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Bundesliga: Bayern Munich Rumble On As Dortmund Close In On Leipzig

Bayern Munich Bundesliga
(l-r) Arturo Vidal of Bayern Munich, Javi Martinez of Bayern Munichduring the Bundesliga match between 1. FC Koln and Bayern Munich on March 04, 2017 at the RheinEnergie Stadium in Koln, Germany.(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)

Defending Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, managed by Carlo Ancelotti were ruthless, professional, clinical and technically superior in their 3-0 shutout of Peter Stoger’s FC Koln at the RheinEnergieStadion. Javi Martinez (25′), Juan Bernat (48′), Franck Ribery (90′) scored for Bayern while Arturo Vidal continued his good form in a vital road win that adds to their cushion atop the Bundesliga.

“It was a good match,” said Ancelotti. “We’re satisfied, the match was important. We had problems at the beginning as Köln were disciplined and defended well. We had more space after Martínez’ goal, and in the second half we turned in a good display.”

“It was an important victory,” Ribery added. “We did it well today, and we have to build on that. It was a tough match but we did a good job from the start. A 3-0 win away to Köln, that’s superb. They’re a good team, they’re having a good season. It’s important for Tuesday, against Arsenal.”

Bayern Munich have gone unbeaten in their last 16 matches in all competitions winning 14 of those contests. They now have a seven point cushion in the Bundesliga standings after RB Leipzig tied with Augsburg on Friday.

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As for Thomas Tuchel’s Borussia Dortmund, they prepared well for their UEFA Champions League second leg with FC Porto with a dominating 6-2 rout of Roger Schmidt’s Bayer Leverkusen at Signal Iduna Park. It was the club’s fourth time this season they have scored 6 goals in a competitive match.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang led the way with his second straight brace in the 26th and 69th minutes. Other goal scorers for Dortmund included outstanding summer signing Ousmane Dembele (6′), Christian Pulisic (77′), Andre Schurrle (85′) and Raphael Guerreiro (90′ + 2′).

Leverkusen’s main goals came against Kevin Volland (48′) and Wendell (74′). It was the first time Dortmund allowed a goal at home in the German top flight. The loss of Marco Reus to injury did put a damper on celebrations but they continue to add points to stay on pace with the top-two in the standings.

“It was a difficult game for us,” said Tuchel. “We were a tad sluggish and didn’t play with enough speed in the opening stages, because Leverkusen were defending high up and compactly. We struggled to find solutions. Nonetheless, we were still effective at the beginning, took a quick 2-0 lead and had the chance to kill the game completely through Auba.

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“Reus has a muscle injury in his thigh which he sustained during a long sprint. It’s a blow for us. In the opening stages today, Marco was the one who constantly got us going, who took the responsibility, who was alert. He has been incredibly stable for weeks now, he’s been playing at a high level and is an important character to have on the pitch. The fact he can’t play on Wednesday is a huge loss and takes the shine off the win.”

It will be interesting to see how Dortmund is able to adjust with the loss of Reus. With Bayern’s clinical performance against Arsenal, the Bavarians are in a good position to advance, while Dortmund will have an uphill battle to overcome Porto.

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