Berlin, April 10 (IANS) Bayern Munich maintained their advantage atop the standings after beating Stuttgart 3-1, while Wolfsburg gave away a 1-0 lead to share the spoils with Mainz at the 29th round in Bundesliga.
Pep Guardiola’s men took another step towards their title defence after reaping the 24th victory of the football season on Saturday following a 3-1 win at Stuttgart, reports Xinhua.
The German giants took the reins from the kick-off yet Stuttgart created the first threating chance as Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer had to defuse Daniel Didavi’s backheel effort.
However, it were the visitors who grabbed the lead thanks to Stuttgart’s Georg Niedermeier, who cleared Franck Ribery’s square pass into his own goal with 31 minutes played.
Bayern piled on the pressure after the restart to double the lead with 52 minutes into the game when David Alaba slotted home from sharp angle into the near post corner. Nevertheless, Stuttgart refused to give up as Daniel Didavi reduced the arrears artistically while lying on the pitch at the 63rd minute.
The hosts gained momentum and pressed for the leveller but it were the “Bavarians” who made the game safe through substitute Douglas Costa, who unleashed a hammer to beat Przemyslaw Tyton in the dying minutes of the encounter.
With the result, Bayern established an eight-point advantage atop the standings whereas Stuttgart extended their winless run to four games, to remain on the 12th place.
Wolfsburg suffered a heavy setback in their hunt for a place in Europe’s top competitions as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Mainz.
After a goalless first half, the “Wolves” broke the deadlock by courtesy of Andre Schuerrle, who made use of Bruno Henrique’s buildup work to overcome Mainz goalie Loris Karius with a lob in the 53rd minute.
Mainz almost responded with the next chance but Wolfsburg keeper Koen Casteels denied Yunus Malli from very close range. However, Mainz efforts paid off moments later as substitute Jairo shrugged off Wolfsburg defender Christian Traesch to restore parity in the 66th minute.
The “Wolves” had to complete the game with ten men as Dante was sent off for his second bookable offence in the closing period.
With the sixth draw of the season, Mainz remain in the top six meanwhile eighth-placed Wolfsburg stay six-points adrift of the play-off spots.
Elsewhere, newly promoted Darmstadt returned to winning ways after edging Hamburg 2-1. Borussia Monchengladbach missed the chance to put pressure on third-placed Berlin as the “Foals” lost 0-1 to newly promoted Ingolstadt.
Frankfurt suffered a blow in the relegation battle as Hoffenheim secured a 2-0 victory, and Augsburg eased their relegation worries with 2-1 comeback win over Werder Bremen.