internationals, striker MARIO GOMEZ and midfielder THOMAS MUELLER, and gave first team opportunities to the two seldom-used, veteran Croatia internationals IVICA OLIC and DANIJEL PRANJIC. Neither player had started a match all season for Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga although Olic had appeared as a substitute in 15 of the Bavarians’s first 26 games this term. Both Croats are, quite understandably, concerned about match fitness ahead of the 2012 UEFA European Championships final tournament this summer.

France World Cup winger FRANCK RIBERY missed a glorious chance to send Bayern Munich in front and register a career-high twelfth goal in the Bundesliga this season after a fabulous right down the right wing by Germany World Cup fullback PHILIPP LAHM. The diminutive Frenchman, however, was heavily involved in the opener after a jaunt of his own down the left flank in the 36th minute. Holland World Cup winger ARJEN ROBBEN then squared for Germany international midfielder TONI KROOS, who took advantage of Hannover 96’s over-anxious and rapidly-advancing goalkeeper RON-ROBERT ZIELER to net his fourth goal in the top flight and eighth strike in all competitions for Bayern Munich this term.

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Croatia international IVICA OLIC of Bayern Munich, the 32-year-old striker who has recorded just two goals in 22 Bundesliga games the past two seasons after scoring 11 goals in 29 top flight matches for Bayern Munich his first term following a transfer from SV Hamburg in the summer of 2009, blasts a ball towards the net with Hannover 96’s angle-cutting Germany international goalkeeper RON-ROBERT ZIELER at close quarters during the Bundesliga match at the Allianz Arena in rainy Bavaria.
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Heynckes withdrew Olic, who missed an absolute sitter that would have doubled the score towards the end of the first half, and sent on the Bundesliga’s leading goal-scorer shortly after the hour. Gomez immediately set about the business of providing the Bavarians some insurance and soon rocketed a shot off the post that rebounded off Zieler and nearly rolled across the line. The reprieve of the Hannover 96 shot-stopper, however, was very short-lived.

The influential Kroos, operating in the role of central attacking midfielder on this day, distributed a simple ball into space on the right in the 68th minute. Super Mario obligingly collected and turned Hannover 96’s veteran defender CHRISTIAN PANDER completely inside-out before stroking the ball past the outstretched Zieler. A 23rd goal of this Bundesliga season for Gomez looked to be about it for visiting Hannover 96.

But the Lower Saxon club pulled one back after second half substitute JAN SCHLAUDRAFF, the 28-year-old veteran with three caps for Germany who spent the 2007/08 campaign with Bayern Munich, flighted over a cross in the 74th minute. Senegal international striker MAME BIRAM DIOUF, signed by Hannover 96 for a reported 1.5 million English pounds this winter from traditional Premier League giant Manchester United, beat Bayern Munich’s Germany international defender JEROME BOATENG, a summer signing for the Bavarians this summer from Manchester City, in the air to knock the ball down. Ivory Coast international striker DIDIER YA KONAN, who scored 14 goals for Hannover 96 last term but has had his production decline radically this season, netted nicely with an overhead kick to recorded his third goal of this 2011/12 Bundesliga schedule.

Germany World Cup goalkeeper MANUEL NEUER had almost conceded an embarassing opener in the first half after forgetting that he is neither a Libero nor the legendary Kaiser Franz Beckenbauer. The Bayern Munich netminder more than made amends, though, late in the match after Boateng inadvertantly sent a ball towards the Bavarian goal at pace. And, thus, all three points were safely secured.

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Senegal international striker MAME BIRAM DIOUF (39) of Hannover 96, the 24-year-old who has scored six goals in nine games for the Lower Saxony side since being bought in late January from English Premier League powerhouse Manchester United, is tackled by Bayern Munich’s Brazilian international midfielder LUIZ GUSTAVO while Germany World Cup goalkeeper MANUEL NEUER (1), who performed so brilliantly in mid-week opposite Borussia Moenchengladbach in the semifinals of the Deutscher Fussball Bund Pokal, comes sliding off his line to cope with the loose ball during the Bundesliga match at the always sold-out Allianz Arena in Bavaria.
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BAYERN MUNICH : Neuer – Lahm, Boateng, Badstuber, Alaba – Luiz Gustavo, Pranjic (Tymoshchuk 57′) – Robben, Kroos (Mueller 78′), Ribery – Olic (Gomez 61′)

HANNOVER 96 : Zieler – Cherundolo, Eggimann, Pogatetz, Pander – Schmiedebach, Pinto (Schlaudraff 61′) – Stindl, Rausch – Abdellaoue (Ya Konan 66′), Diouf

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