Bayern Munich stayed top of
the Bundesliga on goal difference thanks to a nervous 2-0 win
over VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday, with champions Borussia Dortmund
in second after a 3-1 victory over Hoffenheim and Schalke
keeping pace with a 4-1 win at Cologne.
The top three all have 40 points after 19 games.
Bayern's Bundesliga top scorer Mario Gomez scored from five
metres to break the deadlock on the hour with his 17th league
goal this season and Arjen Robben added another in added time.
It was certainly not the performance Bayern fans were
expecting after the defeat by Borussia Monchengladbach last
week and a midweek PR stunt regarding a "spectacular signing"
that backfired when it turned out to be a promotional gimmick.
The hosts, chasing a treble this season, looked far from
sharp despite the return from suspension of winger Franck
Gomez missed a golden opportunity to grab an early lead and
Thomas Muller wasted another late in the first half before the
Germany international scored on the rebound after his header
from a Toni Kroos free-kick was blocked on the hour.
Bayern needed to wait another 30 minutes to make sure of
their first league win this year with substitute Ivica Olic
breaking free in stoppage-time, lobbing a ball over charging
goalkeeper Diego Benaglio and Dutchman Robben scoring on the line.
"For me it was a highly deserved win based on our chances,"
Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes told reporters. "It was not easy
after the defeat against Gladbach. This gives us security going
into the coming weeks."
Dortmund stayed hot on Bayern's heels with Japanese
midfielder Shinji Kagawa scoring twice and Kevin Grosskreutz
adding another as they eased past Hoffenheim.
Kagawa grabbed a 16th-minute lead and Grosskreutz doubled it
in the 31st s Dortmund quickly took control of the match.
The Japanese added another goal 10 minutes after the
restart, firing in from close range after a fine one-two with
Grosskreutz. Fabian Johnson cut the deficit for the visitors.
Schalke kept pace with the leaders thanks to a comfortable
win at Cologne secured with four goals in 22 minutes late in the
second half as they came from behind after Lukas Podolski had
given the home side the lead in the fourth minute.
Ciprian Marica scored in the 60th and 72nd minutes for
Schalke before Klaas Jan Huntelaar converted a penalty in the
78th and Marco Hoeger wrapped up the win in the 82nd.
Champions League competitors Bayer Leverkusen came from a
goal down to draw 1-1 at Werder Bremen with Michael Ballack kept
on the bench after criticism from club bosses this week. They
stayed in sixth place on 30 points, one behind their opponents.
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