Sun, Feb 04, 2007 - Page 22 News List

Hitzfeld return not happy as Bayern crash at Nuremberg

AP , FRANKFURT, GERMANY

A change of coach brought no improvement for Bayern Munich, who lost 3-0 at Nuremberg on Friday in Ottmar Hitzfeld's first game in charge since he returned to his former club.

Bayern fired Felix Magath on Wednesday and brought back Hitzfeld, who won four Bundesliga titles and three German Cups between 1998 and 2004 -- plus the European Champions League title in 2001. But his team lost its second in three games with one draw -- and sixth of the season.

Ivan Saenko scored in the first half and Markus Schroth and Robert Vittek added goals in the second to leave Bayern winless since the winter break. Nuremberg snapped a 17-game winless streak against Bayern.

The loss left Bayern in fourth place, but the champions could lose more ground to Werder Bremen and/or Schalke, who play each other today, or third-place Stuttgart. Bremen and Schalke have 42 points each Stuttgart 35, while Bayern stayed on 34. Nuremberg improved to fifth with 30.

"We tried hard but we made many mistakes in the defense, we were very undisciplined," Hitzfeld said. "There is a lot of work ahead of us."

Hitzfeld singled out Brazil central defender Lucio for criticism, saying "he just walked through the middle."

It took only 13 minutes for Hitzfeld to realize how porous Bayern's defense is when Saenko picked up a through ball, rounded Oliver Kahn and calmly slotted home after 13 minutes.

Saenko had another close shot early in the second half.

Owen Hargreaves returned to the Bayern lineup after breaking his left shin four months ago and nearly equalized from a free kick in the 56th, but Schaefer made a tremendous one-handed save.

Hargreaves also managed to clear a dangerous Nuremberg attack, when he found himself in a two-on-one situation.

Nuremberg got its second in the 71st, when Vratislav Gresko sent a perfect cross from the left and Schroth dived to head in from close range, having run away unmarked from the Bayern defenders.

Vittek completed the victory in the 86th, again toying with the hopelessly irresolute Bayern defense before beating Kahn.

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