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Julio Caesar and his legions cross the Alps to lay siege on Bayern

MUNICH, GERMANY - AUGUST 20:  Thomas Mueller of Bayern controls the ball during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and VfL Wolfsburg at Allianz Arena on August 20, 2010 in Munich, Germany.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Bill GardnerContributor ISeptember 15, 2010

The apt named Brazilian Keeper, Julio Caesar led his A.S. Roma side into Allianz Area to take on Bayern Munich in today’s Champions’ League group match. After an uneventful first half which saw Bayern dominate the ball with over 65% of the possession yet fail to capitalize. The second half opened and saw the German side as if spurred on by a sense of history, began to break down the stubborn defense of the Romans.

 The switch of Muller to the left brought Bayern Munich to the ascendancy, and this seemed to bring out the best in Julio Caesar who like his ancient name sake seemed to pull Roma from the brink of disaster time and time again with outstanding saves aided by his veteran legionnaires in the Roma defense.

With the introduction of Klose, Bayern’s attack found a new gear and despite chance after chance A.S. Roma maintained a clean sheet through the 75 minute mark. A pair of near misses from Klose and a rocket from the edge of the box from Bastian Schweinsteiger nearly broke through the Roman ranks but to no avail.

 Julio Caesar was living up to his ancient namesake until Thomas Muller’s wonder strike. With the outside of his right foot from 15 meters Muller hit a first time volley which defied the laws of physics to bend around the valiant Caesar and into the side netting, Bayern 1 Roma 0.

Having spent 79 minutes pounding on the gates the Germans had broken through and with a flash the Roman’s who had been defending in classic Italian style began to look for an equalizer and nearly got it. On 80 minutes Muller came off to a rousing ovation,  just in time for Klose to punish the Roma defense with a flying tap in off a free kick which Caesar seemed all but certain to grab until Klose’s flying scissors kick robbed the Brazilian keeper and drove a stake into the Roman hearts Bayern 2, Roma 0.

The victory saw Bayern confirming their eventual supremacy in this group, and what looked in doubt for all but the final 11 minutes ended up an easy victory.

The Roman legions had indeed crossed the Alps again, this time with the intent of leaving with a point but unlike two millennia ago Claudio Ranieri and his on field general Julio Caesar would see their plans go awry in the face of determined adversaries who seemed to want it more. Thomas Muller and Miroslav Klose were indeed the difference and on this day positive football won out over a valiant if not negative defensive effort from the Romans. All hail Caesar he was magnificent in the loss and Roma should get out of the group if they can defend like they did today.

 

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