Bayern Munich comfortably cruised past in-form SC Freiburg, a goal in each half ensuring the Reds will take the league leadership into the winter break. It is the 18th time the record German champions have claimed the so-called ‘Autumn championship’ in the Bundesliga’s 50-year history. It was their 12th win from 14 Bundesliga outings this season andBayern remain unbeaten for over 16 years against the Breisgau side.
The Bavarians took full of advantage of Borussia Dortmund’s slip-up against Fortuna Düsseldorf the previous evening. The reigning champions could only draw, failing to apply any real pressure on Bayern’s very healthy lead at the top of the table.
Jupp Heynckes made two changes to the side that humped Hannover on Saturday. Fit-again Mario Gomez made a first start of the season in place of top goalscorer Mario Mandzukic. Swiss sensation Xherdan Shaqiri deputised for Bastian Schweinsteiger, who was sensibly rested as a booking would have meant him missing the vital clash with BVB.
You could argue this game in Breisgau was over as a contest before the twenty minute mark had elapsed. By this juncture, Bayern were already a goal up and the home side were already reduced to ten men.
The visitors silenced the home crowd going ahead on 12 minutes from the penalty spot. Franck Ribery surged into the box where Oliver Sorg was adjudged to have handled. Thomas Müller, Bayern’s designated penalty taker, dispatched the spot kick into the left hand corner with the minimum of fuss.
Referee Florian Meyer was called into further action just six minutes later when he showed a straight red card to Fallou Diagne for a foul as last man just as Shaqiri threatened to stride clear. If being a goal behind wasn’t enough of a handicap, the task in hand became insurmountable after Diagne’s dismissal. The home side battled gamely against the odds but it was a case of damage limitation against a Bayern side that never had to find another gear.
If there was any doubt as to the result, this was put to bed by substitute Anatoliy Tymoschuk with eleven minutes to play. The Ukrainian latched onto an inch-perfect ball from Bayern captain Philipp Lahm, rounded the keeper and slotted home into an empty net.
Bayern moved 10 points clear of their nearest challengers Bayer 04 Leverkusen, the only Bundesliga side to have defeated the Reds this campaign. Reigning champions Borussia Dortmund are a point further back and travel to Munich knowing only a win will do to have any hope of defending their title. Saturday evening’s clash looms large (kick-off 18:30 at the Allianz Arena) against a BVB side looking for their 5th competitive win in a row against the Bavarians. Given this statistic, would it be such a surprise if the champions BVB do pull off this feat, boosted by the return of Mats Hummels and Mario Götze?
There will be those that try to cling to the notion that this year’s Bundesliga could still be a tight-run thing. I don’t buy into that.The title race is over and has been for a long time, even if Dortmund do pull off another victory against a buoyant Bayern.
SC Freiburg – Bayern Munich 0-2 (H-T: 0-1)
SC Freiburg Baumann – Sorg, Flum, Diagne, Hedenstad – Schmid, Schuster, Makiadi (Lais 82), Caligiuri – Rosenthal (Freis 89), Kruse
Bayern Munich Neuer – Lahm, Dante, Badstuber, Alaba – Martinez, Kroos (Rafinha 75) – Müller, Shaqiri (Tymoshchuk 64), Ribery – Gomez (Pizarro 58)
Referee: Florian Meyer
Goals: 0-1 Müller (12, pen), 0-2 Tymoshchuk (79)
Red cards: Diagne (18)
Header courtesy of Reuters
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