Bayern Munich reclaim top spot of German Bundesliga

Posted on by SoccerPunter

Bayern Munich shot back to the top of the German Bundesliga on Saturday with an impressive 4-1 win over 10-man Werder Bremen and replaced defending champions Dortmund who were held 1-1 at Monchengladbach.

France star Franck Ribery scored two superb individual goals, while Dutch winger Arjen Robben converted two penalties as Munich opened a one-point lead at the top.

To compound Bremen’s misery, midfielder Aaron Hunt was sent off 10 minutes from time after being shown a straight red card following a foul on Germany star Toni Kroos.

“For Bayern, it was of paramount importance that we got back to the top of the Bundesliga table,” said coach Jupp Heynckes, whose side were humbled 3-2 at strugglers Mainz last Sunday. “My team produced a good response after the lacklustre defeat at Mainz. We saw there is harmony again in the team and we have the right balance once more between defence and attack.

“Everyone worked hard to get back when they needed to. In the first half, we didn’t play with the same composure we showed in the first third of the season or in the Champions League, but Mainz has cost us a lot of confidence.”

Ribery put Bayern ahead in the 22nd minute, but the guests got back on level terms just after the break when Sweden striker Markus Rosenberg turned Bayern defender Holger Badstuber inside out, before firing past goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

Robben converted the first of his two penalties on 69 minutes when Bayern’s Thomas Mueller was fouled in the penalty area and Ribery then added his second on 77 minutes when he drew Mielitz and then fired into an empty net.

Hunt then saw red before Greek defender Sokratis held back Ribery in the penalty area for Robben to convert his second spot kick to make it 4-1 at the end.

Victory gave the hosts their first win in three league games and allows them to avoid their first hat-trick of Bundesliga defeats in nearly 14 years, while Werder remain fourth.

“We weren’t in the game,” admitted Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf.

Dortmund drop to second after they were held to a 1-1 draw at third-placed ‘Gladbach.

“That was an intensive game,” said ‘Gladbach coach Lucien Favre.

“Dortmund were the better team in the first half, but we managed to put them under pressure after the break and I am happy with the draw.”

The visitors went ahead when Poland striker Robert Lewandowski rose highest to head home a corner on 40 minutes for his 10th league goal of the season.

The hosts drew level on 72 minutes when ex-Germany striker Mike Hanke scored his third goal in two games, but the draw leaves both teams level on 30 points, one behind Bayern.

Japan star Makoto Hasebe was sent off for Wolfsburg in their 2-2 draw at home to Mainz as Wolves threw away a 2-0 lead.

The Japanese midfielder earned his second yellow card of the game, and was shown red, after holding Mainz’s Swiss striker Mario Gavranovic in the game’s dying stages. The draw leaves Wolfsburg 11th, one place above Mainz.

A header from Senegal striker Papiss Cisse gave Freiburg a point at home to Hanover in a 1-1 draw, while Kaiserslautern were held 1-1 at home to Hertha Berlin.

On Friday, Leverkusen went sixth in the league with a 2-0 win at home to Hoffenheim.

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