Bundes Liga |
Bremen keep up chase
German striker Miroslav Klose admitted he was delighted to get on the scoresheet and help fire Werder Bremen back up to second in the Bundesliga with a 2-0 win at Borussia Dortmund on Sunday.
After rivals VfB Stuttgart leap-frogged into second on Saturday, with a 2-1 win against Hanover, Bremen re-claimed their place behind leaders Schalke 04 after Klose scored his third goal in four days.
Having netted twice in Bremen's UEFA Cup win over AZ Alkmaar last Thursday night to break his 907-minute goal drought, the 2006 World Cup's top-scorer opened the scoring at Dortmund as his side kept the pressure on Schalke.
"For any forward, it's always good to score a few goals," said Klose.
"That will keep the pressure off me now for the next few weeks, it always puts a smile on your face when the goals go flying in."
Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf paid tribute to his side's hard-working performance so soon after booking their UEFA Cup semifinal berth.
"The fact the players delivered a performance of that quality after the UEFA Cup game on Thursday is a huge compliment to them.
"We probed their defence for weaknesses, took our time and we were rewarded with two well-taken goals."
After Bremen defender Patrick Owomoyela robbed Dortmund midfielder Florian Kringe on the half-way line and sprinted to the edge of the penalty area, Klose was on hand to head home his cross on 28 minutes.
And a superb curled free-kick from Brazilian Diego ten minutes later gave Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller no chance and put Bremen into a 2-0 lead. The visitors could even afford to squander several chances to score more after the break.
The defeat leaves Dortmund just one place above the relegation zone.
After the disappointment of their Champions League exit last Wednesday at the hands of AC Milan, Bayern Munich showed they are still in the hunt for their 21st German title after a convincing 2-1 win against Bayer Leverkusen.
But goal-scorer Roy Makaay revealed the German giants endured a nervous final 30 minutes as the ghosts of their Milan defeat came back to haunt them.
"After Woronin's equaliser we started to rush things a bit and in the last 15 minutes there was nothing left in the tank," he said.
"We are still feeling the disappointment of defeat last Wednesday."
Midfield hard-man Mark van Bommel put Bayern into an early lead after defender Philipp Lahm launched a high ball and the Dutch midfielder beat Leverkusen goalkeeper Rene Adler to chip into the net after 30 minutes.
"We have shown our rivals that we have the necessary stamina to take the Bundesliga title down to the wire," added Van Bommel.
And Bayern wrapped up the points three minutes into the second-half when Hasan Salihamidzic slid a pass into the feet of striker Makaay who buried his shot past the diving Adler to make it 2-0.
Leverkusen's Ukrainian striker Andrey Voronin, who picked up a yellow card earlier in the game, scored to put his side back in contention, against the run of play, on the hour mark, only for Van Bommel to hit the post moments later.
But Bayern deserved the win while the defeat leaves Leverkusen sixth in the league, one place away from a UEFA Cup berth.