Bayern hot on Dortmund’s heels

Bayern Munich trimmed Borussia Dortmund's lead at the top of the German league to two points on Saturday as the Bavarians enjoyed a 2-1 home win over Hannover.

Bayern hot on Dortmund's heels
Photo: DPA

After midfielder Toni Kroos put the hosts ahead at Munich’s Allianz Arena with a well-taken first-half chip, Germany striker Mario Gomez extended his tally as the Bundesliga’s top scorer with his 23rd goal in 26 matches.

He rolled his shot under Hannover goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler on 68 minutes to claim Bayern’s second before Ivory Coast striker Didier Ya Konan pulled a goal back with a spectacular bicycle kick on 74 minutes.

Hannover, who face Atletico Madrid in the first-leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday, could have rescued a point as ex-Manchester United striker Mame Diouf headed over the bar with time almost up.

“You can see why Hannover 96 are in the last eight of the Europa League and the top third of the league table,” said Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes, whose team beat Mönchengladbach on penalties on Wednesday in the German Cup semi-final.

“They were well organised and not easy to play against. Overall, we deserved the win and I am very satisfied. We now have to just win our games and worry about ourselves. The team did well just two-and-a-half days after our cup win.”

With Dortmund at Cologne on Sunday in the Rhineland derby, Bayern took the opportunity to cut the defending champions lead, leaving them on 57 points to Dortmund’s 59 with seven matches left.

Third-placed Borussia Mönchengladbach slipped further back in the title race when they threw away the lead to lose 2-1 at home to Hoffenheim, which leaves them six points behind Bayern, eight behind Dortmund.

Gladbach were cruising to victory after a first-half goal from Dortmund-bound midfielder Marco Reus seven minutes before half-time but Hoffenheim took the three points with two goals in as many second-half minutes.

Brazil midfielder Roberto Firmino earned a yellow card for his shirtless celebrations on 77 minutes before a sharp header from Boris Vukcevic on 79 minutes scuppered Gladbach’s hopes.


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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.