Bayern Munich juggernaut rolls on

Bayern Munich continued their early season charge for the Bundesliga title with a 4-0 rout of Hertha Berlin on Saturday that gave them a five-point lead at the top.

Bayern Munich juggernaut rolls on
Photo: DPA

Bayern, who finished a massive 10 points off Borussia Dortmund’s pace last season, were quick to extinguish any hopes of an upset by racing 3-0 up thanks to goals from Mario Gomez, Franck Ribery and Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Gomez added his second from a spot-kick in the 69th minute to seal a comprehensive win for Jupp Heynckes’ seemingly unstoppable side, whose lead was boosted by results elsewhere.

“The team has come out of the international break and immediately hit the ground running with total focus on the Bundesliga. We were outstanding, especially in the first half,” said Heynckes.

“We let the ball do the work, our passing was brilliant and we scored three early goals. It was a superb start to the match. We showed all our authority in the second half, retained possession and still created a few chances.”

Borussia Mönchengladbach looked set to claim a precious 2-1 win at home to Bayer Leverkusen but had to accept a share of the spoils after Leverkusen striker Andre Schürrle fired home in the 87th minute to level.

Mönchengladbach still moved up one place to second, five points behind Bayern, who now have a six-point cushion on Dortmund, Stuttgart and Bremen – all of whom have played nine games.

Dortmund had moved temporarily up to second on Friday with a 2-0 away win that ended Werder Bremen’s undefeated spell at home.

Elsewhere, Wolfsburg had Mario Mandzukic to thank for a brace in a 2-1 home win against Nuremberg.

The Croatian, who scored a goal against Latvia in their final Euro 2012 qualifier in midweek, opening his account in the 23rd minute and cancelling out Christian Eigler’s 70th-minute leveller with a penalty in the 83rd minute.

Stuttgart picked up a precious 2-0 home win against Hoffenheim, while league new boys FC Augsburg moved further away from the bottom of the table after a 1-0 away win at Mainz.

Bayern’s latest demonstration means they are unbeaten in 14 matches in all competitions, and augurs well a few days ahead of their Champions League trip to Napoli on Tuesday, when they will defend their lead of Group A.

Hertha secured promotion to the Bundesliga in May after a season in the German second division but the gulf in class between the sides was evident almost immediately as Bayern opened up a 3-0 lead inside 13 minutes.

French international Franck Ribery was inspirational, providing assists for both Gomez’s opener and Schweinsteiger’s 13th-minute goal, either side of getting on the scoresheet himself.

He was also instrumental in Bayern’s penalty, which Gomez converted to remain the league’s top scorer with 10 goals.

Hertha, who have 12 points from nine games, were lucky to come away so lightly with both Thomas Müller and Jerome Boateng missing chances.

On Sunday, fourth from bottom Freiburg host fellow strugglers Hamburg, who sit bottom, while Hannover will be looking for their fifth win of the campaign away to Cologne.


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Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.