Bayern warms up for Champions by beating Hannover

Associated Press
4/20/2013 2:39:40 PM
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FRANKFURT, Germany -- Bayern Munich warmed up for its Champions League semifinal with Barcelona by crushing Hannover 6-1 on Saturday for its 13th straight Bundesliga victory.

Mario Gomez and Claudio Pizarro scored a pair each and Pizarro also set up two others despite Bayern resting several regulars.

"We don't have a B side, we only have one A team," Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said.

Bayern sealed the Bundesliga title two rounds ago and has 81 points, matching the record set last season by Borussia Dortmund in winning the championship.

Bayern's 26th victory of the season also set a Bundesliga record.

Heynckes said media reports that Bayern president Uli Hoeness was under a suspected tax evasion investigation had no impact on his team.

"That's, above all, a private matter of the president ... my team does not get affected by anything," Heynckes said.

According to the newsmagazine Focus, Hoennes reported himself to tax authorities about a private bank account in Switzerland. Such a move can mitigate the case if it happens before an investigation is opened. No other details were given.

Dortmund also gave itself a boost before meeting Real Madrid in the other Champions League semifinal by beating Mainz 2-0 thanks to an early goal from Marco Reus and a late strike from Robert Lewandowski, his league-high 23rd of the season. Lewandowski has scored in 12 straight matches.

Elsewhere, Eintracht Frankfurt edged Schalke 1-0, Bayer Leverkusen blanked 10-man Hoffenheim 5-0, and Hamburger SV beat Fortuna Duesseldorf 2-1.

In the late match, Wolfsburg won 3-0 at slumping Werder Bremen, which is winless in nine games.

Maximilian Arnold and Ivica Olic scored in the first half and Diego converted a penalty in the 66th to leave Werder only five points away from the danger zone.

Captain Steve Cherundolo equaled the Hannover appearance record with his 298th game but that was the only thing Hannover could celebrate.

Hannover came immediately under pressure when Franck Ribery struck the crossbar in the fifth minute.

Bayern went ahead in the 16th, when Lars Stindl diverted a cross from David Alaba into his own net. Pizarro, playing as an attacking midfielder, released Ribery to score and set up Gomez's first goal to complete the scoring in the first half.

Gomez, who had a hat trick inside six minutes in the 6-1 win over Wolfsburg in the German Cup semifinals this week, used a low cross from Jerome Boateng to get his second.

Pizarro, who also hit the crossbar, knocked in a low cross from Jerome Boateng at the near post before Hannover pulled one back. Manuel Neuer fumbled a free kick and Andre Hoffmann headed in the loose ball in the 84th but Pizarro replied immediately with his second goal.

Heynckes changed eight players from the side that beat Wolfsburg. Gomez played in place of Mario Mandzukic, who is suspended for the Barcelona match on Tuesday. Bastian Schweinsteiger sat out because of a light ankle injury.

In Dortmund, the home side scored after 33 seconds when Reus hit the target from 15 metres (yards) out. Lewandowski scored from close range in the 87th to extend his scoring streak. Only Gerd Mueller has been more consistent, scoring in 16 straight matches during the 1969-70 season.

Second-place Dortmund's fifth consecutive victory also mathematically sealed its place in the Champions League next season.

Leverkusen, which is eight points behind Dortmund in third, got two goals apiece from Stefan Kiessling and Andre Schuerrle, who has been linked with a move to Chelsea, according to German media. Stefan Reinartz completed the victory that left Hoffenheim in the relegation zone.

Hoffenheim's Eugen Polanski was sent off shortly after Kiessling's opening goal for a tackle on the striker. Simon Rolfes took the resulting penalty but Hoffenheim goalkeeper Koen Casteels saved it.

Eintracht goalkeeper Oka Nikolov also saved a penalty in his team's win over Schalke.

The winner came from a header by Marco Reuss shortly before halftime following a free kick cross from 17-year-old Marc Stendera.

Schalke is seven points behind Leverkusen, while Eintracht climbed back into a Europa League slot in sixth.

Captain Rafael van der Vaart scored both goals for Hamburg, while Duesseldorf's goal came from Dani Schahin.

Bayern Munich players celebrate (Photo: The Canadian Press)


(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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