Tue, Sep 20, 2011 - Page 18 News List

Petersen and Mueller fire Bayern back to the summit

AFP, BERLIN

Bayern Munich’s Jerome Boateng, left, beats Schalke 04’s Teemu Pukki to the ball in their Bundesliga match in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on Sunday.

Photo: Reuters

Bayern Munich’s 2-0 win at Schalke 04 fired the Bavarian giants back to the top of the Bundesliga on Sunday, while champions Borussia Dortmund suffered a second straight defeat as they lost 2-1 at Hannover 96.

Bayern are two points clear at the top of the table after six games and have now gone eight games without conceding a goal, thanks mainly to former Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who remains unbeaten for 748 minutes.

With Germany striker Mario Gomez out with a groin injury, new Bayern signing Nils Petersen took his chance and put his side ahead on 21 minutes after some good work by France winger Franck Ribery.

Bayern made sure of the win when Germany midfielder Thomas Mueller took advantage of some sloppy Schalke defending to score the second on 75 minutes.

“That was another strong performance from my team,” Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said. “The second half was our best 45 minutes of the season.”

As expected, former Schalke captain Neuer had a hostile reception on his first return to Gelsenkirchen with Munich since leaving die Konigsblauen.

As well as constant whistles, Schalke fans chanted “Judas” and one banner read: “We mourn M Neuer — who died between 2005-2011 — resurrected as a spineless puppet.”

“That was tasteless,” Heynckes said. “Manuel doesn’t deserve treatment like that.”

Neuer said he was not surprised by the response.

“I knew what to expect, these are emotional fans,” he said. “I had expected I might get something like this and had prepared myself for it.”

Dortmund’s poor start to the season continued as they were floored by two late goals in two minutes, with Ivory Coast striker Didier Ya Konan netting the winner to seal Hannover’s victory.

Having been beaten at home by Hertha BSC Berlin last Saturday, it was Dortmund’s third loss against two wins in six games this season, leaving Jurgen Klopp’s young team in 11th place.

Japan winger Shinji Kagawa put Dortmund 1-0 up on 63 minutes, before Hannover captain Karim Haggui crashed home his header on 87 minutes to level.

With the Dortmund defense reeling, Ya Konan fired home to give Hannover their third win of the season on 89 minutes.

In a frantic finish, Hannover’s Polish striker Artur Sobiech was shown a straight red card for tackling Dortmund’s Brazilian midfielder Antonio da Silva from behind just before the final whistle.

It was the fifth red card of the weekend to set a new Bundesliga record.

Having now lost to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, Hertha and Hannover, Klopp’s side are struggling to defend their title and are already six points off leaders Werder Bremen.

“This defeat feels nasty,” Klopp said. “From the 75th minute, we threw a good game away. We did a lot going forward, but it is our fault that we didn’t manage to get the victory. This is no false start, but we are not happy and we have too few points.”

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