Bayern Win Big, Join Stuttering Dortmund at Bundesliga Top
Berlin (dpa) - Treble winners Bayern Munich triumphed 4-0 at Schalke on Saturday to draw level on points with Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund whose perfect start into the season ended in a 1-1 draw at Nuremberg.
Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Mandzukic headed Munich ahead within less than two minutes mid-way through the first half before Franck Ribery and substitute Claudio Pizarro sealed Bayern’s biggest ever win at Schalke.
Dortmund, who had won the first five games, led from Marcel Schmelzer’s free-kick but winless Nuremberg levelled from Per Nilsson after the break. The 2011 and 2012 champions Dortmund remained ahead of Munich because they have scored three goals more (16 to Munich’s 13), with both unbeaten sides locked on 16 points and an identical goal difference of 11. Bayer Leverkusen have 15 after winning 4-1 in Mainz.
Mid-table Schalke started determined into the duel of mid-week Champions League winners but their fate was soon sealed as Kevin-Prince Boateng did not make the difference for the hosts in the game against his half brother Jerome Boateng. Schweinsteiger headed home Arjen Robben’s corner-kick in the 21st and Mandzukic was also allowed an unmarked header a minute later off David Alaba’s cross.
Ribery and Pizarro were on target in the last 15 minutes for Pep Guardiola’s side who stretched their unbeaten league run to 31 games. Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer has not let in a goal in now five winning games against his former club in which Munich have scored 14. ”We are getting better with each game. We had a lot of possession and moved the ball well,” Jerome Boateng told Sky TV, adding it was “special” to play against his half brother. Kevin-Prince Boateng said: “We had our chances but made more mistakes and Bayern punish you for that.”
Dortmund’s perfect league start ended four days after a 2-1 Champions League at Napoli although they took a 37th-minute lead from Schmelzer’s cracking 25-metres free-kick. Schmelzer and Marco Reus suffered knocks and did not return for the second half as Nuremberg levelled in the 51st from Per Nilsson’s tap off a free-kick, and almost even stole an 89th-minute winner from Alexander Esswein. ”We had our chances and could have won. We tried everything and were almost punished in the last minute. So we have to be satisfied with the point,” Dortmund captain Roman Weidenfeller told Sky.
Leverkusen rebounded well from a 4-2 Champions League drubbing at Manchester United. Robbie Kruse scored twice and fed Lars Bender for the temporary 2-0. Last season’s league top scorer Stefan Kiessling got the fourth and Yunus Malli a late consolation goal for Mainz who have lost three in a row .
Elsewhere, Nils Petersen’s double lifted visiting Werder Bremen 2-0 over ailing northern German rivals SV Hamburg whose caretaker Rodolfo Cardoso achieved no turnaround in place of Thorsten Fink who had to go after a 6-2 drubbing in Dortmund. ”The team is just not in a good shape at the moment,” said Cardoso, as Hamburg slipped into the danger zone in 16th place.
Augsburg’s three-game winning streak ended with a 2-1 defeat at fourth-placed Hanover from Szabolcs Huszti’s 89th-minute penalty. Ivica Olic got a double as Wolfsburg also rallied to beat Hoffenheim 2-1 in a duel of mid-table clubs.
Borussia Moenchengladbach beat bottom club Eintracht Braunschweig 4-1 on Friday. The Sunday games are Freiburg v Hertha Berlin and VfB Stuttgart v Eintracht Frankfurt.