Bayern hold on against Leverkusen, Schalke and Wolfsburg win | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 07.12.2014
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Bayern hold on against Leverkusen, Schalke and Wolfsburg win

Bayern Munich held on to beat Leverkusen, Stuttgart were left nursing some serious wounds after Schalke romped to victory. Augsburg continue to toy with a spot in the Champions League and Wolfsburg won in Hannover.

Bayern Munich restored their seven-point advantage at the top of the Bundesliga after beating Bayer Leverkusen in Saturday's late match.

Franck Ribery scored his 100th competitive goal for the German champions, lashing home in the 50th minute to break the deadlock.

Leverkusen battled competitively in the first 45 minutes and their intensive pressing strategy disrupted Bayern's possession-oriented game. Indeed, on the counterattack, the visitors were the stronger side and created a handful of promising situations.

After two minutes, a mistake by Xabi Alonso allowed Karim Bellarabi to roam in on goal, but his clipped finish was cleared off the line by Juan Bernat. Heung-Min Son had a similarly clear sight at goal just a few minutes later.

But without netting in the first-half, Leverkusen were always at risk after half-time. Within five minutes, goalie Bernd Leno had to pick the ball out of the net, as French winger Ribery sweetly struck a bouncing ball from close range.

Thereafter, Bayern were in complete control. Pep Guardiola's men should have added a second through Robert Lewandowski before the hour mark, but the home side seemed more content with taking the sting out of the game rather than going for the second goal.

Leverkusen's energy tanks emptied in the final minutes, and Bellarabi was lucky not to see red from a reckless challenge.

The 1-0 win means Bayern stay seven points ahead of Wolfsburg at the top of the table, while Roger Schmidt's side hang on to a Champions League position - tied in fourth with Schalke.

Schalke slam Stuttgart

Bundesliga Stuttgart vs Schalke 06.12.2014

Choupo-Moting scored his first Bundesliga hat-trick

A Stuttgart upset at home over Schalke was a popular prediction ahead of this weekend's action. The Southern Germans were coming off a win in Freiburg and had taken a big step back on track under new coach Huub Stevens, formerly of Schalke. Why shouldn't the Dutchman be able to pull off another victory against his old club?

That thinking was utterly mistaken, as the Royal Blues jumped all over their hapless hosts from the opening whistle, taking the lead in the very first minute on a goal by Eric-Maxim Choupo-Mouting.

Before the ten-minute mark had elapsed Schalke had doubled their advantage. Diminutive youngster Max Meyer found the range with a rare header to make it 2-0. And Choupo-Moting added another goal ten minutes later, converting an assist by an excellent Tranquillo Barnetta who managed to rack up three assists on the day.

In the second half, Schalke were content to run out the match, but that didn't stop Choupo-Moting from completing his hat trick on the hour mark to add a fourth to the scoreline.

"Relegation fights are crap," dejected Stuttgart keeper Sven Ullreich told reporters. "They're no fun."

The result put the wind in Schalke's sails ahead of their crucial Champions League match against Maribor on Wednesday. The Royal Blues must win to progress into the knock-out round. Meanwhile, Stuttgart remain dead last in the table with lots to mull over for Stevens and his players.

Wolves outlast Hannover

Wolfsburg vs Hannover

Wolfsburg eventually freed themselves from HAnover

Second-placed Wolfsburg had no doubt expected a tough battle away to local rivals Hannover - but the Wolves managed to take an early lead.

Kevin de Bruyne finished off a headed pass by Ivan Persisic in the fourth minute after two Hannover defenders got in one another's way. But Hannover fought their way back into the match and got an equalizer just before half-time: Joselu heading in a waist-high cross by Frenchman Jimmy Briand.

The second half was similarly even, but Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking demonstrated his nose for substitutions before the 67th minute when he sent on striker Bas Dost for Ivica Olic.

Only two minutes later, the hulking Dutchman scored with his head - the assist also came from Perisic. And the Croat was at it again five minutes from time, finding Maximilian Arnold, also a substitute, who completed the 3-1 scoreline.

"It was high time I scored again," said Dost after the match. "I don't get many minutes, but when I get to play, I always give my all."

With that, the Wolves underscored their claim to be the second-best team in the league.

Augsburg keep dream alive with late win

Bundesliga Köln vs Augsburg Ujah 06.12.2014

The men in green just can't be stopped

In other action, this year's huge surprise Augsburg moved up to an astonishing third place in the standings with a last-gasp 2-1 win in Cologne. Cologne took the lead on 13 minutes with a goal by Anthony Ujah, but struggled to find a killer second goal.

Nikola Djurdjic leveled things on the hour mark for the visitors. The match looked headed for a draw until Alexander Esswein grabbed the game-winner in extra time. Were the season to end today, Augsburg - one of the Bundesliga clubs operating on the smallest budget - would claim a direct spot in the Champions League.

Mönchengladbach kept their drive for a spot in that same competition going with a relatively comfortable 3-2 home win over Hertha Berlin.

After the teams traded goals in the first half, former Berlin star Raffael and Thorgan Hazard put the Foals in front. Salomon Kalou scored an injury-time penalty to provide the illusion of a close match.

In Paderborn, the hosts deserved more than a draw against struggling Freiburg, but had to settle for a 1-1 scoreline. Czech midfielder Vladimir Darida opened the scoring from the penalty spot and Elias Kachunga equalised in the final minutes.

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