Thursday September 28, 2006
Champions League: Pizarro and Podolski score as Bayern beat nine-man Inter 2-0
MILAN, Italy (AP) - Claudio Pizarro and Lukas Podolski scored in Bayern Munich's 2-0 win over nine-man Inter Milan in Group B of the Champions League on Wednesday.
Pizarro netted in the 81st minute and Podolski added Bayern's second nine minutes later.
Inter forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sent off for a second yellow card in the 58th minute, and defender Fabio Grosso received a straight red card in the 85th for an elbow.
It was the German champion's first victory in Italy since 1988 - also against Inter -and secured its position atop Group B with the maximum six points.
Inter has yet to win and is bottom of the group. Sporting Lisbon has four points and Spartak Moscow one.
"It's a special win,'' said Bayern coach Felix Magath. "I'm not the kind of person who likes to look at statistics but naturally I'm delighted that Bayern has finally won in Italy after eighteen years.
This win confirms what I'd already thought about the strength of my team.''
Peru striker Pizarro broke the deadlock for Bayern, lifting his shot over Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar from close range.
Germany forward Podolski, who replaced Pizarro in the closing minutes, intercepted a pass by Inter defender Ivan Cordoba and rounded Cesar to double Bayern's lead and record his first European goal.
The game - which marked Inter captain Javier Zanetti's 500th club appearance and Bayern captain Oliver Kahn's 100th Champions League outing - was bad-tempered from early on. Players on both sides vented their frustration at being unable to break down the opposition's defense.
Bayern midfielders Andreas Ottl and Mehmet Scholl, and Inter defender Marco Materazzi all received yellow cards for overly zealous tackling. Bayern left back Willy Sagnol was cautioned in the 40th minute for time-wasting.
Ibrahimovic lost his temper after being closely marked by defender Lucio, and got his two cards for dangerous tackles on the Brazilian.
Grosso elbowed Sagnol after being body-checked by the Frenchman. Replays suggested that Sagnol overreacted.
Strikers Ibrahimovic and Hernan Crespo had both squandered chances to score for the hosts.
Ibrahimovic beat Bayern's offside trap with a well-timed run in the 12th minute, following a break from Luis Figo in midfield. Ibrahimovic's touch let him down and Bayern goalkeeper Kahn was able to smother his shot.
Crespo aimed straight at Kahn from close range in the 61st after the ball ricocheted into his path.
"The defeat tonight was a lie,'' said Inter coach Roberto Mancini. "Even after Ibrahimovic's sending off, it was a match we could have won.''
It was the first time Inter hasn't scored at home in 19 games while Bayern has now scored in 12 consecutive European matches.
Looking to Inter's next European games, Mancini added: "(Our campaign) isn't compromised. There are four games left to play and we've got enough time to be second.''
Bayern next travels to Sporting, and Inter hosts Spartak on Oct. 18.-AP