Bayern München vs. Freiburg  4 - 2

Article

Bayern look to fix home form after Euro success

6 November 2010 09:09

BERLIN (AFP) - Having booked their Champions League Round of 16 berth, defending Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich will attempt to close the gap behind leaders Dortmund at bottom side Moenchengladbach on Saturday.

With four wins from four after Wednesday's 4-0 win at Romanian side Cluj, Bayern are top of Group E in the Champions League and are into the knock-out stages, but they are well off the pace in the German league.

Seventh in the table, they are 10 points off leaders Dortmund and face bottom side Moenchengladbach at Borussia Park.

Bayern are without several stars including playmaker Arjen Robben, who is out until Janaury with a thigh injury, and Croatian international striker Ivica Olic who will be out of action for six months with a knee injury.

Bayern coach Louis van Gaal is also missing midfielder Franck Ribery and striker Miroslav Klose who are a few weeks from match fitness, but need to work on their league position now Champions League qualification has been secured.

"The win (at Cluj) means we're through, and it's also our best ever start (in the Champions League)," said Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

"Now we can concentrate exclusively on the Bundesliga, because we want to climb the table.

"And I have hopes we'll manage that over the next few weeks."

The fixture list gives Bayern an advantage going into January's winter break as they face strugglers Nuremberg, Eintracht Frankfurt and St Pauli at home.

Only Leverkusen away on November 20 poses a significant challenge before Bayern play Stuttgart and Schalke 04 away in the run up to Christmas, both of whom have been poor this season.

Bayern's domestic problems have been reflected in front of goal: they have 11 goals from the Champions League in four games, yet only 12 from 10 German League games.

"We're defending very well and scoring goals at the other end (in the Champions League), and that's what we now have to do in the Bundesliga too," said Bayern goalkeeper Hans-Joerg Butt.

On Sunday, Dortmund's young guns are looking to consolidate their lead at the top of the Bundesliga at Hanover.

Jurgen Klopp's side have scored 23 goals in 10 games so far this season and conceded just seven with Paraguay striker Lucas Barrios leading the way with five.

Dortmund's win at second-placed Mainz last weekend left them in pole-position and Hanover need to bounce back from their 4-0 hammering at Hoffenheim last Sunday which left them sixth in the league.

After defeats to minnow Aachen in the German Cup and then Dortmund in the Bundesliga, Mainz need a win at mid-table Freiburg to get their league challenge back on track.

Mainz have still only been beaten three times this season - twice in the league and once in the cup - and under young coach Thomas Tuchel are just a point behind Dortmund, but six points clear of Hoffeheim in third.

Saturday

Hamburg v 1899 Hoffenheim

Eintracht Frankfurt v VfL Wolfsburg

Borussia M'gladbach v Bayern Munich

Freiburg v Mainz 05

Nuremburg v Cologne

Sunday

Hanover v Borussia Dortmund

Bayer Leverkusen v Kaiserslautern

VfB Stuttgart v Werder Bremen

Article

Second-half display delights Bayern´s van Gaal

30 October 2010 12:09

MUNICH, Germany (AFP) - Coach Louis van Gaal was delighted with his Bayern Munich side's second-half display as the defending champions moved up the Bundesliga table with a morale-boosting 4-2 win over Freiburg.

Friday night's win at Munich's Allianz Arena put Bayern seventh in the league, before this weekend's matches, and narrowed the gap behind leaders Mainz, who face second-placed Dortmund on Sunday.

"I?m happy with the result, but we didn?t play well in the first half," said van Gaal after his side's fourth win in ten games.

"We were far better after half-time, but we?ve conceded goals again. This group of players has played football the way Bayern Munich can - and that?s what really matters."

Both Germany star Bastian Schweinsteiger and Croatia's Danijel Pranjic created all four goals as Bayern put a poor first-half performance behind them with a strong second 45 minutes.

Defender Martin Demichelis scored the only goal of the first half before Mario Gomez on the hour, Anatoliy Timoshchuk and then Toni Kroos completed the rout with Schweinsteiger running Bayern's midfield.

"Bastian made the difference in the second half: he took over the playmaking duties, he held up the play and distributed possession. He was terrific," said van Gaal.

Having been left out of the first-team at the start of the season to make way for Germany defender Holger Badstuber, Argentina defender Demichelis said he was happy to score his first goal of the season with a 39th-minute header for Bayern.

"It was important for me to prove I?m still around," said the 29-year-old.

"Thankfully, I?ve been able to help the team with my first goal.

"A professional career has its ups and downs, and I have to learn from the situation.

"I?m glad to be at Bayern, I?ve been here for eight seasons and I love Bayern."

Freiburg coach Robin Dutt criticised his side for their defensive mistakes and admited the hosts deserved the win as second-half goals by Stefan Reisinger and an own-goal from Munich's Edson Braafheid flattered the guests.

"I?m angry about us gifting them the opener with a completely unnecessary misplaced pass in central midfield, which led to the corner and in turn to the goal," he said.

"Our attacking efforts weren?t bad, but it was never enough to win here.

