McClaren Left Frustrated By Cruel Ending

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McClaren Left Frustrated By Cruel Ending
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

At its simple form, football is just a game. But it's not.

Football is a multi-layered mix of complexities, which when blended provides a range of outcomes from great pleasure through to dark suffering. Football can be cruel, it can leave you numb and for Steve McClaren, the first Englishman to manage in the Bundesliga, the latter was to be his introduction to German football. 

Wolfsburg, away to Bayern Munich in the opening Bundesliga match of the new season, deserved to be more than just the goal down at half-time. 2010 World Cup Golden Boot winner Thomas Mueller, skilfully placing wide of Wolfsburg keeper Diego Benaglio after just nine minutes.

Bayern were neatly set-out in a tactical system similar to Joachim Loew's national side, 4-2-3-1.Ribery left, Mueller right, flanking front man Klose with Toni Kroos the deep-lying forward. Behind them Mark Van Bommel and Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Wolfsburg countered with five in midfield. The supposed design, Brazilian Josue to hold deep in front of a band of four, the actuality though the four sat back deep forming a five man midfield creating a large gap from striker Edin Dzeko it contributed to isolating him from the game.

Bayern dominated Wolfsburg, pressing high up the pitch. Deep-lying midfield pair van Bommel and Schweinsteiger with possession deployed Bayern attacks, without it, hounded the Wolfsburg players who had it.

The brief summary at the interval, defending Champions Bayern have got a nice easy start, it's three simple points. For new Wolfsburg manager, Steve McCLaren, the welcome was over this was work.

However, the half time break was a chance for McClaren to alter his teams first half philosophy and put his tactical craft to good use. Right from the start Wolfsburg had more purpose.

Dzeko was no longer isolated, Algerian Ziani, Misimovic and Mandzukic all supported in attack creating a wave of chances immediately. Within ten minutes one of the many chances materialised in to an equaliser, Misimovic sent in a corner and the lanky Dzeko responded best, glancing in an header.

Wolfsburg's shift was a challenge Bayern accepted, shortly after the leveller Bayern were rummaging around the Wolfsburg penalty box.

The game remained an even contest and on reflection Wolfsburg had contributed well enough to deserve a point, but football congers up stings.

Two minutes in to added time, Frank Ribery whipped in a swinging cross, Benaglio came but misread the flight path, in no man's land the ball sailed beyond his reach seemingly going wide, but no. Charging in, Bastian Schweinsteiger stretched out a right leg to steer in from an acute angle, leaving new boy McClaren disappointingly frustrated.

It's the Bayern way.

 

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