The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Bayern grinds out 2-1 win at Hoffenheim to match Bundesliga unbeaten record, reclaim lead
BERLIN - Bayern Munich tied the Bundesliga's record unbeaten run when the league leader came from behind to beat Hoffenheim 2-1 away on Saturday.
It was Bayern's 36th consecutive game without defeat, matching Hamburger SV's 30-year-old Bundesliga record. Franck Ribery extended his personal record unbeaten run to 40 games.
The win keeps Bayern one point ahead of Borussia Dortmund, which routed Stuttgart 6-1 on Friday.
"We wanted to stay top of the table. We managed that," Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said. "And we reached a record that was thought to be for eternity. Now we'll try and build on it next week."
Ribery set up Thomas Mueller for the winner from close range in the 75th minute after Hoffenheim missed a host of chances to clear.
Hoffenheim went in front through Niklas Suele in the 34th, only for Bayern to equalize five minutes later when Ribery's free kick was deflected in by Mario Mandzukic.
"We drew on all what we could," Hoffenheim coach Markus Gisdol said. "But in the end we only gained prestige and not a point."
The home side had been threatening to take the lead but ran out of steam after Mueller scored. The Germany forward missed a good chance to score again before Bastian Schweinsteiger squandered another opportunity when he shot straight at Hoffenheim 'keeper Koen Casteels.
"It definitely wasn't our best performance but we won," Bayern coach Pep Guardiola said. "I'm satisfied."
Ten-man Freiburg won 3-0 at Nuremberg for its first victory of the season, while bottom side Eintracht Braunschweig surprised third-placed Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 at home for only its second win.
Domi Kumbela was the hero for Braunschweig, scoring from close range in the 81st to prompt wild celebrations among the promoted side's fans.
"Our fans carried us to this win," Braunschweig coach Torsten Lieberknecht said. "I shouldn't pick any player out but our goalkeeper kept us in the game."
Lars Bender was sent off for a second yellow card in injury time, his first sending off in 116 Bundesliga games and two days after the midfielder extended his Leverkusen contract.
Max Kruse scored twice as Borussia Moenchengladbach beat Hamburg 2-0 away for the side's first consecutive wins since February 2012, and Schalke defeated Hertha Berlin 2-0 away.
Schalke striker Adam Szalai opened the scoring with a header from a corner in the 26th, and Julian Draxler wrapped up the win in injury time.
"The loss feels very bad because we played a very good game over 90 minutes," Hertha coach Jos Luhukay said. "We had to score after the interval but were missing the necessary luck."
Maximilian Arnold struck late for Wolfsburg to beat Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1.
Alexander Meier might have given the home side a dream start only for Diego Benaglio to catch his attempted chip, and it quickly turned sour for Frankfurt when Anderson turned Diego's cross into his own net in the second minute.
Meier equalized with a well-struck free kick in the 35th, but Frankfurt's second half efforts proved in vain when former Frankfurt player Patrick Ochs crossed for Arnold to score in the 82nd.
"We played well for the first 25-30 minutes, then Frankfurt made it difficult for us," said Arnold, whose side climbed to fifth behind Moenchengladbach.
In Hamburg, Kruse capitalized on a short back pass from Lasse Sobiech to round the goalkeeper and score from a difficult angle in the 23rd, and Sobiech was at fault again when Raffael easily dispossessed the defender to set up Kruse's second in the 63rd.
"The win is more important than my birthday," said 'Gladbach coach Lucien Favre, who turned 56.
Rafael van der Vaart came closest for Hamburg after the break when his free kick crashed back off the crossbar.
"We lost against a good team but in my eyes we played the best game since I started here," said Hamburg coach Bert van Marwijk after his first defeat in five games. "We deserved at least a point."
Nuremberg created the better chances in the other game but found Freiburg goalkeeper Oliver Baumann in inspired form after a disastrous performance in a 3-0 defeat by Hamburg the week before.
"We had Olli Baumann, who was outstanding, and the luck that had been missing up to today," Freiburg coach Christian Streich said.
Felix Klaus put the visitors ahead in the 57th, 12 minutes before Oliver Sorg's sending off for a second yellow card.
Vladimir Darida made it 2-0 with a fine strike in the 79th and Admir Mehmedi completed the scoring two minutes from time.
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