Bayern stay seven clear as Dortmund, Leverkusen stumble

Reuters, BERLIN

Mon, Dec 23, 2013 - Page 19

Bayern Munich stayed seven points clear at the top of the Bundesliga on Saturday after title rivals Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund lost their final matches before the winter break.

Leverkusen, in second with 37 points from 17 games, went down to a 74th-minute goal on the break from Santiago Garcia as Werder Bremen won in the league for the first time since last month.

It was an even worse day for third-placed Borussia Dortmund, who slumped to their third straight home defeat as promoted Hertha BSC rallied to win 2-1.

Hertha’s Adrian Ramos slotted in a Sami Allagui pass in the 23rd to join Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski as top Bundesliga scorer on 11 goals, before the Tunisian added the second on the stroke of halftime.

Bayern are due to play their game next month after the Bundesliga takes a five-week break.

Visiting Leverkusen, who are through to the UEFA Champions League round-of-16 controlled possession against Werder, but lacked offensive spark as they slid to their second straight defeat.

Werder’s win put them 11th and gave coach Robin Dutt a break after a string of bad results.

Dortmund remained on 32 points, level with Borussia Moenchengladbach, who were due to host VfL Wolfsburg yesterday.

Hertha climbed to sixth, while Schalke 04 dropped to seventh after a goalless draw in Nuremberg.

The stalemate means second-from-last Nuremberg, who have drawn 11 of their 17 matches, are the only team in 50 years of the Bundesliga to complete the first half of a season without a victory.

Admir Mehmedi struck twice in the first half to help third-from-bottom SC Freiburg to a 2-1 win over Hannover 96, their third league victory of the campaign.

Shinji Okazaki grabbed a double for FSV Mainz 05, including a stoppage-time winner, as they triumphed 3-2 at Hamburg SV.

Bottom club Eintracht Braunschweig picked up their third win of the season, a 1-0 victory over TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.