Bayern batter Freiburg to extend title lead

Bayern batter Freiburg to extend title lead
Bayern Munich's Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates during his club's win against Freiburg. Christof Stache/AFP
Bayern Munich warmed up for Wednesday's Champions League last 16, first-leg clash at Arsenal by trouncing Freiburg 4-0 on Saturday to stretch their Bundesliga lead to 16 points.

Bayern coach Pep Guardiola — whose side extended their record unbeaten league run to 46 matches — rested several stars ahead of the clash with the Gunners in London, but still started with 10 internationals.

"We wanted to put in a good performance before the Arsenal game — now we're looking forward to the Champions League," said Bayern goalkeeper Manuel

Brazil centre-back Dante opened the scoring when he headed home on 19 minutes, and Swiss Xerdan Shaqiri added the second on 34 minutes after a superb reverse pass from Claudio Pizarro fell into his path and he fired home. The stocky Swiss then added his second just before the break, and veteran striker Pizarro added a fourth two minutes from time.

The game ended on a sour note for Shaqiri, though, as he had to go off with a torn hamstring.

Meanwhile, second-placed Bayer Leverkusen, who host Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday, crashed to another home defeat when they lost
2-1 to Schalke 04.

Having suffered a shock 1-0 extra-time defeat at home to second-division Kaiserslautern on Wednesday in the German Cup quarter-finals, Leverkusen stumbled to their fifth defeat in their last seven games.

Fourth-placed Schalke took the lead when 19-year-old midfielder Leon Goretzka scored on 28 minutes before Royal Blues centre-back Felipe Santana netted a second-half own goal to restore parity.

But Netherlands striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar headed Schalke's winner from a free-kick on 74 minutes to punish Levekusen and leave the Royal Blues fourth in the table.

Hamburg suffered an eighth straight defeat, crashing 4-2 at bottom side Eintracht Braunschweig. Routed 5-0 by Bayern in the German Cup on Wednesday, Hamburg have now lost a club record seven successive league games.

Striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga put Hamburg ahead on 23 minutes, but Braunschweig's Democratic Republic of Congo-born Dominick Kumbela came off the
bench to score twice.

Croatia midfielder Ivo Ilicevic appeared to save Hamburg's blushes with the equaliser 14 minutes from time, but Kumbela wrapped up his hat-trick when he pounced in a goal-mouth scramble. To add to the visitors' misery, midfielder Jan Hochscheidt scored Braunschweig's fourth — the 51st goal Hamburg have conceded this season — in the third minute of added time.

The result means Hamburg remain second from bottom, but now only four points separate the bottom five teams.

Having already won 1-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt in the German Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday, Borussia Dortmund enjoyed a 4-0 romp against Armin Veh's side in the league to stay third. Gabon international Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who headed the winner at Frankfurt, was back to terrorise Eintracht with two goals in the opening 20

Poland striker Robert Lewandowski netted a penalty, while Serbia's Milos Jojic, a January signing from Partizan Belgrade, then needed just 17 seconds to score his first Bundesliga goal on his Dortmund debut.

"That was a great game and a great mentality from my team, they were strong from the first second. We scored the goals at just the right times,"said Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp.

Poland international Ludovic Obraniak netted his first Bundesliga goal since joining from Bordeaux in January when he equalised two minutes from time
to secure a 1-1 draw at home to Borussia Mönchegladbach.

Hoffenheim enjoyed a 4-1 romp at home to VfB Stuttgart, while on Friday Mainz inched closer to a Europa League place next season with a 2-0 win over Hanover 96 to stay just outside the top six on goal difference.

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