Bayern Munich 0-1 Inter Milan: Nerazzurri Claim First “Trophy” of the Mourinho Era

Former German soccer player Franz Beckenbauer, right, presents the trophy to Milan player Javier Zanetti, left, after the soccer friendly match of the Beckenbauer cup between FC Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in the arena in Munich, southern Germany, on Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2008. Milan won the match 1-0 (AP Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE)

There are two ways to look at Tuesday night’s Bayern Munich vs. Inter Milan match. The first is to say this was a pretty boring game (because in all honesty, it was). It seemed as if neither team was sufficiently inspired to get the win, and this despite the prestigious nature of the fixture (it was Serie A vs. Bundesliga champions after all) and the title at stake (the “Franz Beckenbauer Cup” and “12th Trofeo Pirelli”, as it were). Even after Mançini’s opener (a nice left-footed chip over the keeper and the only real highlight of the night, arriving as late as minute 52) neither team changed their playing attitude a great deal, Inter seemingly content of holding their lead till the end, and Bayern obviously lacking any real motivation to get the equalizer.

That’s one way to look at it.

The other way, and this one’s strictly from the Nerazzurri’s point of view, is to say this was José Mourinho’s first step towards Inter’s transformation, a transformation from Italian league champions to European champions. Let’s face it, the team which has dominated Serie A for the past 2 years has not delivered (to put it lightly) in Europe at all, and that is one thing Inter’s “big boss” Massimo Moratti is surely hoping to change this year. In that light, winning against Bayern Munich (who were missing Toni and Ribéry though) can be definitely seen as a positive thing, since (by Mourinho’s own admission) the Inter manager was primarily focused on getting a good result on Tuesday. No “friendlies” in José’s vocabulary apparently…

So, while Inter prepare step nº3 (tonight’s second match of the Amsterdam tournament against Ajax (live 21:00 CET) -step nº2 was the 0-0 draw vs. FC Sevilla), I’ll leave you to‘s excellent match report by Chris Hamley. Let’s just hope the spectacle will be better for future matches…

Pre-season 2008-09 - Franz Beckenbauer Cup - Bayern Munich 0-1 Inter Milan

(From A 63,000 crowd flocked to the Allianz Arena for the official season opener against the Milan giants, although the first half was a subdued affair as the sides struggled with a patent lack of rhythm. Brazilian midfielder Mançini handed the visitors a 52nd-minute lead (with a bit of help from the crossbar, the post, and Daniel van Buyten), and although Bayern upped the tempo after that, the home side lacked the guile to break down the focused and supremely well-organised Nerazzurri defence.

New Bayern boss Jürgen Klinsmann was already without Franck Ribéry, Luca Toni, Tim Borowski and Willy Sagnol through injury, and was forced into another late rethink when summer flu victim Bastian Schweinsteiger withdrew before kick-off. This forced the ex-Sampdoria striker to opt for a 3-5-2 formation (seen a couple of times already during pre-season) with Lucio, Martin Demichelis and Daniel van Buyten as a trio of centre-halves, Christian Lell and Philipp Lahm at wing back positions, captain Mark van Bommel anchoring the midfield, and Zé Roberto and Hamit Altintop supporting the front two of Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski.

On the other end, new Inter supremo José Mourinho was missing Patrick Vieira, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Walter Samuel, Ivan Cordoba and Cristian Chivu, but still sent out a star-studded side including the likes of long-serving skipper Javier Zanetti, Brazil hitman Adriano, 2001 World Player of the Year Luis Figo and goalkeeper Francesco Toldo, the sole Italian in the starting eleven.

The home side made the brighter opening, although Lucio headed wide and Van Bommel’s shot was wayward, before new Bayern nº1 Michael Rensing (Oliver Kahn retired at the end of last season) got down well to Adriano’s stinging free-kick. Toldo saved comfortably on Lahm’s effortt, then Altintop whistled a drive past the upright as the Germans continued to set the pace, but Klinsmann was forced into another change of formation midway through the first half when Martin Demichelis limped off following a collision with Adriano. Young Toni Kroos came into midfield with Lell reverting to a conventional right-back role, but the switch to 4-4-2 threw Bayern out of their stride and the Italians were content to rely on their disciplined defence as the game meandered to the interval, half-chances at either end for Lahm and Mançini the only incidents worthy of note.

The visitors took the lead seven minutes after half-time, when Figo dispossessed Zé Roberto of the ball and fed Mançini down the inside-left channel. The ex-AS Roma winger executed a lovely left-footed chip over Rensing, the ball striking the bar and the far post before finally crossing the line, with a minimum of assistance from the off-balance Daniel Van Buyten. 1-0 Inter.

After conceding the lead, Munich played with a great deal more urgency (aided by the introduction of fresh pairs of legs, i.e. Ottl & Jansen), but Inter’s classy rearguard restricted the home side to long-range efforts. In particular, the super-saves of goalkeeper Francesco Toldo provided the essential link for Mourinho’s clean-sheet tonight (Inter’s nº1 saving excellently from Kroos and Van Bommel -hoisting the latter’s shot over the bar- then later dealing acrobatically with Jansen’s curler and producing an even better save to deny Kroos once again). Podolski was a fraction offside as he sought to send the match to penalties, as the Italians more or less comfortably held on to claim the prestige trophy.


 F.C. Bayern München
[Match Highlights]
F.C. Internazionale Milano
GOALSCORERS: 52’ Mançini (I)
BAYERN (4-4-2): Rensing – Lucio, Demichelis (21’ Kroos), Van Buyten – Lell, Van Bommel, Ze Roberto (68’ Ottl), Altintop (68’ Jansen), Lahm – Podolski, Klose (74’ Müller). Coach: Klinsmann.
INTER (4-3-3): Toldo – Maicon, Burdisso, Cambiasso, Maxwell – J.Zanetti (90’ Santon), Stankovic (81’ Dacourt), Muntari (82’ Suazo) – Figo (67’ Pelé), Adriano (67’ Crespo), Mançini (78’ Balotelli). Coach: Mourinho.


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Posted in German Bundesliga, Inter, Pre-season |

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