English League 1

Barker hails fantastic players

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Sat, 02 Feb 2013 21:31:00

Bayern Munich continued their seemingly unstoppable march towards the Bundesliga title with a convincing 3-0 win at Mainz.

A goal from Thomas Muller and a Mario Mandzukic brace earned the visitors the victory to extend their advantage at the top of the table to 14 points over Bayer Leverkusen, who face Borussia Dortmund on Sunday.

Srdjan Lakic marked his Eintracht Frankfurt debut with two goals to inspire Armin Veh's side to a 2-0 win in Hamburg.

Lakic, who arrived in Frankfurt on loan from Wolfsburg just prior to the transfer deadline, grabbed a first-half brace as the Eagles extended their advantage over fifth-placed Mainz to six points and denied Hamburg a place in the top six for the first time this season.

Greuther Furth picked up only their second win of the season with a shock 2-1 victory at Schalke thanks to a last-gasp goal from Nikola Djurdjic.

Michel Bastos marked his Schalke debut with a goal, but Felix Klaus levelled before Djurdjic scored a dramatic late winner for Mike Buskens' men.

Greuther remain at the foot of the table but are just two points behind Augsburg, who were held 1-1 by Wolfsburg.

Jan Moravek earned the visitors a point with a 25th-minute equaliser, two minutes after Naldo had put the Wolves ahead.

Hoffenheim picked up their first win under new coach Marco Kurz with a 2-1 result over Freiburg.

Kevin Volland was on target twice, after Max Kruse had put Freiburg in front, to earn his side a much-needed win which lifts them back out of the bottom two and above Augsburg.

Fortuna Dusseldorf secured a 3-1 win over Stuttgart, who have now lost four Bundesliga games in a row.

Robbie Kruse put Dusseldorf in control of the game with a brace before Christian Gentner brought Stuttgart back into the running.

Oliver Fink then sealed victory for Fortuna, who edge up to within a point of their mid-table opponents.

Striker Billy Clarke stepped up to score a left-footed penalty into the middle of the goal after Nicky Adams was tripped by Alan McCormack.

Swindon earned a point with a spot-kick of their own which substitute Adam Rooney converted.

He said: "It was a good result and keeps the scoreboard ticking over. Swindon had beaten us by 3-0 in each of our last three meetings, so this performance showed how far we've come."

Barker, who gave full debuts to Mustapha Dumbuya, Matt Sparrow and Jamie Proctor, was especially pleased as seven of his team were under the age of 21.

He added: "I thought our players were fantastic on a pitch that now looks like a ploughed field.

"Both penalties were a bit soft, but it was a bit difficult to stay upright on the pitch. How often do referees even things up?

"Swindon are a big, strong side and our players are learning and growing on a weekly basis.We had to weather the storm early on but we more than played our part in a good display and a good point.

"This group are young and they will get better and it has started.We have produced some good players at Crawley that have served the club well and the process is continuing."

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