The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Bayern routs Frankfurt 5-0 to maintain Bundesliga advantage, Nuremburg escapes relegation zone
BERLIN - Bayern Munich defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 5-0 to restore its 13-point advantage in the Bundesliga on Sunday, while Nuremberg climbed out of the relegation zone by beating Hertha Berlin.
Mario Goetze opened the scoring after 11 minutes of concerted pressure from Bayern, and Franck Ribery, back in the starting lineup after recovering from his back problems, made it 2-0 a minute before halftime.
Bayern began the second half as it ended the first, with Frankfurt keeper Kevin Trapp deflecting Goetze's effort onto the post, then denying Rafinha, before Ribery struck the crossbar with a delicate chip.
Goetze pulled the ball back for Arjen Robben to score off the underside of the crossbar in the 67th, two minutes after the Dutchman came on as a substitute, and Dante made it 4-0 with a header two minutes after that.
It got worse for the visitors when Trapp hobbled off with a knee injury. Replacement goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald came on for his Bundesliga debut but was helpless to prevent Mandzukic scoring in the 89th, when the Croatian beat a defender before curling his effort inside the far post.
"We talked before the game of a miracle, but when Bayern are like that you can't do anything. I think even Barcelona would have lost here today," Frankfurt midfielder Pirmin Schwegler said.
Bayern stretched its record league unbeaten run to 44 games and the win was its 17th from 19 games this season. The other two games were draws.
"Everyone always wants to beat the top team in the league. We have to stay alert," Robben said.
Frankfurt coach Armin Veh left out regulars Sebastian Rode and Carlos Zambrano because they were in danger of suspension for a fifth yellow card.
"We need them more against (next opponent Eintracht) Braunschweig," Veh said.
Earlier, Nuremberg claimed only its second win of the season, its second in succession, by winning 3-1 in Berlin.
It started badly for Gertjan Verbeek's side when a poorly defended corner allowed Hertha striker Adrian Ramos to score with a header at the near post in the fourth minute.
The Colombian missed two good chances to score again before Markus Feulner equalized with a 16-meter shot in the 20th after a botched clearance, and Josip Drmic scored from a rebound in the 68th, after Daniel Ginczek struck the post.
Hertha had a goal ruled out in the 90th minute when it might have had a penalty after Ondrej Petrak used his hand to stop Ronny's long-distance effort on the line.
Ramos tucked the rebound away but was judged offside for Ronny's initial shot, while Petrak escaped the red card.
"It was the right decision from the referee, luckily for us," said Drmic, who made sure of the victory in a frenetic finale with a penalty after he was fouled by Marcel Ndjeng four minutes into injury time.
"We knew they were a good team," Hertha general manager Michael Preetz said. "They didn't get the results they deserved in the opening half of the season. They played with courage. Still, I found we created holes in their defence that we should have made more use of, particularly in the first half."
Nuremberg coach Verbeek was relieved the referee's decision went his side's way in the final minute.
"He could have decided differently," the Dutchman said. "We had a lot of bad luck in the first half of the season. Today it was the other way around."
Nuremberg climbed above Freiburg on goal difference and pushed Hamburger SV into a direct relegation place.
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