Mon, Mar 14, 2011 - Page 19 News List

Robben scores hat-trick as Bayern smash losing streak

AFP, BERLIN

Dutch winger Arjen Robben netted a hat-trick as Bayern Munich smashed their losing streak with a 6-0 rout of Hamburg on Saturday, while leaders Borussia Dortmund were beaten 1-0 at Hoffenheim.

After Bayern boss Louis van Gaal was told last Monday that his contract would be terminated at the end of the season — a year earlier than planned — Bayern secured their biggest win of the season following three straight defeats.

Bayern started strongly at Munich’s Allianz Arena and hit the woodwork three times in the first half, before Robben netted his first goal just before the break.

He then curled in a direct free-kick on 47 minutes and completed his hat-trick eight minutes later after French winger Franck Ribery tore through the Hamburg defense and squared to the Dutchman, who rifled home.

Not to be outdone, Ribery then scored his first goal since December when he outpaced the Hamburg defense and chipped home on 64 minutes.

Germany midfielder Thomas Mueller scored the fifth with 10 minutes remaining after a great pass from Turkey’s Hamit Altintop split the Hamburg defense.

To complete the humiliation, Ribery’s low cross deflected in off the legs of Hamburg captain Heiko Westermann in the 85th minute.

The goal was later awarded to Ribery and the win left Bayern fourth in the table.

On Saturday night, Bremen pulled further away from the relegation zone after a 1-1 draw over bottom side Borussia -Moenchengladbach as Brazil defender Dante scored a 92nd-minute equalizer for ’Gladbach.

The league’s top side Dortmund were beaten for only the third time this season through a second-half goal from Hoffenheim striker Vedad Ibisevic.

With second-place Bayer Leverkusen at Mainz yesterday, Dortmund keep their 12-point lead at the top, while defending champions Bayern are still 16 points off the pace despite their win in Munich.

Schalke, who booked their place in the Champions League quarter-finals in mid-week, beat Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 to ease the pressure on coach Felix Magath after last week’s reports he is set to be fired.

Midtable Nuremberg picked up their sixth win in seven games with a 2-1 win at Wolfburg, which dropped Wolves into the relegation zone, while Kaiserslautern won 2-1 at home to Freiburg to escape the bottom three.

Cologne picked up their sixth straight league win at home with a 4-0 victory over Hannover on Friday night.

LIGUE 1

AFP, PARIS

Lyon prepared for their Champions League assignment at Real Madrid in ideal fashion with a 2-0 win at Sochaux on Saturday that lifted them to within a point of Ligue 1 leaders Lille.

Claude Puel’s side will take a 1-1 scoreline to Madrid in the second leg of their last 16 tie on Wednesday after condemning Sochaux to only their third home defeat of the campaign.

Elsewhere, an 80th-minute strike by Remy Cabella — his first in Ligue 1 — earned bottom club Arles-Avignon a 3-3 draw at home to Lorient in an end-to-end game at Avignon’s Parc des Sports.

Saint-Etienne, league leaders at the end of September, arrested a dismal run of four consecutive defeats with a 2-0 win at home to Brest.

Les Verts went ahead in the 35th minute courtesy of a Bakary Sako penalty and Dimitri Payet ended a wait of almost five months for a goal by firing home from 25m in the closing stages.

Nancy eased their relegation fears with a 2-0 victory over Caen that sent them six points clear of the relegation places and Nice extended their unbeaten run to four matches by defeating Auxerre 1-0.

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