Reus injured as Dortmund collapse, but Bayern Munich march on
Defending champion Bayern Munich extended its Bundesliga lead to seven points Saturday, rolling to a 4-0 victory over Hoffenheim while Wolfsburg lost a 3-2 thriller at Schalke to fall further off the leader’s pace.
There was also bad news for third-place Borussia Moenchengladbach, beaten at home 3-1 after leading Eintracht Frankfurt. The only member of the leading group to match Bayern with a victory was fourth-place Bayer Leverkusen, but they are 10 points adrift in fourth place.
Borussia Dortmund saw a two-goal lead disappear in a 2-2 draw at Paderborn and to add to BvB’s continuing league woes they appeared have a perfectly good Kevin Grosskreutz goal annulled for a dubious offside call.
They also lost the services of standout midfielder Marco Reus, who was carried off with with an apparent ankle injury in a challenge with Marvin Bakalorz midway through the half. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury, but Reus missed the World Cup with ankle woes and has been dogged by injury this season, as well.
Playing for the first time without injured captain and midfield leader Philipp Lahm, Bayern dominated from the start in front of the home fans, leading 2-0 at the interval. There was a minor blip in the second half when Hoffenheim managed some threats, but the forward march of Pep Guardiola’s men shows every sign of shaking off key injuries and not missing a step.
Oliver Baumann just managed to do enough to deny Thomas Mueller a wide-open chance in the 16th minute but had no answer — what goalkeeper would have? — when Mario Goetze unleased a thunderbolt from 26 yards out that smacked into the back of the net at the top right corner to start Bayern on the way.
Goetze shot just wide of the near post after a Franck Ribery run produced the chance in the 33rd minute before Robert Lewandowski gave Bayern a deserved 2-0 halftime lead when he was alone at the far post to head in a cross from Arjen Robben. Mueller had started that one with his cross from the left that Robben kept alive before finding the Polish striker in plenty of space to nod past the helpless Baumann.
Hoffenheim’s best spell came in the middle of the second half, Kevin Volland denied a good chance, then Manuel Neuer producing a remarkable save to beat Adam Szalai, who was completely alone five yards from goal.
Robben restored Bayern’s balance and put the game out of reach when he completed a fine 1-2 move with Lewandowski eight minutes from time. Sebastian Rode added the fourth with two minutes left, his first Bundesliga goal.
Schalke slowed down Wolfsburg, which came to Gelsenkirchen unbeaten in its last six matches in all competitions. The only team which has looked capable of challenging Bayern fell behind 3-0 then fought back gamely but could not extend their winning run.
Marcel N’Djeng’s free kick deflected off the chest of Anthony Ujah five minutes from the finish to give Hertha Berlin a 2-1 victory over Cologne in the night match. Ujah had scored a second half equalizer before accidentally wrong-footing keeper Timo Horn for the decisive goal.
Roy Beerens, with a fine individual move into the box, put the visitors ahead in the 28th minute, but Ujah got completely clear on pass from Yuya Osako to score in the 58th.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (twice) and Christian Fuchs had Roberto DiMatteo’s home side three goals up in 25 minutes with Marco Hoeger and Kevin-Prince Boateng both providing quality passes to set up Choupo-Moting’s pair. Fuchs’ goal came off a wide right free kick that was misplayed at the far post by a confused Wolfsburg defense.
Ivica Olic gave Wolfsburg a lifeline in the 37th minute when he was in the right spot to turn in an Ivan Perisic cross after Kevin DeBruyne had started things with a precise pass to find Perisic on the left. When Nicklas Bendtner scored a second in the 74th minute there was time for Wolfsburg to come all the way back, but DiMatteo’s team held on to maintain its perfect record at home since he took charge.
Dortmund, which had snapped a six-match winless streak in the final match before the international break, served notice that perhaps their story is about to take a turn for the better only for their early advantage to slip away.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, alone to meet an Erik Durm cross had BvB on top in the 12th minute, then it was Aubameyang, with a neat outside of the foot pass to spring Marco Reus in first half stoppage time. Reus accepted the ball with aplomb and finished well.
Paderborn started on the road back in the 60th minute when Lukas Rupp finished off a move begun by Marvin Bakarlorz, before the game turned on its head in the final 10 minutes. First, Grosskreutz appeared to have given Dortmund a 3-1 lead but his goal was diallowed in the 80th minute. Immediately after that decision, Paderborn won a corner and Mahir Saglik, only on the field a minute, headed past Roman Weidenfeller from the service.
Gladbach needed only six minutes to get on top, Havard Nordtveit’s hard shot from the top of the box taking a deflection off Marco Russ on the way to the back of the Eintracht Frankfurt net but the rest of the afternoon turned completely sour for the hosts.
Marc Stendera picked the far right corner in the 54th minute after Haris Seferovic mesmerized the Gladbach defense with a run along the 18, then Alexander Meier had Eintracht in front three minutes later. A dreadful giveaway by keeper Yann Sommer finished off any Gladbach, Takashi Inui accepting the gift in the 74th minute.
Bayer Leverkusen didn’t get started until after the interval, but a quick goal from Stefan Kiessling got them on top and further strikes from Heung-Min Son and Karim Bellarabi made the match safe even though Ceyhun Gulselam pulled one back for Hannover on the hour mark.
Mainz and Freiburg traded goals in a four-minute first half span, the home team on top through Junior Diaz before Jonathan Schmid’s far post header in the 31st minute made it 1-1. Admir Mehmedi headed the visitors in the front in the 58th minute, but Stefan Bell snapped home an equalizer for Mainz with a minute of normal time remaining.