Bayern Munich extend lead in German Bundesliga
Berlin, March 16 (IANS) Bayern Munich extended their lead at the top of the German Bundesliga football with a 2-0 win over Leverkusen. Monchengladbach shocked Dortmund twice this season in the 25th round.
Bayern Munich, nicknamed The Bavarians, reaped the 17th straight win to continue their march to their next Bundesliga title. Pep Guardiola’s team edged Leverkusen 2-1 on home soil Saturday night, reports Xinhua.
But Bayern pursuers Dortmund and Leverkusen dropped points as they suffered defeats in the hunt of the front-runners.
Leverkusen staged a courageous performance at the opening period as Bayern were unable to overcome the visitor’s well-positioned defence.
Heung Min Son had the best chance for Leverkusen when he pulled just wide of the left post with just goalkeeper Manuel Neuer to beat at the 11th minute.
Bayern custodian Neuer denied Simon Rolfes’ long-range effort at the 29th minute.
The chances by the visitors were a wake up call for the hosts as Bayern recaptured possession to let the ball do the work. Mario Mandzukic broke the deadlock courtesy a cross into the box by Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Seven minutes into the second half, Schweinsteiger got his name on the score sheet when he curled a dead ball over the wall into the top left corner to double the lead.
Leverkusen were focused on damage limitation but nonetheless were able to reduce the lead in the dying minutes of the game through Stefan Kiessling.
Bayern sit atop the standings with 71 points whereas Leverkusen slipped from third to fourth position with 44 points.
Monchengladbach, also known as The “Foals”, grabbed their first win of 2014 as they upset second-placed Dortmund 2-1 on the road, courtesy Max Kruse’s winner.
Dortmund stay on the second place with 48 points while Monchengladbach climbed from 8th to 7th place with 39 points.
The “Foals” caught the better start as Patrick Herrmann created two goal-scoring opportunities in the opening period.
As the match progressed, Dortmund took over to press the visitors into defence. Mats Hummels and Nuri Sahin approached Monchengladbach’s goal area before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rattled the woodwork from 14 meters.
Despite the better chances it were the visitors that opened the scoring against the run of the game as Raffael tapped in at the near post following Patrick Herrmann’s cross into the box at the half hour mark.
To make things worse for the home side, Monchengladbach doubled the lead nine minutes later through Max Kruse, who wrongfooted custodian Roman Weidenfeller and Lukasz Piszczek to slot home from eight meters.
After the restart, Havard Nordtveit jeopardised Monchengladbach’s away win when he was sent off for his second bookable offence at the 69th minute.
Dortmund pressed frenetically but was only able to reduce the arrears at the 77th minute thanks to Milos Jojic.
Mainz flabbergasted Hoffenheim with a 4-2-comeback win to snatch three points in the hunt of a berth in Europe.
Elsewhere, bottom side Braunschweig craved out a vital point in their relegation battle when they held Wolfsburg to a 1-1.
Hannover wrapped up their second away win this season as they overcame Berlin 3-0 whilst Bremen and Stuttgart share the spoils following a 1-1 as Aaron Hunt neutralized Georg Niedermeier’s opener.