The 2011/12 season at Bayern came to a winning close on Tuesday night as Germany’s biggest club defeated a Netherlands XI 3-2 in the friendly arranged to settle the dispute between the parties arising from Arjen Robben’s injury at the 2010 World Cup.
The event, which would certainly have been a joyous occasion had the home side won the Champions League, was saved from being a wake by the good-natured 33,000 crowd at the Allianz Arena and the often entertaining show put on by the players, for despite both teams clearly being instructed to avoid silly injuries, there was a competitive edge to the match for long spells.
Prior to kick-off, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and his fellow directors officially said thank you and farewell to Ivica Olic, Danijel Pranjic, Takashi Usami, Rouven Sattelmaier and Breno, the five players definitely leaving the club, and to captain for the day Jörg Butt, making the final appearance of a long professional career before joining FCB’s junior team youth section in a management function.
As to the match, Toni Kroos opened the scoring for the home side, but Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Luciano Narsingh struck twice in 120 seconds to nose Bert van Marwijk’s side in front after 20 minutes. Nils Petersen levelled it up before half-time, and although chances were few and far between after the break, sub Mario Gomez won it for the home side just before the end.
Once Munich referee Günter Perl whistled play underway on a cloudy evening in the Bavarian capital, the Dutch side captained by former Hamburg man Rafael van der Vaart and Butt’s unfamiliar FCB team played some neat passes early on a began feeling each other out in midfield. Pranjic drew a decent save from Netherlands keeper Michel Vorm with a swerving left-foot drive, and Butt saved well as Huntelaar bore down.
Kroos opened the scoring on 17 minutes with a superb belter from all of 25 yards, although Vorm will feel he should have done more than merely flap at the shot. The Dutch hit back immediately through Huntelaar’s powerful angled drive, and then took the lead on 20 minutes when tricky and quick Heerenveen winger Narsingh strode through on goal and clipped a finish over the sprawling Butt.
The men from Munich were inspired by the tireless Olic, and it was the Wolfsburg-bound Croat who delivered a precise 28th-minute cross for Petersen to crash home a header from eight yards and level the scores. Olic tested Vorm with a snap effort, but the pace dropped as the interval neared.
Van Marwijk made a raft of chances to his team for the second half, with brothers Siem and Luuk de Jong taking over from Huntelaar and Liverpool’s Dirk Kuyt up front, while Jupp Heynckes sending on Philipp Lahm, Jerome Boateng and Usami. Adam Maher drew a good save out of Butt on the hour, before Gomez, Diego Contento and Franck Ribery came on for the last 20 minutes. Robben made his appearance with quarter of an hour to play in place of Narsingh, before Ribery hit the side-netting after rounding the keeper from Gomez’ pass.
Ribery certainly livened up the closing stages and set up Usami for a volley which Vorm parried, before curling a free-kick narrowly over the bar. And it was the Frenchman who glided to the by-line and squared with the outside of his boot for the unmarked Gomez to tap home the winner with three minutes to go and bring down the curtain on 2011/12 at Bayern in some style.
Live match report for fcbayern.de by Chris Hamley
|Bayern Munich - Netherlands 3-2 (H-T: 2-2)|
|Bayern Munich||Butt - Rafinha, Tymoshchuk (Boateng 46), Badstuber, Alaba (Contento 72) - Luiz Gustavo, Pranjic – Müller (Usami 34), Kroos (Lahm 46), Olic (Ribery 72) – Petersen (Gomez 72)|
|Netherlands||Vorm - Boulahrouz (Anita 46), Vlaar, Mathijsen (Bruma 46), Willems – Nigel de Jong (Maher 46), van der Vaart (Strootman 46) – Narsingh (Robben 76), Sneijder (Lens 46), Kuyt (Siem de Jong 46) - Huntelaar (Luuk de Jong 46)|
|Referee:||Günter Perl (Munich)|
|Goals:||1-0 Kroos (17), 1-1 Huntelaar (18), 1-2 Narsingh (20), 2-2 Petersen (28), 3-2 Gomez (87)|