Arjen Robben to the rescue as Bayern Munich snatch win at Mainz
Arjen Robben scored a 90th minute winner in their 2-1 victory at Mainz 05 on Friday to send Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich into the winter break with a commanding 14-point lead.
Berlin: Arjen Robben scored a 90th minute winner in their 2-1 victory at Mainz 05 on Friday to send Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich into the winter break with a commanding 14-point lead.
Dutchman Robben, who has been outstanding for Bayern all season and was also on target last week against Freiburg, netted his tenth league goal at the end of the game, tapping in from close range after a second-string Bayern struggled against gutsy Mainz.
The Bavarians have seen their team ravaged by bad luck, with Xabi Alonso, Robert Lewandowski, Medhi Benatia and Sebastian Rode injured in last week`s win over Freiburg and joining half a dozen more on the sidelines.
Elkin Soto put the hosts ahead when he slipped unnoticed into the box and drilled in a cross at the far post for what was Bayern`s fourth goal conceded in 17 league games, the fewest ever in the first half of a Bundesliga season.
Their joy was shortlived, however, with Bastian Schweinsteiger curling a sensational freekick over the wall and into the top corner three minutes later.
Mainz had a big chance to take the lead again when Yunus Malli found himself with only Manuel Neuer to beat but the keeper kept his cool to stop his shot.
Bayern were lacking their usual spark with only a third of their record 31 shots on goal against Freiburg but they struck when it mattered most with Robben scoring from close range after fine work from Franck Ribery and Juan Bernat for their eighth successive league win.
Second-placed VfL Wolfsburg can cut their lead to 11 if they beat Cologne on Saturday.
Last season`s runners-up Borussia Dortmund will be hoping to spend the winter break away from the relegation zone when they travel to strugglers Werder Bremen.