Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fabulous Robben Runs Inter Ragged

In the wake of Mario Gomez's last gasp winner for Bayern Munich at the San Siro, all the headlines will surely be devoted to the German international forward's goalscoring feat. However, the lion's share of the credit for Bayern's terrific performance should go to dynamic winger, Arjen Robben.

While skipping past Inter defenders at will, Robben provided a valuable outlet for the Bayern attack, and it should be noted that it was his fierce drive which led to Gomez's goal. Not only did the Dutchman claim the assist for that goal though, he also hit the outside of the post with an angled strike, as well as provide countless numbers of superb deliveries into the box.

In a match dominated by Bayern Munich, the main story of the ninety minutes was missed chances and excellent goalkeeping. The aforementioned Gomez was guilty of blowing a gilt edged chance over the top, while Esteban Cambiasso was equally culpable at the other end. Not to be forgotten, young Bayern keeper Thomas Kraft put in yet another excellent performance, time and time again standing between Samuel Eto'o and the Munich goal. In fact, if it had not been for the current Bayern starter, Inter may well have had a healthy advantage in tow, a fact which would certainly have softened the blow dealt by Gomez's crucial away goal.

In the second leg, Bayern fans will be asking for more of the same, and Inter can certainly expect more penetrative wing play from star wingers, Robben and Ribery. If Leonardo's side are to have any chance of continuing their defense of the trophy they beat Bayern to win last year, then they will have to find a way to deal with Bayern's two, brilliant wingers. However, even if they do, Inter will find it difficult to overcome a Bayern team that will be full of confidence from the first leg, not to mention inspiration from the vociferous Allianz Arena crowd which will be roaring them on every step of the way.

In between now and the second leg, both teams will face decisive periods of play in their respective domestic championship pushes, with Bayern going up against league leaders Dortmund at the weekend and Inter facing a difficult trip to Genoa to face struggling Sampdoria. Both managers will be keen to see their troops remain injury free, with Van Gaal in particular right to worry about the fitness of the fragile Arjen Robben.

Can Inter Milan overturn the first leg deficit?

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