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10-man Bayern edges Schalke 2-1

10-man Bayern edges Schalke 2-1

Bayern Munich scored twice inside two minutes and hung on with 10 men to beat Schalke 2-1 and return to the top of the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Franck Ribery and Thomas Mueller struck in the 25th and 26th minutes for Bayern, before striker Kevin Kuranyi cut the deficit in the 31st.
Hamit Altintop was sent off the 41st but Bayern defended stoutly in the second half to secure a one-point lead over Schalke in the standings. Schalke also finished with 10 men after defender Marcelo Bordon was red-carded in injury time.
"It was a very important victory, we had to win this game," Bayern captain Mark van Bommel said. "If we had lost, it would have been very difficult to recover before the end of the season."
Schalke, which has not won the championship in 52 years, would have opened up a five-point lead over Bayern with a victory. Instead, Bayern now has 59 points and Schalke 58, with five matches remaining.
In other games involving top teams, fourth-place Borussia Dortmund beat Werder Bremen 2-1 to move within one point of Bayer Leverkusen, which lost 3-2 at Eintracht Frankfurt after being reduced to 10 men.
Also, Freiburg drew 1-1 with Bochum, Stuttgart rallied to defeat Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-1 and Nuremberg beat Mainz 2-0.
Bayern's win followed up a 1-0 victory over Schalke in the semifinals of the German Cup less that two weeks ago, although the scorer of that winner, Arjen Robben, stayed home to nurse a calf injury.
Ribery drilled in a right-foot volley from 14 meters (yards) after being set up by Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mueller doubled the lead after Altintop had dispossessed Rafinha in the 26th minute and passed to Ivica Olic, who fed Mueller.
Rafinha made up for his mistake by providing the perfect cross for Kuranyi's header in the 31st.
Altintop was sent off after earning his second booking for a challenge on Rafinha. Altintop's first caution had come five minutes earlier for shoving the linesman.
Bayern's central defender Daniel van Buyten had to leave the game with a left-thigh injury in the first half and was replaced by Martin Demichelis.
Although Bayern was a man down, coach Louis van Gaal substituted both Ribery and Olic during the second half, with Wednesday's Champions League second-leg quarterfinal looming at Manchester United, where Bayern is defending a 2-1 lead from the first leg.
Bayern allowed Schalke to have more possession in the second half but Felix Magath's team could not find a way through Bayern's crowded defense.
"We didn't allow many chances, not one in the second half and we scored two nice goals so I am very pleased," said Van Gaal, whose team ended a two-game losing streak in the Bundesliga.
"We closed the space, we knew Schalke has problems creating up front. We are still in three competitions and that's incredible. We won at our rival's stadium. But we have to play in Manchester on Wednesday while Schalke can rest," Van Gaal said.
Magath all but wrote off his team's chances of clinching the title after Saturday's defeat.
"We don't have the pressure any more of being the leaders and none of my players now need to talk about the title after a game like today," Magath said.
Kuranyi said Schalke lost a "very important game."
"We made too many mistakes, we did not play well at all. We still have a lot to learn," said Kuranyi, who now has 18 goals this season and leads the scorers' list with Stefan Kiessling of Leverkusen.
Kiessling notched two in Frankfurt but it wasn't enough after the dismissal of Daniel Schwaab in the 49th minute, three minutes after the striker had given Leverkusen a 2-1 lead.
Selim Teber converted a penalty in the 28th for Frankfurt, before Kiessling's two goals. But Caio scored with a spectacular shot from more than 30 meters (yards) out that struck the underside of the crossbar and flew into the net. Maik Franz then sealed Leverkusen's third straight defeat with an overhead kick from close range.
Dortmund moved on to 52 points, one behind Leverkusen, by beating Werder Bremen with headers from Kevin Grosskreutz and Neven Subotic, while Aaron Hunt scored for Werder. Werder remained fifth with 48 points.


Updated : 2021-06-18 07:54 GMT+08:00