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Bayern Holds Nerve in UCL Dress Rehearsal

  • ESPN FC, Monday, May 6, 2013 1:35 PM

Borussia Dortmund hosted Bayern Munich on Saturday in a game that many hailed as the dress rehearsal for the UEFA Champions League final on May 25th. Of course, Bayern had already wrapped up the German Bundesliga title weeks ago, so it was no surprise that the league game did not feature the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Mandzukic, Arjen Robben, Philip Lahm, Franck Ribery or Javi Martinez. Dortmund, sitting comfortably in second-place, also saw fit not to start Marco Reus, Sven Bender, Lukasz Piszczek or Mats Hummels.

Despite fielding a severely under-strength side and playing the final 30 minutes with 10-men, Bayern held the home team to a 1-1 draw. Robert Lewandowski, perhaps the most sought-after striker in Europe, missed a penalty in the 60th minute, but other than that, the game was “always an eye-to-eye dual” Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said after the game. "No matter where the game takes place, it is never a friendly between these two teams."

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said he was impressed by his team’s ability to overcome Rafinha’s 62nd-minute sending off. "It was an intense game," he said. "After the week's events, it was not easy to move on with the agenda. There is high praise for my team, which acted outstandingly aggressive with 10 players. We deserved the point."

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