Bayern extends lead with 1-0 win over Monchengladbach

The Bundesliga leader is 13 points clear at the top.

Players celebrate Bayern's Thomas Mueller (centre) after he scored the opening goal on Sunday.   -  AP

Thomas Muller scored on his 250th Bundesliga appearance to stretch Bayern Munich’s lead to 13 points with a 1-0 win at Borussia Monchengladbach on Sunday. Bayern, which has lost only once in the league all season, took a big step toward an unprecedented fifth straight title after Leipzig’s surprise defeat at Werder Bremen on Saturday. There are nine games remaining.

The game in ‘Gladbach quickly settled into a pattern of Bayern trying to break through while the home side was restricted to a couple of long-range efforts that failed to trouble Manuel Neuer. ’Gladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer was much busier, denying Robert Lewandowski and later Mueller.

Bayern went closest before the break when Arjen Robben struck the left corner of the goal-frame after cutting in from the right, and Sommer pulled off an outstanding reflex save to deny Lewandowski from the rebound. Lewandowski had also displayed great athleticism to make the header.

Just as the home side was displaying more bravery and Raffael went close after the hour-mark, Mueller struck when Thiago Alcantara played him in with a brilliant ball lifted over the defence. Mueller took one touch to control it and another to finally beat Sommer. It was just his second league goal compared to 20 last season.

Bayern’s defence held firm as midtable ‘Gladbach pushed hard for an equaliser.

MAINZ 0, SCHALKE 1

Sead Kolasinac’s second-half strike was enough for Schalke to claim just its second away victory in the league. Kolasinac struck five minutes after the break, playing a one-two with Guido Burgstaller when he was surrounded by defenders before running on to shoot inside the right corner.

The goal settled the visitors while Mainz was forced to risk more going forward. Pablo De Blasis sent Jhon Cordoba through but Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann gathered the ball. Nabil Bentaleb should have wrapped it up late but failed to get the better of Jonas Lossl in a one-on-one with the goalkeeper.

Schalke moved ninth while Mainz stayed 12th, among four teams just two points above the relegation zone.