Hoffenheim waste chance to beat Manuel Neuer

After a glorious 2-0 victory over Manchester City in the Champions League midweek, Bayern Munich were held 0-0 at Hoffenheim this afternoon.

Holger Stanislawski’s failed to capitalise on a jaded Bayern Munich side despite good spells of possession throughout the game.

The only change Jupp Heynckes made from Tuesday’s game was to bring in Anatoliy Tymoshchuk for Luiz Gustavo in the starting eleven.

Bayern Munich made a good start in the opening 20 minutes. Jerome Boateng who found space down the right wing on more than one occasion early on had his cross deflected by Tom Starke which required Danny Williams to clear off the line.

After that, the home side took control of the game without really testing Manuel Neuer too much. The best save the German number 1 had to make came midway through the first half when Sebastian Rudy’s free kick was flicked-on by Roberto Firmino and looked headed for the far post. Neuer made a great finger tip save to push behind for a corner.

Gylfi Sigurðsson looked lively in possession in the first half, and his most notable moment came on 34 minutes when he went down inside the penalty area under a challenge from Daniel van Buyten. Nothing was given.

A few minutes later, Ryan Babel went between two defenders with one touch but was denied a one-on-one attempt by the alert Holger Badstuber who got a foot in to put the ball behind for a corner. From that set piece, Babel got a weak overhead kick on target which was a comfortable grab for Neuer between the sticks.

Arjen Robben made an appearance at half time in place for Franck Ribery who had been non-existent in the first 45 minutes. The flying Dutcman has started just two of Bayern’s eight Bundesliga games this season; that last on matchday 3 at home to Hamburger SV.

Robben, like many of Bayern’s attacking players had a quiet second half.

The European hangover was very apparent for the Bundesliga leaders, but they managed to hold out for a point to ensure they stay top of the league at the end of this weekend.

Hoffenheim continue their own Champions League challenge with a point at home to the leaders, but selfish plays from the likes of Roberto Firmano and Chinedu Obasi in the second half prevented the home side from breaking the deadlock.

The only time the ball went into the back of the net came in the 70th minute following Tom Sparke’s nightmare spill. Bastian Schweinsteiger tapped home from 1 yard out but had been in an offside position from the initial header on goal.

Manuel Neuer has now passed 1,000 minutes in all competitions without conceding a single goal since the opening weekend of the Bundesliga season. Today is the first time Bayern Munich have dropped points since that 1-0 home defeat to Borussia Mönchengladbach.

The domestic season takes next weekend off for the final games of the European Champions qualifying and other international games worldwide.

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