Bayern edge past Mainz, Dortmund beat Leverkusen
BERLIN, Sept 15 – Leaders Bayern Munich protected their two-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga with a nervous 3-1 victory over Mainz 05 today as champions Borussia Dortmund kept up the chase with a commanding 3-0 win against Bayer Leverkusen.
Goals from Mario Mandzukic and Bastian Schweinsteiger after 13 minutes looked to have put hosts Bayern in an unassailable position but an Adam Szalai penalty on the hour set the stage for a tricky ending.
Bayern were without wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, out of the squad with minor injuries hours before the game, while coach Jupp Heynckes left €40 million ($52.6 million) signing Javi Martinez again on the bench at the start.
Bayern striker Claudio Pizarro came on late in the game to equal the record for most Bundesliga matches by a foreign player at 336 but it was Toni Kroos who made sure of the three points when he struck in stoppage time.
Dortmund had no such case of nerves and a well-timed Mats Hummels header put the champions on track to maintain their 12-month unbeaten run at home.
Jakub Blaszczykowski fired in another goal from the far post six minutes before the break against a toothless Leverkusen side before Robert Lewandowski headed in another in the 78th to lift second-placed Dortmund to seven points from three games, two behind leaders Bayern Munich. – Reuters