Champions Bayern Munich extend lead atop Bundesliga
Reigning champions Bayern Munich extended their lead atop the Bundesliga on Saturday after winning at FC Cologne while Schalke 04 won the Ruhr derby against bitter rivals Borussia Dortmund.
Berlin: Reigning champions Bayern Munich extended their lead atop the Bundesliga on Saturday after winning at FC Cologne while Schalke 04 won the Ruhr derby against bitter rivals Borussia Dortmund.
Bayern kept a clean sheet for their fourth straight Bundesliga match in a 2-0 victory to move to 14 points, two clear of Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Pep Guardiola`s side opened the scoring on 19 minutes as Mario Goetze struck his third goal in the last two matches.
The visitors continued to press Cologne and finally doubled the lead midway through the second half as Daniel Halfar put through his own net.
"They didn`t do anything. They just played in the back and tried to counter and never really came out. But I congratulate the team, we remained calm and did our job," said Bayern winger Arjen Robben
Meanwhile, Gladbach won 2-1 at Paderborn thanks to early goals from Patrick Herrmann and Raffael, with Jens Wimmer getting one back for the promoted club, who had been top before losing at Bayern in midweek.
Gladbach`s win took them above Leverkusen, who had to play more than an hour with 10 men but held on for a 0-0 draw away at SC Freiburg.
Leverkusen defender Emir Spahic was sent off in the first half, although Freiburg also finished the game a man down after Pavel Krmas was dismissed.
And the visitors might have won it, Karim Bellarabi hammering a shot off the crossbar in the 73rd minute before Son Heung-Min also struck the woodwork two minutes from time.
"We were unfortunate today. They played really well and we just could not score," said Leverkusen`s Oemer Toprak.
In Gelsenkirchen, Schalke picked up their second straight victory with a 2-1 win at home over hated rivals Dortmund.
Dortmund`s recent defensive struggles continued as goals from Joel Matip and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting left them trailing 2-0 by the midway point in the first half.
Jurgen Klopp`s side did reduce the deficit shortly afterwards courtesy of a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang strike but they could not find an equaliser and have collected only seven points from six games this season, one fewer than Schalke.
"It was an important victory, especially for our fans. It`s fantastic," said Schalke coach Jens Keller.
"We play in three days (in the Champions League against Maribor) so we can`t really celebrate that much. But we will enjoy it for a couple of hours," said Matip.
Dortmund captain Mats Hummels, who was in the starting line-up for the first time this season, said his side cannot waste any more time to catch up.
"Luckily the other teams have not really had great starts. But now we need to really find our rhythm," said Hummels whose team is winless in their last three matches.
Ivica Olic scored in the 57th minute to secure Wolfsburg a 2-1 victory at home against Werder Bremen to jump to seventh place with eight points.
After Ricardo Rodriguez pushed Wolfsburg ahead in the 15th minute, Marnon Busch equalised after 37 minutes.
Elsewhere, Hanover 96 went down 1-0 at struggling VfB Stuttgart, Daniel Schwaab scoring his team`s first goal at home this season in the 69th minute.
Mainz and Hoffenheim played out a scoreless draw on Friday, the result leaving both teams with 10 points.
Hamburg hope to finally exit the relegation zone on Sunday as they host Eintracht Frankfurt after FC Augsburg welcome Hertha Berlin.