In a scene typical of many, Hamburger SV took the fight to FC Bayern on Saturday, denying them space and time on the ball
In a scene typical of many, Hamburger SV took the fight to FC Bayern on Saturday, denying them space and time on the ball

Bayern draw a blank against spirited Hamburg

Hamburg - FC Bayern München failed to score in a Bundesliga match for the first time in 75 games after being held to a goalless draw away to a battling Hamburger SV side.

Much-changed Bayern

It was a positive result for new HSV coach Josef Zinnbauer on his debut on the touchline and his side can take heart from the way they frustrated their visitors throughout the 90 minutes, even if they created very little themselves in the final third.

Given Bayern’s heavy fixture schedule, coach Pep Guardiola made several changes to his starting line-up, bringing in Claudio Pizarro, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Xherdan Shaqiri, while Thomas Müller - who had been due a rest - was a last minute addition to the side after Arjen Robben pulled up with a thigh strain in the pre-match warm-up.

Hamburg gave no indication that they were bottom of the table going into the game after being fired up by new coach Zinnbauer. HSV pressed their visitors high up the pitch and swamped the midfield, preventing Bayern from establishing any kind of rhythm. The tactics were effective at nullifying the guests’ threat - Bayern managed just three shots by half-time - but did not provide Hamburg with any goalscoring chances themselves.

HSV resilient

Bayern eventually wrested control of the ball and had the majority of possession, but without the directness and penetrating runs of Robben and Franck Ribery, Guardiola’s ensemble had difficulty getting behind the HSV backline. A long-range strike from Juan Bernat was as close as either side came to breaking the deadlock prior to the break.

Within minutes of the restart Hamburg fashioned the best chance of the game when Nicolai Müller beat the onrushing Manuel Neuer to Pierre-Michel Lasogga’s long ball over the top, but his flicked effort trickled agonisingly wide of the post. That seemed to be the wake-up call Bayern needed and it instigated a period of concerted pressure, albeit without the desired clear-cut goalscoring opportunities against a very well organised Hamburg defence.

All square

With little headway being made, Guardiola called in the cavalry, bringing on Xabi Alonso, Mario Götze and Robert Lewandowski . Bayern began to lay siege to the Hamburg box in the closing stages but were repelled time and again by the deep-lying hosts who pulled everyone behind the ball.

The hosts very nearly snatched victory themselves when Lewis Holtby did well to hold off a couple of challenges on a counterattack, but his shot flew over the bar. Thomas Müller almost took advantage of a slip-up by Johan Djourou in the final minute but the defender recovered to clear, earning the hosts a morale-boosting draw as Bayern dropped points for the second time this season.

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