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FOOTBALL

Bayern cling to Liga lead on goal difference

Bayern Munich stayed top of the German league on Saturday as Mario Gomez claimed his 17th goal of the season in a 2-0 win over Wolfsburg - but Shinji Kagawa-inspired Borussia Dortmund are hard on their heels.

Bayern cling to Liga lead on goal difference
Arjen Robben knocks in Bayern's second goal from his stomach. Photo: DPA

Japan winger Kagawa scored twice in Dortmund’s 3-1 win over Hoffenheim, which means the defending champions remain second and level on 40 points with Bayern, with Munich only top due to goal difference.

Germany striker Gomez has now scored 17 goals in 18 league games this season, after Bayern bounced back from their shock 3-1 defeat at Borussia Mönchengladbach with a win over Wolves.

The 26-year-old fired one home at Munich’s Allianz Arena with an hour on the clock after France winger Franck Ribery was fouled and Gomez converted a free-kick from Germany team-mate Toni Kroos.

Dutch winger Arjen Robben added Bayern’s second in the 92nd minute when the ball went in off his stomach.

“We had good chances in the first half, but we didn’t take them,” said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes.

“This time (unlike against Gladbach), we had the luck and the ability to take the lead through a set-piece.

“In terms of our scoring chances and the way we played, the win was deserved.”

Dortmund stayed in touch after their home win over Hoffenheim, with Kagawa in dazzling form for the hosts.

The champions suffered bad news in mid-week when it was revealed teenage midfield star Mario Götze will be out for up to eight weeks with a groin injury.

But Kagawa teamed up with Kevin Grosskreutz to compensate for Götze’s loss.

The Japan star put Dortmund ahead after just 16 minutes before Grosskreutz slotted home the hosts’ second after 31 minutes.

The pair then combined for the stunning third goal, when a crisp back-heel from Grosskreutz landed in Kagawa’s path and he fired home from close range on 55 minutes.

USA defender Fabian Johnson scored a 63rd-minute consolation for Hoffenheim, but it was too little, too late.

“We were very strong in the opening phase, but didn’t convert all our goal chances,” said Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp.

“In the second half, we saw what can happen if we hadn’t put in so much work in the first half (as Hoffenheim came back).

“It was an excellent home game.”

Third-placed Schalke 04 have the chance to join Dortmund and Bayern on 40 points if they beat Cologne on Saturday night.

At the other end of the table, bottom side Augsburg were held to a 2-2 draw at home to fellow relegation contenders Kaiserslautern, who remain third from bottom.

Hamburg bounced back from last weekend’s hammering at home to Dortmund with a 2-1 win at Hertha Berlin in the capital city.

Werder Bremen stay fifth and Bayer Leverkusen sixth after they drew 1-1 in Bremen.

Fourth-placed Gladbach need to win at VfB Stuttgart on Sunday to stay in touch with the leaders.

AFP/hc

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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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