NAPLES, ITALY - OCTOBER 18: Edinson Cavani (L) of Naples celebrate with team mate Christian Maggio (R) his team's equalizing goal during the UEFA Champions League group A match between SSC Napoli and FC Bayern Muenchen at Stadio San Paolo on October 18, 2011 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Napoli Vs. Bayern Munich, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Napoli Earn Point Off Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich's famous defence was finally breached - by themselves. A Holger Badstuber own goal cancelled out Toni Kroos' opener and ensured Napoli and Bayern Munich shared the spoils at the San Paolo.

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Napoli Vs. Bayern Munich, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Teams Settle For 1-1 Draw

Well that's either a point earned or two points dropped for Bayern Munich. It's hard to say either way. The Germans were comfortably better than Napoli, whose trident of Edinson Cavani, Marek Hamsik and Ezequiel Lavezzi disappointed, but failed to emerge from the Stadio San Paolo with more than a draw. It looked as though things would be very different early when the visitors brushed Napoli's feeble defence aside for Toni Kroos to slot home after two minutes, but early dominance was undone thanks to a bizarre own goal that marked the first time Manuel Neuer was forced to pick the ball out of the back of his net since early August.

Although the front three were disappointing for Napoli, the wing backs weren't, and it was no surprise that Christian Maggio was the source of their best moment of the night after beating Philipp Lahm and driving towards the goal. His low cross was intended for Hamsik but instead Holger Badstuber got his foot in the way first, flicking the ball deftly past his own goalkeeper to level the scores.

Napoli would finish the first half in fine fashion, looking dangerous whenever Juan Zuniga and Maggio were in possession as well as threatening on the counterattack, but that confidence seemed to evaporate with the restart as Bayern were once again all over their hosts, with Walter Mazzarri's team woeful in the early stages. It seemed only a matter of time before the Germans would score again, and that moment looked like it'd arrived when referee Olegario Benquerenca inexplicably pointed to the spot after Paolo Cannavaro had blocked a Mario Gomez shot with his arm.

Up stepped Mario Gomez, Destroyer of Worlds. Against him was a sleepy little goalkeeper from the foothills. Goalkeeper won, as Morgan de Sanctis guessed correctly, hurling himself to his left to grab the striker's admittedly weak spot kick, punching the air in celebration. Things got fairly feisty after that, with the announcers commenting that Napoli weren't doing anything through the middle but missing that they were bit hit with crunching professional fouls whenever they tried. Thomas Muller laid in a particularly nasty on on Lavezzi in breaking up a counterattack, and on a different day could have been sent off for what turned into a two-footed scissor lunge. Instead, he went into the book, along with eight(!) other players.

Anyway, the game went on. There were chances to finish things up for both sides - Bayern more than Napoli on account of not having the world's most lackadaisical defence - but at the end of the day it seemed as though each would be happy with the draw, and that's what we ended up getting. Bayern still lead Group A, and Napoli remain in second place ahead of Manchester City. Attention now shifts to the reverse fixture at the Allianz Arena. If Napoli can get a result there, they're very likely to go through.


Napoli Vs. Bayern Munich, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Morgan De Sanctis Saves Penalty

Morgan de Sanctis is already a hero in Naples, but he may have just cemented his reputation as a penalty-saving legend with a block against Mario Gomez early in this second half. Bayern Munich started the second period much as they did the first, and a long-range shot by Gomez was blocked by Paolo Cannavaro's back. The German team protested for a penalty, and nothing was given until ten seconds later when the referee changed his mind and awarded it.

It was manifestly not a penalty - Cannavaro's upper arm was struck but it was by his side and the main impact happened on the centre half's back. Justice was done, however, when Gomez sent in a weak effort and de Sanctis was able to get down quickly to save and hold on. Bayern, however, are once again playing Napoli off the park here, and they really ought to have made it 2-1. Thomas Muller has just missed an open goal from about five yards out following a weird game of pinball inside the box, and Napoli have barely strung two passes together all half. 1-1 here, but has the penalty save merely postponed the inevitable?


