Bayern in control despite draw against Napoli

Bayern Munich remained in control of Champions League Group A and on course for the knock-out stages after a 1-1 draw against Napoli at the San Paolo here on Tuesday.

Updated: October 19, 2011 08:14 IST
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Naples: Bayern Munich remained in control of Champions League Group A and on course for the knock-out stages after a 1-1 draw against Napoli at the San Paolo here on Tuesday.

The Germans remain two points clear of their Italian rivals at the top of the group and still have two home games out of three left.

Toni Kroos gave them a flying start after just two minutes but an own goal from Holger Badstuber pegged them back ending Manuel Neuer's run at not conceding a goal to just over 19 hours.

Bayern coach Juup Heynckes said he felt his team were well on course to reaching the second round.

"Obviously we came here to win even though we were up against a good side. Maybe I'm satisfied with a draw even though given the way we played in the second half we deserved to win," he said.

"I'm not a prophet, right now it's difficult to assess. We started the group well and now obviously we're going back to play at home.

"We're quite confident in our chances of qualification but Napoli also have a chance."

Napoli might have been expected to be less pleased with the result as Manchester City's last gasp 2-1 win over Villarreal means they are just a single point behind the Italians now.

But coach Walter Mazzarri insisted they don't have any particular expectations.

"We're back in the Champions League after 21 years and got drawn in the toughest group and everyone thought we could forget about qualifying," he said.

"We need to improve and play in every game like we have done so far. I don't make calculations we just need to play like we did against Villarreal (a 2-0 win) and tonight.

"We don't have the pressure to get out of the group like the top two seeds in each group, we live by day and the important thing is to do as we have done so far."

Bayern were by far the better side here and their greater European experience was obvious throughout.

Napoli seemed a little overawed for much of the first half, their defence at sixes and sevens while they failed to push enough men forward.

Bayern capitalised inside two minutes as Jerome Boateng crossed from the right and Kroos ran into a gaping hole in the Napoli defence, controlled the ball and coolly slotted it past Morgan De Sanctis.

Thereafter it was all Bayerm as Kroos had another chance when picked out by Anatoliy Tymoschuk at the back post but this time he fluffed his lines.

Hot-shot Mario Gomez shot wide from distance and then Boateng met a corner at the back post but his low shot was tipped, one-handed, around the post by De Sanctis.

The hosts had produced nothing in attack with Neuer a virtual spectator in the Munich goal, but that all changed six minutes from the break.

Gokhan Inler played a lovely pass inside the fullback and Christian Maggio on the overlap skipped past captain Philipp Lahm and into the area, crossing into the six-yard box where Badstuber, sliding in to block, deflected the ball past Neuer.

Disaster seemed to strike for Napoli at the start of the second half as a shot from Gomez struck Paolo Cannavaro's hand in the area and Portuguese referee Olegario Benquerenca pointed to the spot.

But De Sanctis plunged to his left and caught the big striker's tame 59th-minute penalty.

The visitors kept pressing and after a goalmouth scramble Thomas Mueller fired wide.

Napoli fashioned a rare chance due to slips by two German players but when Juan Zuniga crossed from the left, Ezequiel Lavezzi's first touch was far too heavy and a gilt-edged opportunity went begging.

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