"In the second half, we ended up lucky that Bayern didn?t make the most of a couple of counter-attacks.

"But at the end of the day, it was a deserved win for Bayern."

Article

Bayern on the mend with four-goal show

29 October 2010 23:09

BERLIN (AFP) - Defending German champions Bayern Munich scored a morale-boosting 4-2 win over Freiburg on Friday night after a sizzling second half brought three goals to move the Bavarians up to seventh spot.

Though foing well in the Champions League, Bayern have had a poor time of it in the league so far this term - but the three points lifted them provisionally level with sixth-placed Hamburg with 15 points after only their fourth win in 10 games.

Martin Demichelis scored the only goal of the first half to bolster Bayern's confidence before Mario Gomez on the hour, Anatoliy Timoshchuk and then Toni Kroos completed the rout - Stefan Reisinger briefly putting Freiburg back in it at 2-1.

A late own goal from Bayern defender Edson Braafheid was scant consolation for the visitors, who started off the match three points clear of their southern rivals.

On Sunday, both Bundesliga leaders Mainz - nine points clear of Bayern with a match in hand - and closest rivals Borussia Dortmund will be looking to get over German Cup disappointments when they clash with top spot up for grabs.

Mainz suffered only their second defeat of the season on Wednesday when they were shocked 2-1 at second division Alemannia Aachen in the German Cup second round, while Dortmund lost 4-2 on penalties at third-tier Kickers Offenbach.

With a two-point lead, Mainz can open up a five-point gap at the top of the table if they can beat Juergen Klopp's young guns.

Article

Dark horses Dortmund and Mainz clash for Bundesliga top spot

29 October 2010 09:09

BERLIN (AFP) - Both Bundesliga leaders Mainz and closest rivals Borussia Dortmund will be looking to get over German Cup disappointments on Sunday when they clash in the German league with top spot up for grabs.

Mainz suffered only their second defeat of the season on Wednesday when they were shocked 2-1 at second division Alemannia Aachen in the German Cup second round, while Dortmund lost 4-2 on penalties at third-tier Kickers Offenbach.

"We will learn the lessons from the defeat at Aachen and make things better at Dortmund on Sunday," vowed Mainz manager Christian Heidel.

Both sides have begun the season with a hiss and a roar and their young rising stars have played some eye-catching football.

Mainz pair Lewis Holtby and Andre Shuerrle have both played themselves onto the verge of the full Germany squad.

Likewise, Paraguayan international striker Lucas Barrios, Japan midfielder Shinji Kagawa and Germany's Kevin Grosskreutz have hit 11 goals for Dortmund.

With a two-point lead, Mainz can open up a five-point gap at the top of the table if they can beat Juergen Klopp's young guns.

On Friday, defending champions Bayern Munich, who are 12th in the table, host Freiburg, seventh, hoping to make up the 12-point gap behind Mainz after coach Louis van Gaal demanded his side take all three points.

Bayern have a habit of putting themselves under pressure and failing to deliver in the league: they have won just three of their last nine Bundesliga games, but have three wins from three in the Champions League.

"Now is the moment to start to play catch-up in the Bundesliga," said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

The players, meanwhile, have identified the Freiburg game as an opportunity to create some forward momentum.

"We have to get some wins to climb forward and we have to start against Freiburg with three points, "said goalkeeper Hans-Joerg Butt.

Van Gaal says he wants Mainz to draw against Dortmund as there is a six-point gap between second-placed Dortmund and Hanover in third and he feels three more points would make Mainz hard to catch before the winter break.

US midfielder Jermaine Jones is expected to miss Schalke's match against Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday evening after he damaged ankle ligaments.

The 28-year-old picked up the injury in his side's 1-0 German Cup win over second division FSV Frankfurt in mid-week.

A scan later revealed the midfielder, who has won two caps for the USA, has torn a ligament and damaged another.

Jones also looks set to sit out Schalke's trip to Hapoel Tel Aviv on Tuesday in the Champions League.

Schalke are 16th in the Bundesliga -- two places from bottom -- with just six points from their first nine games.

Fixtures

Friday (1830GMT):

Bayern Munich v Freiburg

Saturday (1330GMT unless otherwise stated):

Werder Bremen v Nuremberg, VfL Wolfsburg v VfB Stuttgart, Cologne v Hamburg, Kaiserslautern v Borussia Moenchengladbach, St Pauli v Eintracht Frankfurt, Schalke 04 v Bayer Leverkusen (1630GMT)

Sunday:

Mainz 05 v Borussia Dortmund (1330GMT), Hoffenheim v Hannover 96 (1530GMT)

Bundesliga table

# Team MP D P
1 34 +45 75
2 34 +20 68
3 34 +41 65
4 34 +4 60
5 34 +13 58
6 34 +2 47
7 34 -3 46
8 34 -6 45
9 34 -9 44
10 34 -15 44
11 34 +0 43
12 34 +1 42
13 34 -14 41
14 34 -6 40
15 34 -5 38
16 34 -17 36
17 34 -18 34
18 34 -33 29