Bayern edge Frankfurt, Hoffenheim crush Hamburg

Last Updated: Sunday, August 18, 2013 - 08:57

Berlin: Treble winners Bayern Munich beat Eintracht Frankfurt 1-0 courtesy of a Mario Mandzukic volley on Saturday to equal their club record of 27 straight league games without defeat as minnows Hoffenheim thrashed Hamburg 5-1 away.

VfL Wolfsburg, with new signing Luiz Gustavo making his first start a day after joining from Bayern, stunned visitors Schalke 04 4-0 with three goals in 12 minutes.

Bayern forward Mandzukic struck the winner after 13 minutes at Frankfurt but, despite having the lion`s share of possession, they failed to convert a number of good chances.

Toni Kroos caught the home defence off guard early with a powerful header that hit the post as textbook pressing from the visitors quickly gave them control of the game.

With Mario Goetze on the bench for the first time since joining from Borussia Dortmund after recovering from a muscle injury, Bayern kept up the pressure.

Mandzukic did better in the 13th minute, drilling in a wonderful volley for their second win in two league games.

"We did not want to play beautiful football and celebrate the sport," goalkeeper Manuel Neuer told reporters. "We only wanted the three points and the second league win and we did it."

Coach Pep Guardiola was also satisfied with his team`s performance.

"Compared to the past few weeks we controlled the game much better," said the Spaniard. "It is not easy after international matches as we only had three days to prepare but we still carved out very many chances. I am happy and 100 percent satisfied."

Frankfurt players were left fuming after being denied what they claimed was a last-minute penalty on Alexander Meier, who said: "I was pushed from behind. You can`t just stand there".

Hoffenheim, who needed a relegation playoff to stay up last season, crushed Hamburg with four goals in a dazzling second half performance including Frenchman Anthony Modeste`s double.

SCHALKE MISERY

Schalke`s Klaas-Jan Huntelaar rattled the post with a fine low drive but Wolfsburg, with Gustavo orchestrating play in midfield, struck four times in the second half.

Robin Knoche tapped in from close range before Vieirinha shook off two defenders to fire past keeper Timo Hildebrand.

Defender Naldo added another in the 67th and Stefan Kutschke completed Wolfsburg`s first win of the season with their fourth goal on the final whistle.

There was further misery for Schalke with Huntelaar picking up a knee injury ahead of Wednesday`s Champions League playoff first leg against Greek club PAOK.

"I got a knock on the knee and will now just have to wait to see what the X-rays in hospital will show," the Dutch striker told reporters.

Champions League competitors Bayer Leverkusen were lucky to escape with a 1-0 win over Stuttgart after their former player Daniel Schwaab netted an own goal late in the first half.

Werder Bremen needed a 22-metre drive from Mehmet Ekici to beat Augsburg 1-0 for their second narrow win to record their best start to a season for seven years.

Mainz 05 also maintained their perfect record with a 2-1 victory over Freiburg.

Reuters



First Published: Sunday, August 18, 2013 - 08:57

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