Relentless Bayern march on, Wolfsburg drop points

Munich, Nov 8 (IANS) Front-runners Bayern Munich cruised to a 4-0 victory over Stuttgart in the southern derby as Mainz upset third placed Wolfsburg 2-0 in the 12th round of Bundesliga.

After crushing Arsenal 4-1 in the Champions League, Bayern Munich continued with their goal-fest as Josep Guardiola’s men swept Stuttgart with four first-half goals to seal the deal before the break on Saturday, reports Xinhua.

The German record champions needed only 11 minutes to open the scoring as Arjen Robben completed a counter-attack thanks to the build-up by Douglas Costa following a Stuttgart corner. Costa got his name on the scoresheet only seven minutes later as he made use of Thomas Mueller’s square pass to slot home from 17 metres.

The ‘Swabians’ were unable to put up resistance allowing the ‘Bavarians’ to triple the lead through Bundesliga top-scorer Robert Lewandowski, who tapped in Mueller’s pinpoint cross into the box (37th minute).

The hosts weren’t done with scoring as Mueller rounded off his performance with two assists and one goal to put the game beyond doubt moments later.

After the restart, Bayern retracted while Stuttgart’s consolation goal was denied by referee Bastian Dankert due to a supposed offside position by Timo Werner.

With the result, Bayern increase their advantage atop the standings while Stuttgart slump into the drop zone after suffering their eighth loss.

Third placed Wolfsburg suffered a setback in the hunt for Bayern and Dortmund as Dieter Hecking’s men lost 0-2 to Mainz.

The ‘Wolves’ were in search for their fourth win in row but things did not go as expected as Julian Draxler saw a straight card for an unintentional but heavy foul to Mainz’s Gonzalo Jara, who met Draxler’s high leg in the face with 14 minutes played.

Things went from bad to worse for the visitors as Diego Benaglio’s parry landed in the path of Pablo de Blasis, who had no problems to tap home the opener (31st). Ten-men Wolfsburg were unable to fight back thus Mainz’s Yunus Malli made the game safe by scoring his seventh goal of the season (75th).

Mainz’s fifth win move the ‘Nullfuenfer’ to ninth place while Wolfsburg stay third, five points adrift of Dortmund who step into contest on Sunday.

Cologne reaped a 2-1 victory over rivals Leverkusen at the 57th Rhine derby by courtesy of Dominic Maroh’s brace.

Cologne started aggressively and broke the deadlock with 17 minutes into the game as Marcel Risse’s free-kick crossed into the box and found Dominci Maroh. Leverkusen responded and restored parity thanks to Javier Hernandez, whose header, following a cross by Admir Mehmedi, found the back of the net (33rd).

The second half started with a blow for Leverkusen as Kyriakos Papadopoulos was sent off for a foul to Anthony Modeste (53rd). The visitors took advantage of their superior number as Dominic Maroh wrapped up his brace and the 2-1 victory for Cologne.

After suffering the second straight loss, Leverkusen slumped to eighth place as Cologne climb to seventh.

Elsewhere, Monchengladbach and Ingolstadt as well as Hoffenheim and Frankfurt shared the spoils after goalless 90 minutes and newly promoted Darmstadt held Hamburg to 1-1 draw.

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