Champions Bayern down Hanover to top league

14 September 2013 04:01

Bayern Munich topped the Bundesliga for the first time this season with a 2-0 win over Hanover 96 on Saturday as they prepare to defend their Champions League title.

Second-half goals by Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic and France winger Franck Ribery gave Bayern the three points at Munich's Allianz Arena, which saw the Bavarians knock Borussia Dortmund, who host Hamburg later, off top spot.

It was the ideal preparation for Pep Guardiola's team, who begin their Champions League campaign at home to CSKA Moscow on Tuesday.

It was especially satisfying as Dutch winger Arjen Robben played a big part in both goals as Bayern enjoyed around 70 percent ball possession.

Hanover, who last won in Munich seven years ago, squandered a chance when Ivory Coast forward Didier Ya Konan hit the crossbar in the first half and the result sees them slip down to fourth.

Bayer Leverkusen, who launch their Champions League campaign at English giants Manchester United on Tuesday, warmed up for their Old Trafford clash with a convincing 3-1 win over 10-man VfL Wolfsburg to stay third.

Germany winger Sidney Sam put the hosts ahead before Wolfsburg's Croatia striker Ivica Olic levelled just before the break.

Bayer striker Stefan Kiessling netted twice to give Leverkusen their fourth win from their opening five games, heading home on 65 minutes before slamming in his second in added time.

Wolves were reduced to ten men when ex-Bayern Munich midfielder Luiz Gustavo was sent off in the final 10 minutes, for the second time this season for a second yellow card.

The Brazilian had only just returned from suspension after being dismissed in the 2-0 defeat at Mainz at the end of August.

Schalke 04, who host Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League on Wednesday, continued their revival by picking up their second victory as new signing Kevin-Prince Boateng hit the first-half winner in only his second league match since arriving from AC Milan.

The victory lifts the Royal Blues up to eighth, while Mainz are fifth.

Werder Bremen crashed to their third consecutive defeat when they went down 3-0 at home to Eintracht Frankfurt, with Czech Republic striker Vaclav Kadlec scoring two first-half goals before Austria defender Sebastian Proedl scored a late own-goal to complete Bremen's misery.

Augsburg needed a 90th-minute winner from midfielder Tobias Werner to seal a 2-1 win at home to Freiburg while on Friday VfB Stuttgart earned a 1-0 win in the capital against Hertha Berlin, picking up their second win under caretaker coach Thomas Schneider.

Source: AFP