Bundesliga matchday 18: Bayern keep pressure on Leverkusen

Leverkusen and Munich continued their dominance at the top of the Bundesliga, with both winning against potentially tricky opponents.

Bayern’s victory against Bremen was enough to see them go top for 24 hours after Schalke conceded two late goals and could only draw against Bochum. Although Bremen had lost their previous three games they are always a tough team to beat.

Bayern win sixth in a row to keep pressure on Leverkusen

Bayern against Werder is always an entertaining encounter and the latest battle was no exception. Munich could have taken an early lead when Arjen Robben missed his first golden chance of the game when he saw his shot come back off the post.

The home side took a while to get going but took the lead against the run of play. A brillant move was spectacularly finished off by Marko Marin to take a shock lead for Werder Bremen. Bayern finally got a deserved equaliser with another good move. A lovely dummy by Mario Gomez sent Thomas Muller through on goal and he calmly slotted the ball home.

Ivica Olic had a quiet opening to the game but he pounced on a cross by Philipp Lahm to give Bayern a deserved lead. They nearly added to their lead before the break when Muller was sent clean through before being taken down by Tim Wisse. The ball broke for Robben but the Dutchman couldn’t hit the target with the net empty. Wisse was perhaps lucky to escape with just a yellow card.

Robben missed another glorious chance after half time when he shot wide of the mark. Franck Ribery finally made his comeback for Bayern midway through the seond half, but didn’t look 100 percent fit as he failed to make any impact. Bremen were being dominated as their high defensive line was exposed to the pace of the Bayern attack.

There were chances at both ends but it was Bremen who made theirs count with another stunning goal. A clever through ball by Marin found Portuguese striker Hugo Almeida. His low driven shot found the bottom corner of the net, sending Bayern back to the drawing board once again.

They didn’t take long to respond as Robben finally got his goal. His free-kick deceived Tim Wiesse as it went in off the underside of the bar. Louis Van Gaal was so excited by the goal he fell flat on his back. Bremen thought they had equalised for a third time, but Marin’s goal was correctly ruled out for offside as Bayern hung on for the hard-fought win.

Leverkusen crush struggling Hoffenheim

The pressure was firmly on Leverkusen to send themselves back to the top. They took an early lead against an out of form Hoffenheim when Sami Hypia prodded the ball through Timo Hildebrand’s legs to give his team an early lead.

The home team had numerous opportunities to draw level but couldn’t take advantage of some bad Leverkusen defending. Second half goals from Toni Kroos and Tranquillo Barnetta sealed the win as Leverkusen remain unbeaten and on course for their first ever Bundesliga title.

League round-up

The race for European places continued as Borussia Dortmund narrowly defeated Hamburg. The signing of Ruud van Nistlerooy can’t come soon enough for injury-riddled Hamburg. Nelson Valdez scored the only goal for Dortmund, who in truth could have won by a bigger margin. Dortmund are only three points behind Bayern in forth spot.

Champions Wolfsburg lost against Koln with Adil Chihi sealing the win. Hertha Berlin couldn’t capitalise on last week’s victory as they stuttered to a goaless draw with Borussia Monchengladbach. FC Mainz are up to eight place aftertheir victory against Hanover. Andre Schurrle’s early goal was enough to seal three vital points as the newcomers to the league jump above the struggling Hoffenheim.

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