Tue, Apr 23, 2013 - Page 18 News List

Furth breathe life into survival hopes with win


Bundesliga bottom side SpVgg Greuther Furth breathed some hope into their survival chances with a 1-0 win at Nuremberg in the Franconia derby on Sunday, their first since February’s shock win at Schalke 04.

Defender Johannes Geis hit the first-half winner as Furth enjoyed only their third win of the season — all of which have been away.

With four games left, they must still close the nine-point gap to reach 16th place, which carries a promotion/relegation play-off place, but have their work cut out, facing SC Freiburg, VfB Stuttgart and Hannover 96 in succession.

Stuttgart earlier enjoyed their second home victory over Freiburg inside a week with a 2-1 Bundesliga win, just four days after beating the same opponents by the same margin to reach the German Cup final.

After Stuttgart booked their cup final berth against Bayern Munich at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium on June 1, with Martin Harnik scoring the first-half winner on Wednesday, the Austrian set up both of Sunday’s goals.

The right-winger fired in his cross for Christian Gentner to head home on 33 minutes, then set up striker Vedad Ibisevic to put Stuttgart 2-0 up at the break.

Croatia midfielder Ivan Santini grabbed Freiburg’s consolation two minutes from time.

On Saturday, Bayern Munich warmed-up for tonight’s Champions League semi-final, first-leg at home to Barcelona by claiming three Bundesliga records in a 6-1 rout at Hannover.

Victory gave Bayern a Bundesliga-record 26th victory this season, a record ninth consecutive away win, while they also equaled Borussia Dortmund’s previous best of 81 points in a single season.

Only Hannover midfielder Andre Hoffmann’s later header denied Bayern a record 20th-clean sheet, before striker Claudio Pizarro staked a claim to start against Barcelona with his second goal, having already created two.

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes opted to rest several stars and played a 4-4-2 formation, a break from Bayern’s usual 4-2-3-1, using two strikers, with Mario Gomez and Pizarro, 34, up front.

It paid off as both scored two goals after Hannover midfielder Lars Stindl scored an early own-goal, then Bayern’s stand-in captain Franck Ribery, taking over from Philipp Lahm, added a second on 22 minutes.

Having been confirmed Bundesliga champions two weeks ago, Bayern remain 20 points clear in the league with four games left.

Dortmund, who host Real Madrid in the other Champions League semi-final, first leg tomorrow, needed just 32 seconds to take the lead as they enjoyed a 2-0 win at home to FSV Mainz 05.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen midfielder Andre Schuerrle, who is widely being tipped to join Chelsea next season, scored twice as his side hammered relegation-threatened TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 5-0.

Striker Stefan Kiessling also netted twice as Leverkusen maintained their grip on third place, which means an automatic Champions League spot next season, as Schalke lost 1-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt.

Hamburg SV captain Rafael van der Vaart scored both goals in their 2-1 win at home to Fortuna Duesseldorf.

In Saturday’s late match, VfL Wolfsburg took a huge step closer to safety with a 3-0 win at fellow strugglers Werder Bremen.

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