VfL Wolfsburg down Gladbach to trim Bayern`s lead
Second-placed VfL Wolfsburg trimmed Bayern Munich`s lead at the top of the Bundesliga back to seven points on Sunday with a 1-0 win at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Berlin: Second-placed VfL Wolfsburg trimmed Bayern Munich`s lead at the top of the Bundesliga back to seven points on Sunday with a 1-0 win at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Centre-back Robin Knoche netted what proved to be the 12th-minute winner following a goalmouth scramble.
Wolfsburg deserved the win, their first after defeats to Schalke in the Bundesliga and Everton in the Europa League, as veteran striker Ivica Olic went close in the second half while Belgium`s Kevin de Bruyne also had a goal ruled offside.
The result sees Gladbach drop to fifth as Lucien Favre`s side suffered their third straight defeat, despite having set a new club record of 18 matches unbeaten at the start of the season.
Before Sunday`s result, Pep Guardiola`s Bayern had extended their lead to 10 points on Saturday with a workmanlike 1-0 win at Hertha Berlin to recover from their midweek defeat at Manchester City.
Arjen Robben`s first-half goal in Germany`s capital was enough to give Bayern their 10th league win of the season in 13 games.
After suffering their first defeat of the season at Manchester in the Champions League on Tuesday, their first loss in 23 games, the defending champions preserved their unbeaten Bundesliga record with a no-frills performance.
With six months left of the season, Bayern`s march to their third straight Bundesliga title looks virtually unstoppable once again.
At the other end, Borussia Dortmund, who are at Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday night, dropped back to the bottom of the table after both Werder Bremen and Stuttgart picked up wins.
Werder Bremen`s 4-0 hammering of Paderborn and VfB Stuttgart`s 4-1 win at Freiburg on Friday saw them both leapfrog Dortmund.
Bremen moved up to 14th as caretaker coach Viktor Skripnik picked up his fourth win in five games since taking over from the fired Robin Dutt as Zlatko Junuzovic, Davie Selke, Fin Bartels and Levent Aycicek scored.
Both Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen roared back from midweek Champions League defeats by claiming heavy wins to go sixth and third respectively.
Schalke responded to their 5-0 Champions League thrashing by Chelsea with a 4-1 hammering of Mainz at home with Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar claiming a hat-trick.
Netherlands international Huntelaar fired Schalke into a 2-0 lead after just 25 minutes with two superb goals before Japan striker Shinji Okazaki pulled one back for the visitors.
But Schalke made sure of the three points when midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta slotted home on 54 minutes before Huntelaar completed his hat-trick.
Bayer Leverkusen put their Champions League defeat at home to Monaco behind them with a 5-1 comeback win at the BayArena against Cologne in the Rhine derby as both Josip Drmic and Karim Bellarabi scored twice.
Hakan Calhanoglu added his team`s other goal.
Bellarabi, Huntelaar and Okazaki, along with Eintracht Frankfurt`s Alexander Meier and Bayern Munich`s Mario Goetze, are all tied as the league`s top scorers with seven goals.
Hoffenheim went seventh in the table after their seven-goal thriller, a 4-3 win over Hanover 96, who drop to eighth, as Niklas Suele headed what proved to be the home side`s winner.