Bayern beats Hertha to put Bundesliga title on ice
Apr. 25, 2015
BERLIN (AP) — Bastian Schweinsteiger scored with 10 minutes remaining for Bayern Munich to beat Hertha Berlin 1-0 and move even closer to the Bundesliga title on Saturday.
Mitchell Weiser eluded four Hertha defenders and cut the ball back for Schweinsteiger to score with a fine strike to the top corner.
Bayern will claim its 25th German title on Sunday if second-place Wolfsburg fails to beat Borussia Moenchengladbach away.
Despite dominating possession, Bayern struggled to create chances in an uneventful first half.
The best chance fell to Nico Schulz early in the second, but the Hertha midfielder was denied by Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer in a one-on-one situation.
Bayern increased the pressure in the final 15 minutes, with Robert Lewandowski forcing a smart save from reserve Hertha 'keeper Sascha Burchert and Schweinsteiger hitting the post before Weiser's decisive run.
"I think it's a deserved win for Bayern. Compliments on the German championship," Hertha coach Pal Dardai said.
The 18-year-old Sinan Kurt played the second half in his competitive debut for Bayern.
"We have to get through the next couple of weeks. We had a lot of injuries, not many breaks, it's not easy. Every game is incredibly important now," Bayern coach Pep Guardiola said.
Bayern next has a home semifinal against Borussia Dortmund in the German Cup on Tuesday. Two games against Barcelona await Guardiola's team in the Champions League semifinals.
Earlier, Pierre-Michel Lasogga scored twice as Hamburger SV boosted its chances of avoiding relegation with a 3-2 win over Augsburg.
Ivica Olic scored Hamburg's first goal in seven games in the 11th minute and Lasogga headed in the second eight minutes later, only for Raul Bobadilla to pull one back for the visitors six minutes after that.
Tobias Werner equalized with a precise effort inside the left post in the 69th, but Lasogga answered two minutes later with a fierce effort to the roof of the net for Hamburg's first win in 10 games.
"I had the feeling I was getting more and more into shape the last few weeks. You have to earn your luck," Lasogga said. "We have to keep going. The relegation battle is really exciting."
Hamburg climbed off the bottom to the relegation playoff place. It's one point above Stuttgart — which drew 2-2 at home with Freiburg — and one below Hannover, which lost 2-1 at home to Hoffenheim.
Paderborn slipped to last place but has to play Werder Bremen on Sunday. Only four rounds remain after the weekend's games.
Dortmund moved three points behind Augsburg in the last Europa league qualification place by defeating Eintracht Frankfurt 2-0 at home and third-place Bayer Leverkusen drew 1-1 in the Rhine derby at Cologne.
"It's a great point because it ensures that we finish at least in fourth place," Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt said of the Champions league playoff place. Third ensures direct qualification for Europe's premier competition.
In Dortmund, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's coolly taken penalty put the home side ahead in the 24th, and the Gabon forward turned provider eight minutes later for Shinji Kagawa to seal the result against a harmless Frankfurt side missing injured top-scorer Alexander Meier.
Leverkusen teenager Julian Brandt struck on the hour in Cologne, before substitute Bard Finne earned the home side a point with seven minutes remaining.
Michael Frontzeck's tenure at Hannover got off to a bad start when Hoffenheim's Anthony Modeste scored in the second minute. TV replays showed the French striker was offside.
Lars Stindl equalized with a penalty in the 24th, only for Sven Schipplock to score late for the visitors.
"It's a relegation battle and with one good attack Hoffenheim claimed the winner," said Frontzeck, who replaced the fired Tayfun Korkut on Monday. "I saw a good game from my team. I'm still optimistic."
Hannover is 14 games without a win.
Stuttgart started well with Daniel Ginczek scoring in the 24th, three minutes before Filip Kostic crossed for Martin Harnik to make it 2-0.
But Adam Hlousek was booked for giving away a penalty, converted by Nils Peterson in the 58th, and then earned a second yellow card in similar fashion eight minutes later.
Peterson claimed his second goal with five minutes to go for Freiburg to stay two points clear of danger.