Bayern opens 11-point lead in Bundesliga as Wolfsburg slips
GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) — Defending champion Bayern Munich restored an 11-point lead in the Bundesliga by beating Hannover 3-1 as Wolfsburg fell to a 1-0 defeat in Augsburg on Saturday.
Bayern finished the first half of the season 11 points ahead but then lost to Wolfsburg 4-1 to see the gap cut to eight.
But Wolfsburg’s 11-match unbeaten run came to an end in Augsburg and Bayern rallied to beat Hannover.
Bayern’s first two goals came from questionable refereeing decisions — the first a free kick and the second a penalty. But Thomas Mueller scored with a header in the 72nd to secure the victory with his second goal of the match.
Elsewhere, Borussia Dortmund drew 0-0 in Hamburg to drop points after four straight wins, Schalke beat Hoffenheim 3-1 and Werder Bremen won 1-0 in Freiburg.
In the late match, Shinji Okazaki scored after going nine matches without a goal to earn Mainz a 2-2 draw with Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Raffael’s two goals gave Moenchengladbach a 2-0 lead and Max Kruse hit the post before Johannes Geis pulled one back in the 73rd. Four minutes later. Okazaki rose at the far post to head in the equalizer for his ninth goal of the season.
In Hannover, Bayern had early problems with the home team’s defense and running, falling behind in the 25th when Hiroshi Kiyotake scored past Manuel Neuer after a quick counterattack.
Bayern coach Pep Guardiola reacted by taking out defender Dante and sending on striker Robert Lewandowski.
Hannover’s lead was quickly over. David Alaba went down after some superficial contact with a defender and Bayern got the free kick. Xabi Alonso fired over the wall to score in the 28th.
Bayern got the penalty after Lewandowski tried a stooping header, only to be hit in the head by Marcelo’s foot. Mueller scored from the spot to put Bayern ahead for good in the 61st. Substitute Franck Ribery set up Mueller’s second goal with a good dribbling move and a perfectly timed cross.
Hannover is winless in five matches and coach Tayfun Korkut is beginning to feel the heat as the club remains close to the danger zone.
Augsburg stopped Wolfsburg’s striker Bas Dost, who failed to score for the first time in seven games. Dominik Kohr scored his first Bundesliga goal in the 63rd, pouncing on the rebound after Wolfsburg goalkeeper Diego Benaglio had parried a penalty from Tobias Werner.
Kohr only played because midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg fell ill shortly before the match.
Ausgburg ended a four-match winless run and stayed in contention for a place in a European competition.
Max Meyer had two goals as Schalke beat Hoffenheim, while Franco di Santo scored the only goal for Bremen in Freiburg. Di Santo curled a shot inside the far post for his 12th goal of the season. But he later picked up a yellow card that will prevent him from playing against Bayern next week.
Bremen bounced back after losing to Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga and against third-division Arminia Bielefeld in the German Cup.