Napoli Vs. Bayern Munich, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Own Goal Draws Napoli Level; 1-1 At Halftime

Well then. So much for Bayern being unconceded-upon in two months - Napoli have a goal in this UEFA Champions League tie, although it's a rather unorthadox one: Holger Badstuber has scored an own goal after diverting a Christian Maggio cross past Manuel Neuer and into the back of the net. In Badstuber's defence, it was an excellent cross and Merak Hamsik was hanging around just behind him, so he couldn't really do anything about it.

Napoli's general play probably hasn't merited a goal, but the hosts did have a legitimate penalty shout declined when Bastian Schweinsteiger met a cross with his arm. Olegário Benquerença ignored it. The referee, actually, hasn't been having a very good day - out of five yellow cards issued only one of them has been anything like legitimate, and he's just booked Maggio and Juan Zuniga for plays that weren't even fouls. Anyway, things are pretty interesting at the San Paolo - Napoli are actually looking like themselves again, and at halftime they can be pretty pleased with the way the closed out the first period.

This match isn't going to end 1-1 though.


Napoli Vs. Bayern Munich, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Salvatore Aronica Is A Bad Person

It's slightly embarrassing that Salvatore Aronica is playing Champions League football. The veteran centre back has had an absolutely woeful time of things so far, has poked Bastian Schweinsteiger in the eye, and then tried to get the German midfielder sent off by diving when bumped into during a corner kick. The flopping was absolutely dreadful - Sergio Busquets-esque, and unfortunately the referee partially bought into it, awarding Schweinsteiger a yellow card for his troubles. Paolo Cannavaro has also been booked for looking at the referee all sexy-like.

Anyway, Napoli are a little more in the game now, looking less like small frightened schoolgirls and more like a football team. A decidedly inferior football team, no doubt, but at least they're starting to do things like dribble and pass. God willing, someday they may shoot. Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer is busy having a bit of a nap at the moment. It's still 1-0 to the visitors at the San Paolo.


Bayern Munich Vs. Napoli, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Toni Kroos Gives Bayern Early Lead

Apparently there was a stabbing incident in Napoli last night. No, the victim wasn't Franck Ribery. He's always looked like that. Oh, and now they're losing to the indomitable Bayern Munich death machine, within something like two minutes of kickoff. Bayern found it simplicity in itself to penetrate the pathetic home defence and Toni Kroos was on hand to slot a square pass past a helpless Morgan de Sanctis, whose reaction can probably be described as 'displeased'.

So that's just the start that the visitors will have wanted, and with them not conceding a goal in two months, Napoli have it all to do to even earn at point at the Stadio San Paolo. Maybe Napoli should think twice about playing a three-man back line against a lone striker next time. Anyway, the hosts are still doing that attacking thing and Holger Badstuber has earned himself a yellow card for taking down Ezequiel Lavezzi in full sprint. Yellow cards don't help much against goals, though. It's 1-0 here.


Napoli Vs. Bayern Munich, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Lineups

If you were hoping for completely shocking formations and team selections in the UEFA Champions League match between Bayern Munich and Napoli, today is not your day. Walter Mazzarri and Jupp Heynckes have selected what are more or less their regular teams in their regular formations. Here are the lineups.

Napoli Lineup (3-4-2-1): Morgan de Sanctis; Salvatore Aronica, Hugo Campagnaro, Paulo Cannavaro; Juan Zuñiga, Walter Gargano, Gökhan Inler, Christian Maggio; Ezequiel Lavezzi, Marek Hamsik; Edinson Cavani    

Bayern Munich Lineup (4-2-3-1): Manuel Neuer; Holger Badstuber, Daniel Van Buyten, Jerome Boateng, Phillip Lahm; Bastian Schweinsteiger, Anatoliy Tymoshchuk; Franck Ribery, Toni Kroos, Thomas Müller; Mario Gomez

One slight surprise is the inclusion of Tymoshchuk for Bayern. He's a very defensive-minded player who has great positioning and tackling ability. This selection is almost certainly a direct answer to Marek Hamsik.

This match kicks off at 2:45 pm ET, 8:45 pm local and can be seen on DirecTV Soccer and in the USA.

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