Mueller sends Bayern three points clear, Dortmund go second
Bayern Munich strung three wins together for the first time since November, beating Bochum 3-0 at home on Saturday ahead of next week’s Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain.
Bayern lacked fluidity early against a strong Bochum side, who have been reinvigorated since the arrival of manager Thomas Letsch.
The home side were however gifted a goal late in the first half, when veteran forward Thomas Mueller pounced on an under-hit back pass from Bochum defender Saidy Janko and scored his second goal in two games.
Bayern’s Bochum-born midfielder Leon Goretzka almost doubled the lead one minute before half-time, but headed wide from right in front.
In-form French forward Kingsley Coman made it 2-0 on 64 minutes when he tunnelled Bochum goalkeeper Manuel Riemann, while former Arsenal winger Serge Gnabry won and converted a penalty with just over 15 minutes remaining to give his side a comfortable 3-0 home win.
Bayern, who started the season with three straight 1-1 draws, have now won three matches on the trot ahead of Tuesday’s trip to face PSG in the Champions League.
Borussia Dortmund made it six from six in 2023, winning 2-0 at Bremen to go three points behind Bayern at the top of the table.
Dortmund lost striker Youssoufa Moukoko after 26 minutes following a heavy tackle and the teenager was subbed out for Ivory Coast forward Sebastien Haller.
With the match scoreless after 66 minutes, Dortmund manager Edin Terzic brought Jamie Bynoe-Gittens on for fellow youngster Gio Reyna and the change had an immediate impact, with the English teenager scoring a rocket just a minute later.
Germany midfielder Julian Brandt missed a chance to put Dortmund 2-0 up 10 minutes later, but got a second with six minutes remaining to seal the three points for the visitors.
Leverkusen back on track
Elsewhere, Stuttgart defender Dan-Axel Zagadou gave away two second-half penalties to help Freiburg come from behind to win 2-1 at home, their second league win of 2023.
Stuttgart, sitting in 16th place and embroiled in a relegation dogfight, hit the lead early through Chris Fuehrich to take a 1-0 lead at half-time, but Vincenzo Grifo scored twice from the spot to seal a come-from-behind victory.
Leverkusen got back on the winners’ board after two straight losses with a comfortable 3-1 win away at under-fire Hoffenheim thanks to goals from Robert Andrich, Moussa Diaby and Adam Hlozek.
A double from South Korean midfielder Lee Jae-sung and a goal from Austrian forward Karim Onisiwo helped Mainz to a 3-1 home win over Augsburg, who got on the scoresheet thanks to a first-half penalty from Bosnian forward Ermedin Demirovic.
In Saturday’s late game, Union Berlin have an opportunity to reclaim second spot and cut Bayern’s lead to just one point when they travel to RB Leipzig.
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