Bayern open 10-point gap with win at Freiburg
BERLIN (AFP) –
Victory at 10-man Freiburg means Munich extended their lead by two points as the chasing pack lost ground.
Bayern will finish the first half of the Bundesliga season with the title of ‘Herbstmeister’ — Autumn champions — something coach Jupp Heynckes was quick to dismiss.
“The title ‘Autumn Champions’ doesn’t mean much to me,” said the Bayern boss.
“It is always very difficult to play in Freiburg, that’s the mark of a good side.
“We failed to take a good lead early on, which would have made it easier to bring the result home.
“Our goalkeeper Manuel Neuer made a few good saves, which saved us.
“We did well over long stretches, we only allowed them a few chances in the final third.”
Bayern took the lead after only 12 minutes when Germany star Mueller slotted home a penalty after Freiburg defender Oliver Sorg’s handball.
The hosts were then reduced to 10 men moments later when Senegal defender Fallou Diagne was shown a straight red when he brought down Swiss midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri with only the goalkeeper to beat.
With Dortmund looming, Heynckes made four changes in the second-half, including taking off striker Mario Gomez, and Munich made sure of the three points when Anatoliy Tymoschuk netted their second on 79 minutes.
“We didn’t do so badly,” said Freiburg defender Sorg.
“When you are behind after 15 minutes and then play with 10 men, it’s not so easy.”
Bayer Leverkusen took Dortmund’s place in second spot after their 4-1 win at Werder Bremen to claim their fourth win in their last five league games.
Ex-Germany midfielder Gonzalo Castro scored the first two goals for Leverkusen before Nils Petersen pulled one back for Bremen with a 54th-minute header.
Leverkusen made sure of the three points when captain Simon Rolfes drilled home his shot on 74 minutes and five minutes later midfielder Jens Hegeler grabbed their fourth.
Hoffenheim’s woes continued as Markus Babbel’s team lost 4-2 at Nuremberg, their fifth defeat in nine games to stay in the bottom three, as Japan midfielder Hiroshi Kiyotake scored the first and last goal for hosts Nuremberg.
On Tuesday, Dortmund conceded a late equaliser to draw 1-1 at home to 10-man Fortuna Duesseldorf as Stefan Reisinger put the guests level on 78 minutes after Poland captain Jakub Blaszczykowski had scored for Dortmund on 43 minutes.
Schalke suffered a 3-1 defeat at Hamburg to drop to fourth in the league, while Frankfurt are down to fifth after their 3-1 defeat at home to Mainz.
Hanover 96 moved up into sixth, amongst the European places, with a 2-0 win at home to second-from-bottom Greuther Fuerth with goals by Senegal striker Mame Diouf and Swiss defender Mario Eggimann.