Kovac strike holds Bayern
By James Pearson
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Bayern Munich missed the chance to clinch Group B after being held by Spartak Moscow.
Bayern Munich missed the chance to clinch top spot in Group B after being held to a 2-2 draw by Spartak Moscow.
Maxim Kalinichenko's free-kick fired the Russians ahead, but a sublime brace from Claudio Pizarro turned the game Bayern's way.
Spartak were able to level matters when Radoslav Kovac stabbed home from close range, securing just the club's second UEFA Champions League point this term in the process.
Both sides had chances to snatch an early goal, although Kovac failed to trouble Oliver Kahn while Martin Demichelis' header from Bastian Schweinsteiger's free-kick was comfortable for Aleksei Zuev.
Kahn needed to be alert to block Yegor Titov's fierce drive after eight minutes with Mark van Bommel trying his luck from distance shortly after.
The home side did get their noses in front on 16 minutes through a fine Kalinichenko free-kick - the first goal Bayern had conceded in this year's competition.
From the right side of Kahn's 18-yard box Kalinichenko curled the ball around the wall and into the far corner with the former Germany international keeper rooted to the spot.
However, Spartak's lead did not last long with Pizarro glancing home Christian Lell's cross from the left after great work by Hasan Salihamidzic to keep the ball in play.
Kalinichenko fancied his chances of a second but blazed his free-kick over the bar, while Mozart's cross was met by Kovac, but his header landed the wrong side of the crossbar.
The home side were made to pay with Pizarro breaking down the other end and getting the better of two defenders before unleashing a superlative right-footed effort into the top corner from outside the box.
Spartak finished the half in the ascendancy and only a strong hand from Kahn kept out Bystrov's drive following a delightful early ball from Titov.
Chances were at a premium after the interval although Titov's header bounced just wide of Kahn's far post following a testing Mozart corner from the right.
Roy Makaay had a rare sight of goal on 70 minutes, but his poor Champions League form continued after he blazed high and wide when well-placed.
Bayern were made to pay for the miss as within a minute Kovac controlled Mozart's left-sided corner before stabbing home from close range into the roof of the net.
Makaay had a chance to atone for his earlier miss in the closing stages, but despite striking the ball cleanly with his left foot Zuev was on hand to deny the Dutch ace.
Former Manchester City stopper Daniel van Buyten should have won the game for Bayern in injury time, however, he headed wide with the goal gaping from Willy Sagnol's pin-point right-wing cross.
Click here for Spartak Moscow v Bayern Munich player ratings.
|Spartak Moscow||Team Statistics||FC Bayern München|
|1||1st Half Goals||2|
|8||Shots on Target||5|
|6||Shots off Target||10|