Bayern fight back to floor Fortuna as Arsenal loom
BERLIN (AFP) –
Bayern Munich warmed up for their midweek Champions League clash with Arsenal by twice coming from behind to beat Fortuna Duesseldorf 3-2 on Saturday and extend their Bundesliga lead to 20 points.
Having beaten the Gunners 3-1 in London three weeks ago, Bayern are looking to book their quarter-final berth in Wednesday’s second leg at Munich’s Allianz Arena.
With Borussia Dortmund, second, and third-placed Bayer Leverkusen both losing, Bayern took the chance to extend their huge lead and, with nine matches left this season, need just three more wins to guarantee their 23rd league title.
Bayern took their winning run to 11 matches as Germany defender Jerome Boateng’s 86th-minute header gave them three more points after Thomas Mueller and then France wing Franck Ribery had earlier equalised.
“We showed our quality by turning this game around and showed our morale as a team by twice coming from behind, that’s important for the rest of the season,” said Boateng.
But Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said there is room for improvement ahead of the Arsenal game.
“Everyone thought we’d won this game before kick-off, but we were too passive and not dangerous enough,” said Heynckes.
“We showed outstanding morale. Full credit to Fortuna, hardly anyone scores two goals past us.”
Schalke warmed-up for Tuesday’s Champions League last 16, second leg clash at home to Galatasaray with a 2-1 win over local rivals Borussia Dortmund in Gelsenkirchen, but lost striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to injury.
Schalke have a fighting chance of reaching the last eight having drawn 1-1 in Istanbul three weeks ago and claimed their second Ruhr derby win of the season.
Having already enjoyed a 2-1 win at Dortmund last October, Schalke are now up to fourth in the table after their third straight win, but will face Galatasaray without Huntelaar, who has torn knee ligaments.
“We were outstanding in the first half, we could have scored two or three more,” said coach Jens Keller, who took charge in December.
“I am proud of the way the team counter-attacked, we took the lead very early on.
“The performances these days are making me proud and it’s a lot of fun.”
The hosts went ahead when Japan defender Atsuto Uchida supplied crosses for Julian Draxler, on 11 minutes, then Huntelaar, on 35 minutes, to convert with the Dortmund defence all at sea.
Huntelaar had to be helped off on 53 minutes, while Dortmund pulled a goal back through Poland’s Robert Lewandowski.
“We weren’t good in switching from defence to attack, we made tactical errors,” said Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp, whose team booked their Champions League quarter-final berth on Tuesday with a 3-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk.
Werder Bremen broke their three-match losing streak with a 1-1 draw at Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday night as Peniel Mlapa’s second-half goal was cancelled out by Werder midfielder Aleksandar Ignjovski’s late shot.
Bottom side Guerther Fuerth crashed to a 3-0 defeat at home to Hoffenheim to set a new Bundesliga record by becoming the first team to fail to win any of their first 13 home games.
They are now 14 points from safety and almost certain to be relegated after their first season in the top flight.
Wolfsburg are up to 12th after their 5-2 win at Freiburg, who drop to seventh, while Leverkusen suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at Mainz, who move up to sixth.