Bayern made to work for victory

A review of the weekend's action in the German Bundesliga, with the Bayern Munich juggernaut rumbling on.

Last Updated: 03/03/13 at 19:05 Post Comment

Bayern Munich celebrate Mario Gomez's goal

Bayern Munich celebrate Mario Gomez's goal

Bayern Munich re-established a 17-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga with a 1-0 victory over Hoffenheim on Sunday - but were made to work hard for the points by their struggling opponents.

A goal from Mario Gomez late in the first half was enough for Bayern to take the spoils as they close in on a 22nd Bundesliga title and leave Hoffenheim five points adrift of a relegation play-off berth, and 11 away from safety.

The goal came on 38 minutes as Igor de Camargo gave away possession cheaply and Jerome Boateng's cross was headed back by Franck Ribery to Gomez, who beat Heurelho Gomes with his first real attempt on goal.

Ivan Klasnic scored his first Bundesliga goal in almost five years as Mainz took a 1-1 draw from their trip to Fortuna Dusseldorf.

The former Bolton forward, who was included in the Mainz starting XI for the first time this season, brought Thomas Tuchel's side level before half-time after a Bo Svensson own goal had put the hosts in front early on.

Fortuna arguably enjoyed the better chances of the game, but they were unable to find a way through as they picked up a rare draw to edge seven points clear of the relegation zone.

The draw moves Mainz to within two points of the top six and goes some way towards making up for their midweek defeat to Freiburg in the DFB-Pokal.

On Saturday, Robert Lewandowski put speculation about his long-term future aside with a brace as Borussia Dortmund bounced back from their DFB Pokal loss to Bayern with a 3-1 home victory over Hannover.

It was announced this week that Lewandowski had turned down the offer of a new contract with Dortmund and that he would be leaving the club within the next 18 months, sparking talk about where his next destination will be.

However, he is still very much a Dortmund player at present and he struck twice in the opening 21 minutes to put his side in charge.

Mohammed Abdellaoue pulled a goal back for Hannover in the 40th minute but Julian Schieber made it 3-1 midway through the second half.

Two late goals snatched a 2-1 victory from the jaws of defeat for Bayer Leverkusen against Stuttgart at the BayArena.

Vedad Ibisevic's penalty had put the Swabians ahead in the 12th minute and it seemed like that would be enough to lift Bruno Labbadia's men into 11th place in the Bundesliga, but a penalty from Stefan Kiessling brought Leverkusen back on level terms 10 minutes from the end.

Lars Bender then completed the turnaround, earning Leverkusen all three points to establish a seven-point cushion above fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt in the hunt for a place in the Champions League next season.

Julian Draxler scored two goals and set up a third as Schalke beat Wolfsburg 4-1 on the road for their second win a row.

Draxler's first goal in the 33rd minute was cancelled out by Ivica Olic in the 50th minute. But Draxler scored again after 63 minutes and Jefferson Farfan killed off Wolfsburg with a third 11 minutes from time.

There was still time for Klaas Jan Huntelaar to add a final flourish in the 86th minute.

Schalke's second straight win - after a four-match winless streak - rekindled their hopes of claiming a Champions League place, but Wolfsburg's worries grow as they have now just one win from their last six matches.

Greuther Furth gained a point in their desperate fight against relegation with a 1-1 draw against a Hamburg side whose European hopes were knocked.

Furth took the lead in the 14th minute through Nikola Djurdjic but Maximilian Beister equalised for Hamburg in the 22nd minute.

Last-placed Furth had failed to score in five of their last six games but at least managed to do that, however with only 14 points their position may be irretrievable. Hamburg moved to 35 points and watched Schalke pass them in the table to reach sixth place.

Jonathan Schmid's late goal gave Freiburg an away 1-1 draw at Nurnberg as they remain in contention for a Champions League place.

Timmy Simons converted from the spot to give Nurnberg the lead in the 33rd minute but Schmid equalised seven minutes from time as the teams shared the spoils.

Freiburg have suffered just one loss in the last 10 matches as they push for the top four, but Nurnburg remain firmly in mid-table despite beating unbeaten in eight.

Augsburg continued their good run in the Bundesliga with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Werder Bremen.

Tobias Werner scored the only goal in the 29th minute although Bremen will point to a lack of good fortune after twice striking the woodwork.

Augsburg have now collected 12 points since the winter break - the third-best return in the league behind only leaders Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund - but remain cut adrift in the relegation zone.

Bremen, meanwhile, are now nursing a record of three straight defeats and must improve quickly if they are to reignite their bid to qualify for Europe.

Borussia Monchengladbach moved into the top six of the Bundesliga thanks to a narrow 1-0 win over fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt.

Luuk de Jong's goal midway through the first half was enough for Lucien Favre's side to take all three points from the Waldstadion with a performance reminiscent of their best from last season.

The Foals relied on a strong and efficient counter-attacking style to snatch all three points and to move into the frame for a second straight season in the Europa League, while Frankfurt will drop out of the top four this weekend if Freiburg win in Nurnberg.


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