Goals. If you were to sum up 1860 München's problems this season in one word it would probably be the one you would choose. They have been fiendishly difficult to come by, especially of late. With the race for 3rd place seemingly over, 1860 already have one eye on next season, having announced the signing of former Cottbus man Daniel Adlung in the week.
Alexander Schmidt opted to make no changes to his starting eleven yet again this week, with Tomasov keeping his place ahead of Daniel Halfar who impressed after returning from injury last week. It also meant a start for Moritz Volz, who was returning to the Millerntor-Stadion for the first time since his switch from St. Pauli in the summer. He wasn't the only player on the pitch to have played for both of these clubs either - St. Pauli goalkeeper Tschauner and centreback Thorandt made a combined 124 appearances for 1860 between 2006 and 2011.
From the very first whistle 1860 did not look at the races. It took a mere two minutes before St. Pauli carved open the defence for the first time. The visitors were able to briefly stop the rot and create a couple of half-chances for themselves but the first half really belonged to St. Pauli. It was no surprise that after 34 minutes they finally made the breakthrough. Despite having a lot of luck down the right wing, St. Pauli opted this time to play through the middle, with Daube cushioning the ball down to Bartels on the edge of the box. He found the run of Ginczek with consummate ease and finding himself one-on-one with Kiraly, the league's third top goalscorer wasn't going to miss.
Despite being a goal down 1860 were still hopeless, unable to string more than three passes together before someone made an error. There was desperation in their play and a clear sense of relief when the referee finally called an end to a torrid first half of football. One can only imagine what Schmidt must have said to his players in the dressing room.
As the second half began, 1860 had already made two changes with the central midfield pairing of Stahl and Bierofka both picking up knocks and being replaced by Halfar and Wojtkowiak respectively. These were rather peculiar choices, especially with young, central midfielder Wannenwetsch on the bench and it left 1860 with a bizarre central midfield pairing of Stoppelkamp and Fathi.
For the first 25 minutes of the second half, 1860 finally looked like a team again and created the better chances with both Vallori and Friend heading over from point blank range. After such a turnaround in performance it was painful to see St. Pauli gifted their second goal courtesy of a mistake from the usually reliable Kiraly. Put off by the man just in front of him, Kiraly was unable to make a clean save from a cross, instead guiding the ball onto the right foot of Bartels who volleyed home to begin a hectic five minute period.
Spurred on at last 1860 attacked direct from the kick off and were rewarded with a corner. This time Friend was able to convert, leaping high to guide the ball past Tschauner. Finally a bit of hope for 1860 fans, particularly as St. Pauli were winning 2-0 last week against Dresden before succumbing to a 3-2 defeat. Unfortunately though, there was barely enough time for this thought to cross anybody's mind before the ball was in the back of the net again. Poor defending allowed Bartels to find space between Bülow and Vallori to head home for his second of the match.
As well as St. Pauli played today it must also be said that 1860 were terrible. There was a distinct lack of motivation now that third place has seemingly passed them by and despite brief glimpses of talent it's looking like another disappointing season for Schmidt's men. St. Pauli, who were just seven points above the relegation zone before play today were quicker, hungrier and simply played better than 1860 in all aspects of the game. For Alexander Schmidt it's back to the drawing board once more, in a bid to find a system that will finally get this group of players playing well together.
FC St. Pauli: Tschauner - Schachten, Thorandt, Avevor, Kalla - Funk, Kringe - Bartels, Daube (Boll 71'), Thy, Ginczek
1860 München: Kiraly - Volz, Bülow, Vallori, Fathi - Bierofka (Wojtkowiak 46'), Stahl (Halfar 41'), Stoppelkamp, Tomasov (Wood 65') - Friend, Lauth
Goals: 1-0 Ginczek (34'), 2-0 Bartels (70'), 2-1 Friend (73'), 3-1 Bartels (74')
Referee: Christian Fischer