Bayern Munich 2 Fiorentina 1
Bayern Munich clinched a controversial 2-1 win over 10-man Fiorentina at the Allianz Arena tonight to give them a slender advantage going into the second leg of their Champions League tie in Italy in a fortnight’s time.
Arjen Robben put the Bundesliga side ahead with a penalty on the stroke of half time, but Per Kroldrup gave Fiorentina a deserved equaliser five minutes into the second half.
Referee Tom Henning Ovrebro, who led the controversial semi-final between Barcelona and Chelsea last season, then harshly sent Massimo Gobbi off for an innocuous tackle before allowing Miroslav’s Klose to remain on the field for a much more dangerous challenge.
To rub salt into the Fiorentina wounds, it was Klose who nodded in the winner while clearly offside.
Given their recent Serie A form and the fact Bayern have won their last 12 games, Fiorentina came into the game as clear underdogs.
But rather than build a wall in front of their goal, Fiorentina surprised Bayern with their early enterprise, putting the Bundesliga side under a lot of pressure for the first quarter of the game.
Alberto Gilardino put the pressure on Daniel van Buyten, who tried to shepherd the ball back to Hans-Jorg Butt but was almost caught out by the Fiorentina striker, leaving Butt no choice but to send the ball out of play.
Mario Gomez had Bayern’s only chance of the first half in the 13th minute when he shot straight at Sebastien Frey from a tight angle.
At the other end, Gilardino beat the offside trap to break free, but he was a bit slow in his progress and slipped inside the penalty area, allowing Holger Badstuber to get back and put the ball behind for a corner.
Cesare Natali should have put the Viola ahead in the 18th minute when he came in around the back to meet Juan Vargas’ free-kick, but he lacked the conviction to put the ball into the open goal.
Having weathered the early storm and come to terms with what they were actually up against, Bayern started to attack themselves with Franck Ribery testing Frey with a low shot from 25 yards which was an easy save for his compatriot.
Arjen Robben then lifted a neat ball over for Thomas Muller, who touched the ball through Natali’s legs before falling to the ground, but he did not even claim a penalty.
Nor did Ribery on the stroke of half time, but he got one, even though he would have preferred not to.
The Frenchman went to ground in the area under the pressure of Kroldrup, but the ball fell free for Gomez, who stroked it into the goal. However, Ovrebro had already pointed to the spot.
Robben stepped up to ensure Bayern still went in at the break ahead, coolly sending Frey the wrong way from the spot.
Kroldrup gained his personal revenge for the penalty decision five minutes into the second half when he brought Fiorentina level.
He found himself in the right place at the right time to tuck the ball in when Vargas met Marco Marchionni’s corner with a weak effort.
Bayern raised the tempo again with Robben at the heart of everything, but they could not find a way through the now massed ranks of Fiorentina defenders.
Ovrebro then assisted the home side by showing an inexplicable red card at Gobbi for merely obstructing Robben.
Minutes later, the Norwegian official only showed yellow to Miroslav Klose when he lunged at Felipe with a dangerous two-footed challenge right under the nose of the linesman.
But the worst error on the part of the officials was still to come.
As the game looked to be heading for a draw, Ovrebro allowed Klose’s headed goal in the last minute to stand despite the fact the Germany international was at least two yards offside when he received the ball from Ivica Olic.