Soccer

Bayern maintains title march with rout of Werder Bremen

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Associated Press
2/23/2013 1:01:19 PM
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BERLIN -- Bayern Munich routed Werder Bremen 6-1 on Saturday to maintain its march to the German title and help Jupp Heynckes celebrate his 1,000th Bundesliga game as player or coach.

The 67-year-old Heynckes, who will be replaced by Pep Guardiola next season and has signalled his intention to retire, was presented with a bouquet before kickoff in Munich to mark his achievement. Only Otto Rehhagel, with 1,037 games, has more.

"We want to keep our rhythm, to continue on our way and not let ourselves be sidetracked by premature praise," Heynckes said. "Our premise is to play better and more successfully,"

Heynckes made six changes to the side that won 3-1 at Arsenal in the Champions League on Tuesday, giving Arjen Robben and Mario Gomez rare starts.

Robben seized his chance by scoring in the 25th and sending in a free kick for Javi Martinez to double the lead with a header four minutes later.

Bayern's task was made easier before the break when Sebastian Proedl was sent off for bringing down Gomez when the striker was through on goal.

Fellow Bremen defender Theodor Gebre Selassie scored an own goal in the 49th as he attempted to clear Gomez's cross from the lurking Franck Ribery.

Gomez made it 4-0 three minutes later, before Kevin de Bruyne scored for Bremen in the 58th -- the first goal Bayern has conceded this year in the league, and only the eighth this season.

Ribery made it 5-1 with a volley thanks to Philipp Lahm's ball over the defence in the 86th, and Gomez completed the rout in the 89th, after Robben's second assist of the afternoon.

"We've had to accept a hammering here," said Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf, after his 750th game.

Bayern moved provisionally 18 points clear of Borussia Dortmund ahead of the defending champion's visit to Borussia Moenchengladbach on Sunday. The sides meet in an eagerly anticipated German Cup quarterfinal in Munich on Wednesday.

"We want to be German champions, that was the stated aim," Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said. "That's the most important title. We're on the right path."

Elsewhere, Hannover routed Hamburger SV 5-1, Stuttgart drew 1-1 with Nuremberg, Wolfsburg drew 1-1 at Mainz, and Augsburg beat Hoffenheim 2-1 to leave the visitors in a direct relegation place.

"It was an insufficient performance over 90 minutes," Hoffenheim coach Marco Kurz said.

Schalke was hosting Fortuna Duesseldorf later Saturday.

Hannover striker Mame Biram Diouf scored with a great header from Szabolcs Huszti's cross in the seventh, but Rafael van der Vaart equalized from the penalty spot six minutes later.

Huszti replied with a penalty of his own in the 39th, after Rene Adler brought down Sergio Pinto, but injured himself while doing so and had to go off.

Didier Ya Konan struck a fantastic volley to make it 3-1 before the break, and settled the issue with his second in the 68th, before Mohammed Abdellaoue completed the scoring with five minutes remaining.

In Stuttgart, Ibrahima Traore scored from a rebound for the home side in the 51st, only for Markus Feulner to equalize with a powerful strike in the 77th.

Mainz winter signing Niki Zimling scored his first Bundesliga goal in the fifth minute, following a mistake from Wolfsburg goalkeeper Diego Benaglio.

Naldo saved his goalkeeper's blushes with a deserved equalized in the 15th, before Alexander Madlung was shown a straight red for unfairly blocking a clear goal chance in the 30th.

In Augsburg, winter signing Ji Dong-won scored with an unstoppable effort before the break and Sascha Moelders made it 2-0 in the 79th with a fantastic strike.

Hoffenheim pulled one back through Igor de Camargo in injury time to set up a frantic finale, but the home side held out to move above the visitors into the relegation playoff place.

"We'll do all we can now to defend this place," Augsburg coach Markus Weinzierl said.

Arjen Robben (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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