Bayern marches on with 3-0 Bundesliga win at Mainz
BERLIN (AP) -Bayern Munich maintained its march toward a 23rd Bundesliga title with a 3-0 win at Mainz on Saturday.
"That was a very important win for us today with regard to the German title,'' Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said. "We knew it wouldn't be an easy game and we planned it accordingly. The team implemented (the tactics) very well.''
Mario Mandzukic scored twice, and Thomas Mueller scored to justify Heynckes' decision to leave Dutch star Arjen Robben and Germany striker Mario Gomez on the bench.
"It's important that one is there for the others. I think that sets us apart, that we're a good squad,'' Mandzukic said.
Mueller opened the scoring with the visitors' first real chance four minutes before the break, when he rounded the goalkeeper and slotted the ball in from the narrowing angle.
Mandzukic made it 2-0 in the 50th minute when he stole in ahead of a defender to meet David Alaba's cross.
The Croatian claimed his league-leading 14th of the season seven minutes later, meeting Philipp Lahm's cross to score with a simple header.
Bayern moved 14 points clear of Bayer Leverkusen after its 16th win of the season. Leverkusen hosts third-placed Borussia Dortmund on Sunday.
"It was quite a good day,'' Mueller said.
Bottom side Greuther Fuerth stunned Schalke when Nikola Djurdjic scored two minutes into injury time for a 2-1 come-from-behind victory that ended the promoted side's 17-game run without a win.
"That was my best game so far,'' Djurdjic said. "I hope that was the goal that will change the season for Greuther Fuerth.''
Winter signing Milan Bastos scored on his Schalke debut in the 47th when the former Lyon midfielder struck a powerful long-range effort inside the far post.
But Felix Klaus equalized five minutes later and the home side missed a host of chances with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Benedikt Hoewedes and Raffael all going close.
Schalke will feel further aggrieved as TV replays showed Djurdjic was offside when he headed a rebound over Timo Hildebrand.
"We're hugely disappointed,'' Schalke coach Jens Keller said. "We wanted to win the game and went for the goal. Then we conceded the second goal, which was clearly offside. That, on top of such a lousy day.''
Schalke is 22 points behind Bayern's 51, leaving Keller under increasing pressure as the club's midseason slump continues.
Eintracht Frankfurt won 2-0 at Hamburger SV in the late game to consolidate fourth place for the promoted side.
Winter signing Srdjan Lakic scored both goals on his Frankfurt debut - in the 22nd and 36th minutes - five days after the Croatian striker joined from Wolfsburg.
"I'm simply enjoying the moment,'' Lakic said after scoring his first league goals since May 2011, when he was still a Kaiserslautern player. "Of course I'm happy with how it all went. We won, I scored two goals, everything is super.''
Son Heung-min and Rafael van der Vaart went close in the second half, but found only the side netting and Kevin Trapp in outstanding form - the Frankfurt goalkeeper made 10 saves in all.
"We did exactly not what we did in training during the week,'' said Hamburg defender Heiko Westermann.
Hoffenheim beat visiting Freiburg 2-1 for its first win under coach Marco Kurz.
Kurz dropped former Germany goalkeeper Tim Wiese following a series of high-profile mistakes, replacing him on the last day of the transfer window with loan signing Heurelho Gomes from Tottenham.
Gomes got off to a bad start when Max Kruse scored in the fourth minute. However, Kevin Volland equalized six minutes later and scored what proved to be the winner in the 25th.
Wolfsburg drew 1-1 with Augsburg and Stuttgart lost 3-1 at Fortuna Duesseldorf - the visitors' third defeat in a row.
"Seventy-one percent ball possession is no use to us if we don't move intelligently,'' Stuttgart coach Bruno Labbadia said.