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Bundesliga wrap: Bayern squeeze past Hoffenheim
03 Mar, 2013 8:19 PM GMT
Mario Gomez's first-half strike was enough for Bayern Munich to take all three points as they saw off lowly Hoffenheim 1-0 on Sunday.
The Bundesliga leaders were far from their best, but in a rare start, Gomez produced a close-range finish to seal victory at the Rhein-Neckar Arena.
Bayern's win means they remain 17 points ahead of rivals and defending Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund at the top of table, while Hoffenheim stay embroiled in a relegation battle, five points adrift of the relegation play-off position.
Jupp Heynckes' men looked to stamp their authority on the game early on, Bastian Schweinsteiger testing Heurelho Gomes with a low free-kick that the former Tottenham goalkeeper could only turn round the post.
Despite their lowly league position, Hoffenheim were not going to let the visitors have everything their own way, and Danny Williams should have done better when a cross from the left evaded three Bayern defenders before finding him at the back post.
The midfielder could only find the side netting with that effort, but that did not deter him and he tried his luck again minutes later, missing the target with a powerful shot from distance.
Both sides were failing to make any real periods of possession count until Franck Ribery headed Jerome Boateng's diagonal ball into Gomez's path, and the Germany international made no mistake as he squeezed the ball into the bottom corner with seven minutes left to play in the first half.
The hosts' laboured as they looked to claim an unlikely point, but Heynckes' side were ultimately comfortable in closing out the win.
Meanwhile, Fortuna Duesseldorf held visiting Mainz to a 1-1 draw at Esprit Arena.
Duesseldorf, who were looking to bounce back from last week's 2-1 defeat to Schalke, hit the front courtesy of a sixth-minute Bo Svensson own-goal.
Former Bolton Wanderers striker Ivan Klasnic levelled proceedings four minutes before the break, ensuring the points were shared on Sunday.