Tue, Dec 16, 2014 - Page 18 News List

High-flying Bayern Munich to chase more records

AFP, BERLIN

Bayern Munich’s Mehdi Benatia, left, and Arjen Robben celebrate after scoring against Augsburg in their Bundesliga match at the SGL Arena in Augsburg, Germany, on Sunday.

Photo: AFP

Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich are in “another league” according to their rivals, with more Bundesliga records set to tumble in this week’s final two rounds of matches for this year.

Bayern host strugglers SC Freiburg today enjoying a nine-point gap at the top of the table, then travel to face midtable FSV Mainz 05 on Friday in their final match before the Bundesliga breaks for the winter.

Freiburg are winless in their past four league games and have never won in Munich after 13 defeats and two draws, having been thrashed 4-0 on their last visit to the Allianz-Arena in February.

“Now we must continue calmly into the next two games to try and take the points up for grabs,” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said.

Having conceded just three goals in 15 league games this season, Guardiola’s team are on course to break the record they hold of seven goals conceded for the first half of a season, set by VfB Stuttgart in 2003-2004 and matched by the Bayern side of 2012-2013.

Having conceded just one away goal so far, they are also on course to equal their own league record for the first half of the season, also set in 2012-2013, at Mainz on Friday.

It comes less than two years after Bayern broke or equaled 25 records when they won the treble of the Bundesliga, the DFB Pokal and the UEFA Champions League titles in 2012-2013 — the first German team to achieve the feat.

“Bayern Munich are in a different league, I think we can all agree on that,” Augsburg coach Markus Weinzierl said after his side were thrashed 4-0 at home by Bayern on Saturday. “They have so much quality, so their win was fully deserved.”

Arjen Robben, who scored twice in the romp at third-placed Augsburg to leave him with eight goals in 11 league games, said the champions are relishing the forthcoming winter break to recharge their batteries.

“We now have to survive the last two games and then we’ll finally get a break,” the Dutch winger said.

Long-term injuries to captain Philipp Lahm, David Alaba, Javi Martinez, Thiago Alcantara and Holger Badstuber have barely bothered Guardiola’s star-studded squad.

Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger played 72 minutes of the Augsburg win and is reaching full fitness after a knee injury.

Tomorrow, second-placed VfL Wolfsburg travel to face Borussia Dortmund, with last season’s runners-up having dropped back into the relegation places again after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Hertha BSC.

Despite qualifying for the Champions League’s round-of-16 as group winners, Dortmund started the month bottom of the league and are now 16th, with the league’s worst record of nine defeats in 15 matches.

Coach Juergen Klopp says the 2012-2013 Champions League finalists are an “awesome team with awesome problems.”

Klopp is without both attacking midfielders Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who tore his right thigh in Berlin, and Germany winger Marco Reus, who has been ruled out until next year with torn ankle ligaments.

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