Le­wandowski strikes for Bay­ern to beat Dort­mund 1-0

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY CIARAN FA­HEY

Robert Le­wandowski struck on his first re­turn to Borus­sia Dort­mund as Bay­ern Mu­nich de­feated his for­mer side 1-0 in the Bun­desliga on Satur­day.

Le­wandowski claimed the only goal in the 36th minute, head­ing the re­bound into an un­guarded net af­ter Ro­man Wei­den­feller saved Thomas Mueller’s ini­tial ef­fort. The Poland striker won the ball from Dort­mund cap­tain Mats Hum­mels to get the move un­der­way.

It was a rare chance in a frac­tious game marred by fouls, yel­low cards and bro­ken play.

“Ev­ery game is in­cred­i­bly hard and it gets more dif­fi­cult with each game. I want to congratulate my play­ers,” Pep Guardi­ola said af­ter be­com­ing the quick­est Bun­desliga coach to reach 50 wins. The Spa­niard needed 61 games, beat­ing Udo Lat­tek’s feat from 78 games.

Marco Reus had Dort­mund’s best chance on the hour but hit the side netting with only Manuel Neuer to beat, and the Bay­ern goal­keeper se­cured the vis­i­tors’ win with a fine save from Reus’ free kick in the fi­nal min­utes.

Bay­ern lined up de­fen­sively with­out the in­jured Ar­jen Robben, Franck Ribery, David Alaba and Hol­ger Bad­stu­ber. For­mer Dort­mund mid­fielder Mario Goetze only ap­peared as a sub­sti­tute, as did Bay­ern mid­fielder Thi­ago Al­can­tara, who made his come­back from a year out with se­ri­ous knee in­juries.

“Since he came from Barcelona he has only had bad luck and more bad luck and more bad luck,” the vis­i­bly emo­tional Guardi­ola said.

Philipp Lahm and Bas­tian Sch­we­in­steiger both started the same game for the first time since the World Cup fi­nal for Ger­many. Sch­we­in­steiger, in par­tic­u­lar, en­dured sev­eral rough chal­lenges, though the Bay­ern mid­fielder gave as good as he got.

Bay­ern soaked up the home pres- sure with its packed de­fense and then posed prob­lems on the break.

Thomas Mueller went close early on when he lifted the ball over Wei­den­feller, and Le­wandowski had the ball in the net af­ter stray­ing marginally off­side. Dort­mund failed to heed the warn­ing.

“It’s al­ways spe­cial to win in Dort­mund. They’re our great­est ri­val for the past few sea­sons,” Lahm said.

De­fend­ing cham­pion Bay­ern main­tained its 10-point lead with seven games re­main­ing. Dort­mund, which was bot­tom in Fe­bru­ary, is 34 points be­hind in 10th.

“We’d just 10 min­utes (of good play) in the first half, and then a sec­ond half that’s OK or good. Well, it’s not enough against Bay­ern,” Dort­mund coach Juer­gen Klopp said.

Ear­lier, Ham­burger SV moved closer to Bun­desliga rel­e­ga­tion by los­ing 4-0 at Bayer Lev­erkusen in sports direc­tor Peter Knaebel’s first game as in­terim coach.

Knaebel, who took over from the sacked Joe Zinnbauer on March 22, re­stored Rene Adler in goal, but the for­mer Ger­many No. 1 was pick­ing the ball out of his net in the sev­enth minute, when sloppy de­fend­ing al­lowed Gon­zalo Cas­tro an easy score.

Cas­tro set up Ste­fan Kiessling in the 44th, then again in the 56th af­ter more poor de­fend­ing, be­fore com­plet­ing the scor­ing on an­other coun­ter­at­tack in 63rd.

Ham­burg oc­cu­pies the rel­e­ga­tion play­off spot could be over­taken by Pader­born on Sun­day.

Two goals from Ri­cardo Ro­driguez and An­dre Schuer­rle’s first for Wolfs­burg helped their side con­sol­i­date sec­ond place with a 3-1 home win over bot­tom club Stuttgart.

Ro­driguez’s penalty in the 41st minute was can­celled out by Martin Harnik three min­utes later, but Ro­driguez’s free kick from the right evaded ev­ery­one in the 65th, and Schuer­rle sealed the re­sult with a fine fin­ish to the top cor­ner af­ter some good work from Kevin de Bruyne in the 76th. It was the Bel­gian’s 18th as­sist of the sea­son.

Third- place Borus­sia Moenchenglad­bach came from be­hind to win 4-1 at Hof­fen­heim and stay two points clear of Lev­erkusen.

Di­dier Ya Ko­nan scored a won­der­ful late goal to sal­vage a 2-2 draw for Han­nover at Ein­tra­cht Frank­furt, eas­ing the pres­sure on coach Tay­fun Korkut.

Werder Bre­men drew 0-0 with Mainz, and Mike Frantz’s 37thminute goal was enough for Freiburg to ease its rel­e­ga­tion fears with a 1-0 home win over Cologne. Freiburg moved above Han­nover on goal dif­fer­ence.

AP

Bay­ern’s Xabi Alonso, left, Dort­mund’s Neven Subotic, cen­ter, and Bay­ern’s Jerome Boateng chal­lenge for the ball dur­ing the Ger­man first di­vi­sion Bun­desliga soc­cer match be­tween Borus­sia Dort­mund and Bay­ern Mu­nich in Dort­mund, Ger­many on Satur­day, April 4.

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