Connect to share and comment

Football: Ribery leads seven-goal Bayern to 40-match milestone

PlacardEnlarge
(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

France's Franck Ribery produced a commanding display as Bayern Munich extended their record unbeaten Bundesliga run to 40 matches with a 7-0 away romp at Werder Bremen on Saturday.

Ribery boosted his claim for the 2013 world footballer of the year award, which will be announced on January 13, by creating two goals and scoring twice in the rout.

"We are all happy, but we must continue to play like that," said Ribery as the European champions warmed up for Tuesday's Champions League match at home to Manchester City.

"This team has a great mentality, it makes it fun to play."

Bayern, who last lost in the German league in October 2012, produced their biggest win so far under Pep Guardiola, cutting Bremen's defence to tatters.

"I must say a big thank you to my team, they played very, very well," beamed Guardiola.

"It was an honour to coach them today, but I know Bremen can play much better than that."

The victory was just short of the Bundesliga's 57-year-old record of 9-0 for an away win and was Werder's heaviest home league defeat.

Bremen coach Robin Dutt kept the team on the pitch for a stern lecture as they dropped to 14th after just two wins in their last 10 games.

Ribery, who started his first Bundesliga match for nearly a month after a rib injury, helped give Bayern the lead when his cross was turned into the net for an own goal by Werder's Congo defender Assani Lukimya on 21 minutes.

Towering Belgian centre-back Daniel van Buyten added a second from a corner six minutes later before Ribery added their third on 38 minutes when he tapped home Thomas Mueller's cross.

Ribery provided the cross for Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic on the hour mark to fire into an empty net for the fourth and six minutes later Mueller fired home for Bayern's fifth with 68 minutes gone.

Ribery capped an eye-catching display when he converted left-back David Alaba's cross on 82 minutes before Mario Goetze powered past tired defenders to hit Munich's seventh with 90 minutes gone.

Second-placed Bayer Leverkusen stayed four points behind Bayern with a hard-fought 1-0 win at third-placed Borussia Dortmund, who now find themselves six points behind Leverusen and ten points behind Munich.

South Korea striker Son Heung-Min hit the 18th-minute winner after Leverkusen's attack pounced on a mistake by Dortmund defender Manuel Friedrich for Son to score his fifth goal in his last three games against Borussia.

Both sides finished with 10 men as Leverkusen had Bosnia defender Emir Spahic sent off for striking Dortmund midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan while Borussia had Greece centre-back Sokratis dismissed late on for a second bookable foul.

Dortmund had defensive midfielder Sven Bender taken off in the second-half with a knee injury, adding to Borussia's injury woes having lost their entire back four last month.

Fourth-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach drew level on 31 points with Dortmund as they picked up their sixth-straight win with a 2-1 win at home to Schalke 04, whose coach Jens Keller has been told a decision on his future will be made over the winter break.

Schalke must beat Swiss champions FC Basel on Wednesday to reach the Champions League's knock-out phase and another defeat could be Keller's last having taken charge of the Royal Blues in December 2012.

Eintracht Frankfurt stay just above the relegation places after losing 2-1 at home to Hoffenheim while Hamburg, who had been steadily climbing the table under ex-Holland manager Bert van Marwijk, slumped to a 1-0 defeat at home to Augsburg.

Stuttgart are up to 10th after picking up only their third win in the last 10 games with a 4-2 win at home to Hanover 96.

ryj/dj

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131207/football-ribery-leads-seven-goal-bayern-40-match-milestone