Bundesliga

Bayern makes easy work of Wolfsburg

Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich moved 18 points clear of defending champion Borussia Dortmund on Friday.
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Mario Mandzukic scored against his former side as Bayern Munich maintained its Bundesliga title charge with a 2-0 win at Wolfsburg on Friday.

Mandzukic's goal against his former club 10 minutes before half-time and a late Arjen Robben strike were enough for Jupp Heynckes' side to maintain their momentum as they close in on the title in record time.

''We're not German champions yet,'' said Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer, who is yet to concede a goal this year. ''A lot of people are calculating the points difference but we have to keep playing.''

Wolfsburg's failure to pick up a point could see them drop to 15th in the table this weekend as they became the latest side to feel the full force of the Bundesliga's champions-elect.

Heynckes recalled Mandzukic to his starting eleven, fielding the Croatia striker against his former club with Mario Gomez returning to the bench, where Arjen Robben also took his place after making a starting appearance against Schalke a week ago.

The rotation policy did not seem to upset Bayern's imperious rhythm though, as Thomas Muller, Robben's replacement, headed the first chance of the game wide.

''I'm happy we won but I want to play more,'' Robben said. ''I'm on the bench, it's disappointing. I can't say that I'm really happy.''

Wolfsburg made their own contribution to an entertaining opening, though, with Vieirinha powering a shot wide from 25 yards as the game swung from end to end.

Bayern were first to make one of their chances count in the 36th minute when Mandzukic found the target with an acrobatic effort from Bastian Schweinsteiger's header.

Franck Ribery almost made it two before the break when his shot from a tight angle was collected by an alert Diego Benaglio.

Benaglio was beaten in the 49th minute by Mullers shot, but Naldo was covering to clear the ball before it crossed the line.

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Bayern increased the pressure with Wolfsburg no longer able to mount attacks of their own, although a free-kick in the 77th minute almost got them back into the game.

Diego shot over the wall, forcing Manuel Neuer to stretch to keep the ball out with Ivan Perisic failing to make contact with the rebound.

Wolfsburg found a second wind, pegging Bayern back into their own half for much of the final 10 minutes, but then the Bavarians broke with Robben opening his account for the season from Muller's cross to seal their 18th win of the season.

''We threw everything possible into it,'' Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking said. ''It was a balanced game. But of course Bayern make a lot from little.''

The Associated Press was used in this report.

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