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FOOTBALL

Bayern bounce back to take top spot

Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes said Sunday he was pleased with his team's 2-1 win at Stuttgart after they came from behind to claim victory and are set to finish 2011 top of the German league.

Bayern bounce back to take top spot
Photo: DPA

Germany striker Mario Gomez scored either side of half-time against his former club after Stuttgart midfielder Christian Gentner had given Stuttgart an early lead.

The hosts were reduced to 10 men when defender Cristian Molinaro was shown a second yellow card after only 29 minutes for a foul on Bayern winger Arjen

Robben, just five minutes after he had also tackled the Dutchman from behind.

Victory puts Bayern three points clear and, with a superior goal difference advantage, they are set to finish the year as league leaders with the Bundesliga to break for winter next Sunday.

“There are still 18 games to play, the crucial thing was to win at Stuttgart, which you can never take for granted,” said Heynckes after a lively south Germany derby. “Towards the end, you could see some of my players beginning to look drained.”

“Gomez didn’t just score the two goals, he also worked really hard when we weren’t in possession,” he added. “Games against Stuttgart are very special for him. Fortunately, he scored both goals, and we really needed them.”

Bayern midfielder Thomas Müller admitted Munich had to work to take the three points.

“It was an important match, and Stuttgart are very hard work away from home,” he said. “We went a goal down but put it behind us very well. We’ve turned a game around and fought back.”

“We made trouble for ourselves towards the end because we failed to make it 3-1, and it was a very nervous finish,” he said. “You might even say we were a little fortunate, because Stuttgart had chances.”

Stuttgart coach Bruno Labbadia praised his team for their battling display despite being a man down for more than an hour. “My team put up a fantastic fight and we were very good tactically,” he said.

“We’ve not been rewarded for our courage, it’s a shame, but it wasn’t quite enough.”

AFP/bk

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MUNICH

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.

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