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Only Bayern can stop Bayern after Dortmund loss

AFP
ANALYST
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681   //    09 Dec 2012, 10:52 IST

BERLIN (AFP) –

L-R: Bayern Munich's midfielder Javi Martinez and striker Thomas Mueller celebrate

L-R: Bayern Munich’s midfielder Javi Martinez and striker Thomas Mueller celebrate after Mueller’s goal during their German first division Bundesliga match against FC Augsburg in Augsburg, southern Germany. There appears to be no stopping Bayern Munich from their 22nd German league title as their lead over Borussia Dortmund grew to 14 points.

There appears to be no stopping Bayern Munich from their 22nd German league title as their lead over Borussia Dortmund grew to 14 points after the two-time reigning champions were hit by a refereeing mistake which cost them dear in Saturday’s home loss to Wolfsburg.

Bayern continued their canter through the Bundesliga with a 2-0 victory at local rivals Augsburg while Dortmund unluckily went a man down in the first half and lost 3-2 to Wolfsburg.

Munich’s cushion over Dortmund is 12 points after 16 matches. Bayer Leverkusen are second and can cut the deficit to Bayern back to eight points with a victory on Sunday over Hanover 96.

But it’s Dortmund who are considered the only real threats to Bayern.

And now, that threat is a lot less, according to confident Bayern.

Wolfsburg's striker Bas Dost (R) and Dortmund's midfielder Ilkay Guendogan fight for the ball

Wolfsburg’s striker Bas Dost (R) and Dortmund’s midfielder Ilkay Guendogan fight for the ball during their German first division Bundesliga football match in the German city of Dortmund. Wolfsburg won 3-2.

“The only ones who can stop us now are ourselves if we starting making nonsense,” said Bayern striker Mario Gomez, who scored the second goal just two minutes after coming on as a substitute.

“These are the game you have to win if you’re to be champions. And we’ve won again.”

Thomas Mueller, who converted a penalty for the first goal, said the team can definitely enjoy looking at the table, which has Eintracht Frankfurt joint fourth with Dortmund on 27 points and Schalke 04 two points further back at 25.

“There’s nothing better at FC Bayern then having that kind of table in mind when you go out for our rundown on Sunday,” said Mueller.

It hasn’t matter if Bayern are at home or away, they are dominating everywhere in the league. With the 2-0 victory, it meant that Munich set a new Bundesliga record by conceding just one goal in away matches during the first half of the season – a 20-1 goal differential in eight matches.

VfB Stuttgart gave up two goals in the first half on the road during the 2003-04 season.

Stuttgart's forward Vedad Ibisevic (C) scores his third goal past Schalke's goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand (L)

Stuttgart’s forward Vedad Ibisevic (C) scores his third goal past Schalke’s goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand (L) during their German first division Bundesliga football match in Stuttgart, southwestern Germany. Schalke 04′s dropped further behind the leading trio with a 3-1 loss at VfB Stuttgart thanks to Ibisevic’s hat-trick.

While things for Dortmund have gone excellently in the Champions League, where they finished atop their group ahead of Real Madrid, Ajax and Manchester City, Juergen Klopp’s team is treading in slow motion domestically.

Dortmund have not won in their last three matches – 1-1 draws at home against Fortuna Duesseldorf and at Bayern before their loss to Wolfsburg.

And the defeat was all the more bitter considering the red card given to Marcel Schmelzer which led to the equalising penalty was an error, admitted afterwards by referee Wolfgang Stark.

“We analysed the scene after the match with observers. For me it was obvious on the pitch that there was a handball at the goal like – and that leads to a penalty and red card.

Frankfurt's Heiko Butscher (R) and Bremen's Nils Petersen jump for the ball

Frankfurt’s Heiko Butscher (R) and Bremen’s Nils Petersen jump for the ball during their German first division Bundesliga football match in Frankfurt, Germany. Eintracht Frankfurt scored twice within a minute to snap a three-game winless streak with a 4-1 victory at home against Werder Bremen to improve to 27 points.

“With the television replays, you can naturally see that there was no handball – so it was a mistake in judgment. A clear error on my part. Of course I am sorry,” Stark was quoted as saying on LIGAtotal.

Klopp did not allow his players to talk to the media.

“The red card decided the game today. We were dominating the game. My team played one of the best home matches in ages. The red card caused chaos in our game as everyone was hectic and disturbed,” said Klopp, who watched his team concede another goal just five minutes after the penalty to make it 2-1 for Wolfsburg shortly before half-time.

“We came back and made it 2-2 but we just couldn’t keep up the huge effort being a man down and then we gave up the third goal,” added Klopp, who said the loss was “a very hard one for us to swallow.”

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