Gladbach turn on the heat
BERLIN (AFP) –
Borussia Moenchgladbach moved to within three points of the top three Sunday with a 2-0 victory at home over Mainz 05 on a weekend in which Bayern Munich extended their Bundesliga lead over Borussia Dortmund to 14 points.
Mike Hanke tallied in the 58th minute and Juan Arango scored a sensational goal in the 63rd minute for Gladbach, who jumped into eighth spot on 24 points.
Mainz (23 points) meanwhile missed a chance to pull into fifth place.
Second-placed Bayer Leverkusen were playing later Sunday in the final match of the weekend at Hanover 96 with a chance to trim the deficit to Bayern to eight points.
On Saturday, Bayern Munich moved a step closer to the title as they beat Augsburg 2-0 to extend their lead over two-time reigning champions Dortmund.
Thomas Mueller and Mario Gomez scored in Bayern’s victory while 10-man Dortmund lost 3-2 at home against Wolfsburg.
Munich jumped onto 41 points while Dortmund remained on 27 points with the winter break a week away.
Bayern dominated the proceedings in Augsburg and finally grabbed the lead in the 40th minute from the spot through Mueller after Augsburg’s Gibril Sankoh handled Toni Kroos’ pass.
Mario Gomez doubled the advantage in the 62nd minute, just two minutes after coming into the game to decide the contest.
“In order to win the championship, we have to win these kinds of game, and we did that,” said Gomez.
In Dortmund, Juergen Klopp’s hosts went ahead on a free kick goal by Marco Reus in the sixth minute.
Wolfsburg equalised in the 36th minute from the spot through Diego one minute after Marcel Schmelzer was red-carded for stopping Bas Dost’s shot at the line with his hand – though replays showed the defender blocked the ball with his knee.
Referee Wolfgang Stark admitted later Saturday that upon reviewing television replays that he had made an error in ruling a handball.
Wolfsburg took a 2-1 2-1 in the 41st minute as Naldo volleyed home Diego’s free kick pass.
Jakub Blaszczykowski converted a penalty in the 61st minute as Dortmund pulled even at 2-2 but Dost re-established Wolfsburg’s lead in the 73rd minute.
“I am satisfied with our performance but the result hurts us a lot,” said Klopp.
“It decided the game because we had to play the final 54 minutes a man down. Still we had more ball possession and still felt we could win. But it was difficult to maintain the high energy level.”
Eintracht Frankfurt scored twice within a minute to snap a three-game winless streak with a 4-1 victory at home over Werder Bremen to improve to 27 points.
Alex Meier made it 1-0 in the 47th minute for Frankfurt and Nils Petersen equalised seven minutes later. But Pirmin Schwegler and Stefan Aigner both scored in the 63rd minute for Frankfurt and Takashi Inui added the final score in the 90th minute as Bremen remained on 21 points.
Schalke failed to win their fifth straight match and saw Frankfurt pass them on the table to drop further behind the leaders with a 3-1 loss at VfB Stuttgart thanks to Vedad Ibisevic’s hat-trick.
Stuttgart, who pulled even with Schalke with 25 points each, stormed ahead after two minutes through Ibisevic before Schalke equalised in the 12th minute though Ciprian Marica.
Ibisevic gave Stuttgart the lead 2-1 from the spot in the 38th minute and completed his hat-trick after 61 minutes.
Both teams finished with 10 men as Gotoku Sakai of Stuttgart (67th minute) and Schalke’s Jermaine Jones (73rd) were sent off.
On Friday, Artjoms Rednevs scored two goals in Hamburg’s 2-0 victory at home over Hoffenheim, who lost in their first game under interim coach Frank Kramer. Hamburg have 24 points and Hoffenheim 12.
Sebastian Polter (27th minute) and Markus Feulner (90th) scored to give Nuremberg (19 points) a 2-0 win over Fortuna Duesseldorf (18).
Freiburg (23) won 1-0 over Greuther Fuerth (8) thanks to Daniel Caligiuri’s goal in the 15th minute.