German league leaders Dortmund picked up their seventh-straight win on Saturday with a 2-0 victory over Bremen, while Bayern Munich were boosted by midfield star Bastian Schweinsteiger committing to the club until 2016. A superbly struck free-kick after nine minutes by Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin put the leaders ahead before Poland striker Robert Lewandowski netted in the 70th minute as Dortmund took all three points.
It was their 14th win from 16 games with their only defeat coming on the first day of the season back in August.
“We started very well, but after Bremen played well,” said Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp. “That was really hard work. Overall, we deserved the win.”
The result leaves Dortmund 11 points clear of second-placed Leverkusen, but Mainz could close the gap back to 10 if they beat Schalke yesterday. Defending champions Bayern remain 17 points behind the leaders, but they were buoyed by Schweinsteiger’s announcement of his new deal which followed their 3-0 win over 10-man St Pauli.
With Schweinsteiger’s contract set to expire in 2012, the 26-year-old has signed a four-year extension and looks set to end his career in Munich, dealing a blow to a host of reported suitors including Real Madrid.
“I am a coach with long-term goals,” said Bayern coach Louis van Gaal, who guided Bayern to the German double and Champions League final last season.
“So the signing of Bastian Schweinsteiger was important. It is a very good sign when world-class players stay with Bayern,” he said.
Bayern sealed victory when France midfielder Franck Ribery rounded St Pauli’s reserve goalkeeper Mathias Hain to score in the 79th minute.
Bayern took the lead in the first half when Turkey midfielder Hamit Altintop scored an impressive individual goal.
Germany defender Philipp Lahm then netted a spot-kick after St Pauli goalkeeper Thomas Kessler was sent off on 68 minutes for fouling Thomas Mueller.
Ribery proved his ankle injury is behind him when he wrapped up the win with a well-taken solo effort.
Leverkusen are second after they won 4-2 at Hamburg whose coach Armin Veh is in increasing danger of losing his job.
Two goals by Brazil midfielder Renato Augusto did the damage as Jupp Heynckes side picked up their third straight win as Mainz drop to fourth.
Teenage midfielder Christian Clemens scored his first Bundesliga goal when he netted in the 56th minute as Cologne picked up a rare win with a 1-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt.
Hoffenheim were held to a 1-1 draw by Nuremberg while Wolfsburg had a goalless draw at Kaiserslautern.