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Football | Germany

Magical Bayern hit Bremen for six



Bayern Munich stretched their lead in the Bundesliga to 18 points with a 6-1 thrashing of Werder Bremen Saturday.

First-half goals from Arjen Robben and Javi Martinez with a header from a Robben free-kick put Bayern on the way to their sixth successive league win since the winter break.

Bremen were in further trouble after a 44th-minute red card to Sebastian Proedl for bringing down Mario Gomez on the edge of the area.

Theodor Gebre Selassie then turned the ball into his own net in the 49th minute, and Gomez netted two minutes later before a Bremen consolation from Kevin de Bruyne in the 58th - the first goal conceded by Bayern in the league this year.

Bayern completed the rout when Franck Ribery volleyed in from 10 metres with four minutes remaining, and Gomez hit his second from a Robben pass with a minute left.

Bayern now have 60 points, with champions Borussia Dortmund, who play at Borussia Moenchengladbach Sunday, on 42.

Third-placed Bayer Leverkusen, on 41 points, are also in action Sunday, at bottom side Greuther Fuerth.

Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes, celebrating his 1 000 league game as player and coach, made six changes from the side which beat Arsenal 3-1 in London in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Robben and Gomez were among the players to come in as the coach rested Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos, Mario Mandzukic, Thomas Mueller, David Alaba and Daniel van Buyten ahead of a cup match with Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday.

"In the first 20 minutes it was not too easy," Heynckes said.

"With a new team after six changes we saw we needed a bit of rhythm and a bit of time. However the players who have not had too much match practice played with a lot of assurance.

"We got the goals to go two up and the red card also played into our hands. The only thing a bit annoying was the goal conceded."

Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said: "The coach chose to rotate his squad, but as we all saw, the players who came in were focused and motivated, and there was fundamentally no difference to the performance against Arsenal.

"Our declared goal is to win the league. It's the most important trophy, and we're on the right track."

Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf could not hide his disappointment at how the game developed after a good start.

"We did many things very well. But if you let your tactical guard drop against these opponents, they'll simply exploit the gaps," he said.

"We basically did very well with 10 men until Bayern fired up their engines again at the end. We're disappointed about an unsatisfactory afternoon. We wanted to put up more resistance, but we were in no position to do so."

Hanover were also in the goals, running out 5-1 winners against sixth-placed Hamburg SV. Mame Biram Diouf's header was cancelled out by Rafael van de Vaart penalty, but Szabolcs Huszti also scored from the spot.

Didier Ya Konan volleyed a third on the stroke of halftime and doubled up with a goal from close range mid-way through the second half before Mohammed Abdellaoue struck a fifth.

Defender Joel Matip scored both goals as Schalke beat Fortuna Dusseldorf 2-1 in the late game, earning the home side only a second victory in their last 12 league matches.

Matip bundeld the ball home in the 29th minute and then turned in front of goal to strike the winner with nine minutes remaining after Axel Bellinghausen had put Dusseldorf level just before the hour.

Schalke stay ninth while Dusseldorf remain 13th.

In Augsburg, Ji Dong Won scored just before halftime and Sascha Moelders belted in a second for the home side against fellow strugglers Hoffenheim, whose stoppage-time goal from Igor de Camargo came too late.

Augsburg now move above Hoffenheim - who are next up against Bayern - in the relegation zone.

Wolfsburg had defender Alexander Madlung sent off on the half hour for a professional foul in a 1-1 draw at Mainz, while Stuttgart were held by Nuremberg, a 51st-minute goal from Ibrahima Traore cancelled out by Markus Feulner goal for the visitors.

Freiburg and Eintracht Frankfurt were goalless Friday evening in a match between the sides fifth and fourth. Schalke host Fortuna Dussedldorf in the day's later game.

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