Two-goal Robben rescues Bayern; late agony for Hertha

Other News Materials 14 March 2010 01:38 (UTC +04:00)
Arjen Robben blasted in a free-kick and penalty to put Bayern Munich back on top of the German Bundesliga with a hard-fought 2-1 win over lowly Freiburg Saturday
Two-goal Robben rescues Bayern; late agony for Hertha

Arjen Robben blasted in a free-kick and penalty to put Bayern Munich back on top of the German Bundesliga with a hard-fought 2-1 win over lowly Freiburg Saturday, dpa reported.

Robben hit a left-foot shot past the wall and goalkeeper Simon Pouplin in the 76th minute and smashed home a penalty into the top of the net seven minutes later to rescue Bayern who had gone behind to a Cedrick Makiadi goal in the first half.

The win takes Bayern to 56 points, two ahead of Schalke 04 who defeated VfB Stuttgart 2-1 on Friday evening. Bayer Leverkusen, who play SV Hamburg on Sunday, are now six points behind Bayern.

Bayern struggled for long periods but Robben, whose left-foot goal against Fiorentina on Tuesday was decisive in putting the Germans into the last eight of the Champions League, was again match-winner.

After a handball just outside the area, Robben hit an unstoppable shot past the wall, and then stepped up to belt home the penalty after Thomas Mueller had been upended by Ivica Banovic.

"He is scoring goals and making them. It's incredible what he is doing this season and I am just glad we have him at Bayern," said coach Louis van Gaal of the Dutch winger.

"We started well today but lacked creativity in the first half. I think this team can do better and we showed that in the second half when we played with more creativity and elan."

   Bottom club Hertha Berlin's hopes of survival were meanwhile further dashed after a 2-1 home defeat to fellow strugglers Nuremberg who snatched the points in stoppage time through Greece striker Angelos Charisteas.

   The late loss led to ugly scenes after the final whistle when around 100 Hertha fans, some armed with flag poles, stormed the pitch at the Olympic Stadium.

   Police and stewards prevented them from reaching the entrance to the changing rooms and after several minutes they returned to their section behind one of the goals.

   Nuremberg coach Dieter Hecking said: "We have to act decisively (against fan violence). I hope there are people who have the courage to put a stop to this.

   "I don't want to see what happens when there is a first fatality."

Hertha coach Friedhelm Funkel said: "It is a small number of violent fans who are using this stage. We have to take hard action against them."

Funkel, who replaced the sacked Lucien Favre at the beginning of October, is not in danger of losing his job, club president Werner Gugenbauer insisted.

"There is no room for speculation," he said.

   Hertha were punished for several missed chances after taking a 36th-minute lead through Greece striker Theofanis Gekas.

Nuremberg levelled when Swiss striker Albert Bunjaku headed in from a corner just after the hour and Charisteas added to their agony with a goal on the break two minutes into stoppage time.

   The defeat leaves Hertha five points adrift of Freiburg and eight behind third-last Hanover.

Two goals from Lucas Barrios helped Borussia Dortmund to a 4-1 win at neighbours VfL Bochum, who had Milos Maric sent off for an elbow offence in the 33rd minute, to climb to fourth.

   Mainz striker Aristide Bance was dismissed in the 27th minute against Cologne, but the 10-man home team still went on to win, courtesy of a 57th-minute goal from Andre Schuerrle to stay seventh.

   Hanover edged Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 thanks to a 57th-minute winner from Sergio Pinto, three minutes after Frankfurt's Patrick Ochs was sent off for a second booking.

   Champions VfL Wolfsburg enjoyed a 4-0 drubbing of Borussia Moenchengladbach but stay eighth in the table, a point behind Mainz.

   A long-range shot from Zvjezdan Misimovic put the visitors ahead in the 41st minute, and Edin Dzeko made it two from the penalty spot four minutes after the interval before Christian Gentner blasted in a third in the 59th and Dzeko notched his second 10 minutes from time.