zondag 18 maart 2012

Bundesliga Report

Hertha Berlin 0-6 Bayern Munich
Robben nets hat-trick as Bavarians run rampant
The Dutchman led the way with three goals as the Bundesliga record champions followed up recent 7-1 and 7-0 triumphs with another dominant display

Robben: I have yet to return to my best 

Bayern Munich maintained their irresistible form as they hammered Hertha Berlin 6-0 at the Olympiastadion, and in doing so reduced their deficit to Bundesliga leaders Dortmund back to just five points. Their prolificacy saw the Bavarian giants increase their tally to 20 goals scored in the last three competitive games.

Thomas Muller opened the flodgates in under nine minutes, and Arjen Robben doubled the visitors' lead moments later. Following a foul against Muller, the Dutchman completed his double from the penalty spot, and the Bavarians were in full control with a three-goal advantage.

In the second half, Robben and Mario Gomez each scored from the spot, and Toni Kroos added another from open play to complete a comprehensive rout.

While the visitors were without doubt the better side in the opening stages, Hertha will be disappointed not to have been awarded a penalty after David Alaba made contact with Nikita Rukavytsya inside the box.

Seconds later, Franck Ribery stormed up the left flank and sent a low cross to Muller, who finished with aplomb.

The scorer turned provider shortly thereafter as he won the ball in midfield before slipping the it through to Robben, who sprinted into the box before beating Thomas Kraft with a thunderous finish.

The irresistible Muller was then felled by Christoph Janker after being released on goal, and Robben stepped up to the penalty spot to make it 3-0. The Dutchman along with Muller and Gomez, all had clear chances to score before half-time, but were unable to convert.

The hosts saw little of the ball, but were not without opportunities to pull themselves back into the game. Raffael capitalised on a weak back pass from Alaba to find a path into the box, but fired wide whent it was only 2-0. 

After Hertha went down a third goal, ex-Bayern man Christian Lell found Adrian Ramos available for a free header, but the Colombian missed the target.

Ramos again won a header on 38 minutes, and after a deflection, Toni Kroos cleared off the line. Not for lack of effort, Hertha entered the interval facing a steep uphill battle.

Bayern stormed out of the gate in the second half, and made it 5-0 within the opening moments. Substitute Alfredo Morales wrestled down Ribery to concede a penalty on 49 minutes, and Gomez finished past back-up keeper Sascha Burchert, who had replaced Kraft at half-time.

Janker's nightmarish evening continued two minutes later, as his loose touch conceded possession to Robben, who had a pass tipped away by Burchert, but straight to Kroos, who volleyed home from close range.

Morales' evening later went from bad to worse as he conceded another penalty to Ribery, after which time Robben completed his hat-trick.

Following the withdrawals of Ribery, Muller and Robben, the Bayern attack lost their bite. However, Luiz Gustavo almost got his name on the scoresheet late on after taking Kroos' clever chip off his chest. However, Burchert did well to come off his line and block the Brazilian's finish.

After a rather pedestrian closing spell, referee Tobias Welz blew the final whistle, sealing an emphatic win for Bayern, which brings Jupp Heynckes' side back to within five points of leaders Dortmund. Hertha sink to 17th and are three points away from safety.

Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Werder Bremen
Kagawa strike puts hosts eight points clear as BVB break club record for undefeated streak
The hosts were in total control and could have won by a far greater margin yet the single goal was enough to guide them to a record-breaking win on Saturday afternoon

Borussia Dortmund v SV Werder Bremen - Bundesliga, Subotic and Kagawa 

Borussia Dortmund brushed aside the challenge of Werder Bremen at Signal-Iduna-Park with a 1-0 win, creating a new club record of 20 games without defeat.

The Bundesliga leaders were far more dominant than the scoreline suggests with Roman Weidenfeller having little to do between the posts as a Shinji Kagawa strike was enough to secure victory.

Dortmund stormed into the lead after just eight minutes as they countered from a Bremen corner. A cross from the left found Ilkay Gundogan at the back post and he unselfishly squared the ball back across goal for Kagawa to knock in a simple goal on his birthday.

The hosts almost grabbed a second four minutes later as Bremen allowed Jakub Blaszczykowski space to run into on the left but his shot was deflected wide agonisingly wide of the post.

Dortmund continued to pepper Sebastian Mielitz goal with shots but the visitors managed to work Weidenfeller in a rare foray forward. With 21 minutes gone Mehmet Ekici’s shot from distance was spilled by the keeper but he managed to recover the ball as no one followed the effort in.

BVB heeded the warning and three minutes later they came close to adding to the score. Gundogan found Kagawa once again and the Japanese took one touch before firing from the edge of the box but Mielitz got down well and turned the effort onto the post.

The frame of Mielitz goal was struck once again in the 35th minute as Sebastian Kehl saw his header beat the keeper but bounce of the bar and down onto the line before being cleared away.

Dortmund continued to dominate yet the second goal remained elusive. Ten minutes after the restart Lukas Piszczek’s cross fell to Kagawa but the Japanese sliced his effort the wrong side of the post.

BVB were relentless and shortly after Piszczek surged forward from defence and fired wide, Gundogan saw his effort from 25 metres saved by Mielitz. The ball almost fell for Blaszczykowski to tap in but Lukas Schmitz was on hand to clear the danger.

Bremen rarely had an opportunity to get forward as Dortmund held on for the win that sends them provisionally eight points clear of Bayern Munich who face Hertha Berlin on Saturday evening, while Thomas Schaaf's men remain in sixth place.


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